Just Do You

Many of us have experienced the feeling of hope curdling into disappointment.  How about when you show up to a job with the eagerness of a kid in a candy store, bring your qualifications and experience and suddenly this awesome opportunity turns sour because your boss or coworker begins belittling, disrespecting and generally humiliating you? 

To say the least, you’re torn in two.  One part of you wants to say F-off!  Another part is still trying to figure out how to hang on despite the turn of events because you want / need to do the job so badly.  So what can you do?

Let me give you an example of something that I recently experienced and share what I decided to do.

While I was excited about the opportunity to work with a trainer who had a lot of experience in the business, after a couple of meetings, that excitement turned into a mixture of anxiety and disgust.

I watched him interact with other clients during a group class and I was disappointed by the disrespectful tone in which I heard him address people.  Picture this, there I am cycling away like a little gerbil while watching him bully his “target” until they would give in and stop protesting.  Needless to say my motivation dropped significantly after this.  I started to question what this guy’s training philosophy was.

After the class, I asked him if he could give me an idea of what the plan was for working together as I understood he would provide the clients, take a cut and I’d train them. When I asked him during the first meeting I couldn’t really get a straight answer, so I tried again. 

ImageThis is when he decided to trash my credentials, belittle my training experience, and tell me that nobody trains his clients until they’ve learned “his” way.  As if this weren’t enough he went on to say that I need to think about whether I want to work with him since I seem like I think I know it all and want to start my own business. 

I called him on his claims and he had nothing to back it up.  I also reminded him that he already knew I had my own clients, so why is it a problem now when it wasn’t 2 days ago?  Again, nothing.

We were supposed to meet in a few days after I checked out another gym where I’d be training some clients.  As time went on, I couldn’t shake this sick feeling building up inside of me.  I tried everything I could think of to make it ok somehow, but I couldn’t work it out in my head. 

Basically, it came down to a few of decision making questions:

1.  Q.  Even if he were respectful on the next meeting, would I be ok working with him on a        
           continuous basis?
     A.  No. Because if a person can switch that much in personality from one meeting to the next,
          it’s a set up for a world of hurt.

 2.  Q.  Are our training philosophies compatible?
      A.  No. I believe in training people utilitizing positive reinforcement and encouragement.  I’m
          tough but in a
way that I show you that you can do more than you think.  He on the other  
          hand thinks that “breaking 
someone down” to get them to submit to his every whim is the
          way to get results.

3.  Q.  Is this the only opportunity I will have to work with a well experienced trainer in my career?
     A.  Not if I don’t want it to be. 

I think that number 3 is what trips a lot of people up.  This was actually my hardest one.  It is this feeling of foreboding that if you don’t make this work, then there will be no other chance.  It’s fatalistic thinking.  As if you should take the abuse and somehow you’ll be better off in the end if you just “hang in there”. 

This is about the time, you have to reach deep down and dig up your last shred of self-respect and walk the hell away ASAP.

It took me three days of contemplating, before I let him know, that this is not going to be a good fit and I need to cancel our next appointment. 

Am I disappointed? Yes.
Do I feel better having held on to my values?  No doubt. 
Do I know what’s next? Absolutely not! 

I want to be the best trainer I can be, but I am not willing to compromise my integrity or values because then I’m really not my best after all.

I believe that when you draw a line in the sand and stand up for who you are, eventually, you are surrounded mostly by like minded people who help you get where you want to go and feel good along the way.

What’s your take?

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

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30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge: Big Results Only 1/2 Way There!

Hey All!

Thought it was a good time to post some more results from my 30 day green smoothie challenge since I am now at the half-way point.

I am ecstatic with what has taken place in just a couple of weeks.  I’m now on Day 16 of 30 and I’ve lost an inch around my waist and an inch around my hips!

I thought I’d share some pics to show you my results thus far 🙂  You’ll notice those not so lovable “love handles” are starting to disappear!

Day 1 - 30 Day Smoothie Challenge.
Day 1 – 30 Day Smoothie Challenge.
Day 15 - 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge.  Lost 1 in. around waist and hips!
Day 15 – 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge. Lost 1 in. around waist and hips!

It amazes me how much of a difference it makes in such a short time to replace just one meal (breakfast for me) with a green smoothie.

In addition, because I don’t crave the things I used to, I’ve been eating healthier overall so I’m making different food choices in general.

If you’re curious about what I’ve been using in my smoothies and some of the other foods I now include in my diet as a part of this lifestyle change, well here ya go:

Morning Smoothie:
Choice of green (Kale, swiss chard, spinach) AND
Fruits: 1 each of these three fruits: bananas, mangoes, oranges

Note: Sometimes I also add 1/2 scoop of casein protein powder and 1/2 scoop of whey protein powder to get protein right away in the morning and to keep the hunger at bay.

Other foods recently added to my diet:
avocados
apples
low-fat cottage cheese
100% whole wheat bread
natural peanut butter
honey
watercress
carrots
dates
tuna (canned in water)
turkey bacon
mushrooms
80 calorie 2x protein greek yogurt
lean chicken or turkey
low fat soy milk
eggs (hard-boiled usually cause it’s faster 🙂

….and when I’m lazy Michaelina’s 300-400 calorie frozen dinners, which I’ve found are better to have on hand because they keep you from calling for delivery or heading to the drive through for lunch!  Saves money and calories 🙂

I also drink at least 1/2 gallon of water per day to keep flushing out my system and keep it hydrated.

Though I hate to admit I haven’t been to the gym much in the past two weeks, these results are without exercise!  Imagine what could be lost if that were added.  I’m going to shoot to add exercise in during the next 2 weeks and see what happens.

Green Smoothie will change your lifestyle for the better!!
Green Smoothie will change your lifestyle for the better!!

So, overall 2 weeks into the 30 day green smoothie challenge, I’ve lost inches, gotten better hair skin and nails, have more energy, stopped craving crappy food / ordering delivery, and started to add a whole lot of other healthy foods to my diet.  I find that I eat less than I used to, I’m way more satisfied, and I’m actually craving healthy food.

If you’ve never done this challenge before and you’re looking to make some lifestyle changes, I hope that this convinces you to give it a try.

If you have any questions about making smoothies a part of your day or  if you just want to give me some kudos for changing my lifestyle :), please feel free to leave comments below.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Stop Competing with Other People

I’m going to share something that I have a feeling many people can relate to even though they may keep this feeling hidden.  I don’t like competition.  Not only that.  I don’t get the point.

It often results in this “one-up, one-down” ranking that cements the idea that one person is better than another.  What’s more, there are often scenes where you can see the “winner” belittling the “loser”.  I think this is just a terrible thing to participate in.  What exactly do you win from this kind of mindset?

Keep in mind that I’ve played all kinds of competitive sports in school including, basketball, volleyball  and I was a sprinter on the track team.  I’ve worked in a gym, lost 40 lbs., and I’m a certified personal trainer.

So, I’m not even speaking from a place where I haven’t been involved in very competitive arenas.  

But here’s the thing —- at the end of the day you can only do your personal best.  You can only train to your personal best.  You can only run as far as you can run even with the best training.

Comparing yourself to someone else doesn’t do anything to improve your best.  It just sets you up to feel like you’re deficient and that doesn’t really motivate towards long-term results.  You’ve got to accept and acknowledge where you’re at in any given moment with kindness towards yourself.  Otherwise, when will enough be enough?  When will you EVER be good enough?  What happens when you lose?  Do you give up and call yourself a loser if you don’t win every competition?  If you’re not your own best friend, plenty of other people will have power to convince you that you are continually lacking; ie. never good enough.

When I train or help others train, I focus on the goals and how to get there.  Assuming you are committed to achieving those goals, then it is really just a matter of doing what needs to be done to get there.  That’s it.  No crapping on yourself or others.

Since we can’t really deny that we seem to be set up to organize information into little file folders, instead of fighting it try shifting it into something like this. Compare where you were in the past to where you are now.  This comparison will at least actually help you.  That way you see how you’ve improved and where you need work.  Then you can just do what you need to do to reach those goals.

Everything else is just some kind of pointless insanity.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

You Are Ok As Is

Before you read this, make sure that you are in a place where you will be undisturbed for at least 15 minutes.  Pull your car over and sit inside if there is no place at work or home.  Just find a place where you can be alone.

Imagine for a moment that it is the beginning of a new day.  You lay in bed and feel the way the sun warms your face and the way your body has relaxed into your bed. Even though your eyes remain closed they can sense that daylight has come as the brightness seeps through your eyelids. A brand new day is upon us.

Before your first thoughts of the day begin racing through your head, breathe. Really inhale and exhale.  Do this 5 times. Now, feel the weight of your body on the surface beneath you.  With your eyes still closed, smile. Keep the smile on your face and keep breathing slowly.

Sense how beautiful you are when you smile.  Imagine the beauty of your face.  Notice how your whole body feels when you smile. Perhaps a tear comes to your eye since you haven’t thought much about that in a while.

Imagine if at this moment before you even open your eyes and begin your day, you are just right as you are.  Imagine that you are filled with amazing strengths and capabilities.  Imagine that your weakness are less important than your strengths.  Imagine your greatest strengths lie just beneath your weaknesses.  Imagine that you don’t need to be fixed. Imagine that you are not broken.  You are ok as is.

Imagine that you already have all the tools you need to have a great day. Imagine that you can handle whatever comes your way.  Imagine that every person you meet and every situation you find yourself in is temporary.  Imagine that your happiness is as fleeting as your sadness.  It is a moment. It is not permanent.

Imagine smiling when your heart is breaking simply because you know that moments are just that — moments.  And at any moment we choose we can look at something another way.  We can start a chain reaction in our minds, bodies and lives with just a smile.

Go on hold that goofy smile a little longer than it feels natural to do.  You might start laughing. Feel your mind shift. Each breath you take reminds you that your heart is beating, your body is working, your mind is firing away. You are a beautiful, capable, whole and vital being.  You are not broken.  You are still ok as is.

Now, quickly name 5 things you are grateful for while you continue to smile and breathe.  Don’t over-think it. Just name them.

You’ve come into this earth as uniquely as each and every one of us has. You have a purpose on this earth as you are.  There will never be a more perfect version of you than you.  You see the world differently than I do. You share yourself with others differently. You cry about things that I may not and you laugh at things that other people don’t think are funny.  You make love as your body, mind, and spirit guide you to do.  All uniquely you.  You cherish people who love you and you can be hurt by those who harm you too.  But you are still ok as is.

Allow yourself to feel what you do, but remember and never forget that these feelings don’t define you.  They are reactions and reactions can change as we change what we choose to see in our view.  I am me and you are you and each and every day we can only do the best we can do.  There is no more, no less and there is stress when we forget that others have the right to do what they want to do too. But so do you. We look at what we see as limits and we think that is all we can do.  You are not what you think and most of the time we have a limited view.

We respond as we’ve learned to, but there is something we can do.  Let yourself accept yourself as you are.  Don’t try to squash it or fake it or put it in a cake and bake it just to make it more palatable for those around you. You are still ok as is.  Ok as You.

If what you do does not give you the results you want, then change it.  If you don’t know how right now, find a way. You have everything you need to do what you need to do.  And you have what you need to make changes too. As you go on your journey continue to acknowledge that you are still ok as is.  Just simply be willing to change how you do what you do because you want a different result than is coming to you.  That is all.  No judgement, shaming, blaming or guilt.  It doesn’t matter how long the journey is as long as you are on a path towards your goal.

Finally, remember that there will be uncertainty.  We actually control far less than we think.  Happiness in life is directly proportional to how much you can let go of and how comfortable you can become with uncertainty. Trust yourself. You don’t have to know how or when you will get there all at once.  Take one step, then another. Trust. Just trust that you are still ok as is and have everything you need to get to where you want to go.

This is your journey and it all begins with the willingness to take the first step.  Then another and another until you have created the momentum to step without wondering if you can.  Each step, feel the firm ground beneath your feet.  You are safe.  You are enough.  You are ok as is.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Getting Comfortable with Uncertainty

Today I was thinking about how often we try to force things to arrive at a specific outcome. More often than not we become really frustrated — regardless of whether we achieve our stated goal.

It is as if we are uncomfortable trusting that things will work out as they are meant to. We need added security that we will get what we set out for. So we push and we demand and worry and plan far ahead for any eventuality we may encounter. 

We end up missing out on the experience of the journey in an attempt to “control” things that are beyond our control. We rarely appreciate the present moment for what it has to offer because we are 10 steps ahead in a reality that hasn’t even occured or may not ever occur.

Let’s say you have a dream you want to turn into reality. If you are seriously ready to pursue it you’ll start doing research,  networking & making connections with others who have done what you want to do.  Imagine you meet someone who could be your mentor but you’re not sure where this relationship will lead you or when you’ll be paid to do the work you love.

This is where the choice to trust & accept uncertainty (live in the present moment) vs. forcing an outcome (living in the future) comes into play.

If you trust yourself and trust the person your working with and you seem to be headed towards your dream, why ruin it with predictions?

Can you honestly say that there has ever been a time in your life where forcing something has ever turned out for the best? Did you enjoy the journey? I highly doubt it.

On the other hand, recall a time where you were doing something you loved and got lost in the flow of it. Did you worry what would happen next or how far ahead you’d get or how much money you’d make? Nah…you probably just lost track of time doing what you’re passionate about and you felt great afterwards. You were in the zone, fully in the present moment, lovin life.

Your happiness in life is directly proportional to the level of uncertainty you are comfortable with.

People who are comfortable with uncertainty stay in the present moment. They trust themselves & those around them who are sharing their path. They believe that they are exactly where they are meant to be at this moment. They’ve turned in their dream to the universe and trusted that it would provide  answers about what to do next when the time was right. They don’t preoccupy themselves with worry because they know that it doesn’t change anything to do so . They accept that all they have to do is act when that time comes.  Meanwhile, they enjoy each step along the way with joy and gratitude.

Remember, comfort with uncertainty is not the same as complacency.  You still have to act when the time is right. 

I’m bringing across the idea that when we force something or worry, all we are really saying is that we are really low on trust & refuse to live in the moment. We miss out on all the good stuff life has to offer and diminish our hapiness in life. 

It’s either doing that and being miserable or becoming comfortable with uncertainty and radiating  happiness & joy from one moment to the next.

Totally up to you.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Just Do It (woosh ;)

It’s taken me over a year of working in a gym & being asked by members to train them after they saw the intensity & results of my workouts, just to work up the courage to become a certified personal trainer.

I promised myself I’d make this happen by the end of 2013. On December 30th 2013, I passed the test with flying colors and it was official.

My next obstacle was finding the courage to follow-through on the leads I’d gotten for clients.

Since I promised myself that I would do whatever it takes in 2014 to stay positive, find the courage to act despite my fears & create the life I want, I realized this was going to be my chance to put my money where my mouth is and make it happen.

So I picked up the phone, sent out those emails & texts and gave it everything I got to follow through on those leads. Feel the fear, do it anyway!

You know what happened? I got a client who signed up for 6 months of training 3 days a week with me! I also passed a pre-screening interview  with a master trainer who’s been in the business 35 years & has trained Olympic athletes. We’re meeting face-to-face on Wed. to discuss how we can work together on training a wide variety of clients!

The point is this – no matter how much you study or how scared you feel, at some point all your effort only counts when you make a move and keep making them.

Sometimes that move is a real leap of faith. For example, I have no idea where all these opportunities will lead. I am nervous. But without a doubt, I’m sure to learn something of value.

Sometimes, we have to remind ourselves that we don’t have to be perfect to be acceptable. Do you know what I mean by this?

Too often low self-esteem or sense of perfectionism, or fear of capability is lurking behind our unwillingness to take a leap; a risk on ourselves.

Here’s a secret..

You’ll never be perfect. You will be afraid sometimes. You will feel insecure. You will fail. You will succeed. You will always have something to learn. You are more capable than you realize.

You’re allowed to feel all that and go for your dreams anyway. If you wait until you’re 100% sure, you’ll never get off the ground.

So go ahead…take a risk..screw it up…get back up..because you learned something…be proud of yourself…some people never even try…let them laugh from the sidelines..let ’em try to tell you how the game is played while you’re the one getting bloodied up in the ring.

I was amazed with what happened when I took a risk on myself; when I moved my potential into action. I couldnt help but imagine where I’d already be if I took that risk 1 year ago when first felt it?

What are you holding yourself back from? What could your life look like if you made a move? What are you waiting for?

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

You’ve Got a Friend…

During the winter I become something of a “shut-in”.  I literally won’t go out unless I absolutely can’t find a way around it. For example, going to work gets me out because I have to keep the lights on 🙂 However, the grocery store I tend to put off until it becomes really uncomfortable. Same with cleaning the house.

Now rationally, I know this shouldn’t be so difficult. However, I spend a lot of time beating myself up over not doing these “simple things” or spending time waiting to “become motivated”. This isn’t really good for me either because I feel worse about myself and nothing has changed. I can’t explain it better than saying, I just feel really blah, slow and have zero motivation.

Keep in mind during spring, summer & fall, you’ll rarely find me at home. So it’s a pretty big change when winter comes.

Today I tried something different. I asked my friend if he would go with me to the grocery store after we went out. He said, no problem.

I think the thing I learned from this is that first & foremost you have to be honest with yourself.  You have to accept where you’re at. Most importantly you have to know when it is time to ask for help.

I wanted to share this with all  of you because each of us has some seemingly “odd” thing we struggle with at least every once in awhile. Many of us are afraid to share it. Mine is a cascade of challenges that I face in the winter.

Whatever your challenge may be, instead of feeling ashamed just ask for help. You may be surprised that your friends are there for you even in your oddest moments and love you anyway.  What’s more, you get a great opportunity to be honest with yourself & give someone else a chance to know you better.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 6

Almost a week into drinking green smoothies everyday and I am amazed by the benefits and positive changes I’m experiencing.

Today I noticed that my skin is transforming.  There are small breakouts on my forehead, as if the toxins are releasing, but I also have a bright glow to my face and nice rosy cheeks.

My nails are growing very long and strong with bright, white tips, whereas they’d usually be brittle and easily break off.

Also, my teeth appear to be whiter! I feel like I’ve stumbled upon a natural teeth whitening system!

Other than those changes, the bloating in my stomach has gone down significantly so that my pants feel a lot more comfortable when I button them.

So, I’d say that I’m off to a pretty good start and I look forward to the other benefits that await me over the next 24 days!

Stay tuned…

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

 

Unconditional Love

When you show compassion to another being, something softens in you as you begin to see them in you and yourself in them. This “softness” is not weakness. It is a sign that your inner being is being strengthened.

To reach out to another with a sense of knowing that you are connected to them and there is a sameness between you is to realize love.

It is simple.

They are in need, you observe this need and you reach out in loving kindness to fulfill this need.

If Compassion=Love, then “Unconditional Love” can be defined as “Compassion without Conditions”.

You do not judge, feel sorry for them, or even imagine that you might solve all their problems. You’re just there easing their distress at this moment.

When you move on from this moment, a wise part of you will share a secret with you. Psst….Giving and receiving compassion moment to moment….This is the point of life.

With love from aneternaltraveler ❤

30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge

Over the past couple of months I feel like I began packing in the food as if I were going to hibernate sometime in the near future.  If anything sweet or carb-loaded entered my visual sphere, I was taking it down!  I know I’m not alone in this.  It seems to hit almost everybody when the cold weather moves in.

Unfortunately, I didn’t hibernate so I was left to go through my day feeling really sluggish and noticing that I’ve been gaining weight in the process. I decided something needs to change.

greencsmoothiecompressWelcome to my 30-day green smoothie challenge!!

My plan is to replace one meal per day with a green smoothie in order to reboot my whole system.  Additionally, I will make every effort to replace my unhealthy snacks with fruits and/or veggies instead.

Originally I thought I’d start on Jan. 1, but I said why wait? and started on Sunday.  So, I am actually posting here on day 4.

Current ingredients:
(makes 32-40 oz)
2 handfuls of kale or 2 cups of spinach
1-2 carrots
1 mango
1 navel orange
1 banana
water to smooth it into a drink
optional: 25 g casein protein powder, 25 g whey protein powder

DAY 1-3

The first few days, I didn’t notice much except going to the bathroom a lot more.  This concentrated amount of fiber has got to come out somewhere 🙂 Also, I felt really hungry like my body was rebelling and telling me to turn back now and order some Veal Parmesan with Spaghetti.

DAY 4 

By day 4 I notice a lot of other interesting changes.  First of all, my taste buds seem to be changing.  I’m actually craving veggies and fruits.  My bad cravings are going away – ie. no interest in cheese! I am a cheese-a-holic so this is unbelievable! Also, I have a low interest in dark meats like beef (even my dear old friend Veal Parm is not calling my name like it used to).  Instead of wanting chocolate when I’m craving something sweet, I pick up a piece of fruit.

This is a pretty interesting  experience for me.  It seems like you can actually change what you crave by changing what you eat. It is not some fixed thing that you have to spend your time resisting when you decide to change your eating habits.

Before doing the green smoothie challenge, changing my diet still left me craving the not so great food choices.  Just 4 days into it, my brain seems to be naturally choosing better options.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress and if you have a story you’d like to share about  your own green smoothie experience, please comment below!

Here’s to a healthier, happier 2014!!

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉