I’ve been motivated by overcoming challenge and overcoming the hurdles and obstacles that face me.
There still is plenty out there to get motivated by.
As many of you have seen or heard, the word “challenge” has been thrown around a lot lately at the Factory. We kicked off 2013 with a New Year’s Challenge with several members that proved to be very successful. Then, a crew at Tower 23/JRDN Restaurant, led by our very own Victor Gonzalez, tweaked the 30-day challenge and took it to new heights. This inspired our very own trainers to jump on board, determined to practice what we had been preaching.
For 30 days, our team of trainers dove into the same process similar to the one many of you participated in. We challenged each other to consume more whole foods, less processed foods, and refrain from alcohol.
The specific regimen involved the following:
- Eat at least three regular size meals and two snacks per day.
- Drink at least 64 ounces of water per day and sleep 7-8 hours each night.
From the very beginning, people asked a lot of questions regarding what type of diet we were following. I would respond, “Why would I follow anything which has the word die in it?” Laugh if you must, but it was true!
Motivated by the inquiries, I decided to do a little research on fad diets- What were they, how and why have they come about, and which ones are actually legit. Answers were just as hard to get to as the age old question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” So, to return to the initial question, I began to reply, “We aren’t following a specific diet.” Not Paleo. Not Zone. Not Atkins. Not Cookie. Not South Beach. Not the Grapefruit Diet.
And definitely not the Cabbage Soup Diet. In fact, we minimized all things that made this challenge seem like a diet including calorie restrictions, packaged foods, powered drinks, etc. We wanted to use this as an opportunity to think differently about food, to reframe the way we feel about it, to define a new and healthy relationship with the very thing that nourishes us, that “thing” that keeps us alive. That is food. We wanted to experience the notion that food was our friend, not our enemy.
Ever since my high school wrestling years, I always felt like I had a good handle on my eating and exercise habits. So I thought to myself, “This challenge will be cake.” Eat better, workout more, and get some sleep. Easy as pie. I learned quickly, that this was going to be much tougher than I imagined.
So I enlisted some help from my #1 fan, my beautiful and supportive wife, Janice.
8 months pregnant, Janice stepped in and helped me prepare meals for the week and made sure I always had a steady supply of veggies, fruits, and lean proteins. Her support, particularly around meal planning, made eating this way much more manageable. In fact, at times I found my meals like grilled chicken with bean sprouts, wrapped in lettuce exciting and appetizing.
As a trainer and business operator, I take great pride in being able to push myself when it comes to exercise. During the challenge however, the support of my fellow trainers added a new dimension to my daily work outs. Each trainer stepped up their game, so witnessing this made me push myself even more. The workouts became more intense, more specific and more energizing.
Now I know what you may be thinking, “You are a trainer, you can workout anytime you want.” The truth of the matter is that as a business owner and more importantly a father of 3 and soon to be 4, time does get tight and even I can experience a lack of motivation. Through the course of this challenge, I learned that planning, on top of garnering the support of my family and fellow trainers was of the utmost importance.
At the end of this 30-day challenge I am happy to report that I am 15 pounds lighter, my bum knee, which has always given me issues, feels better than it has in years and I even get better sleep at night (as I await a newborn). While I discovered so many new things about myself along the way, to rest more, listen to my body, push myself, be more selfless, patient and confident, I particularly realize that I have so much to learn when it comes to nutrition. The more I read the more I want to know. And so, I have now challenged myself to regularly research foods (fads and all), to make wiser decisions when eating, and more importantly, to enjoy it! We can eat healthy with a positive attitude and it will pay dividends.
As Agassi says, “there is plenty out there to get motivated by,” and I for one, am motivated time and time again by the efforts of those around me, my Factory team, my clients, my family and friends. Sometimes what appears to be a simple 30-day challenge can actually be an exercise in mindfulness, an opportunity to feed our bodies and our souls.
Thank you to all who participated! And keep an eye out for the next “challenge.” Sign-ups will start in August.