The Importance of Self Talk

Would you let someone say to your face the same things you say to your mirror?Unknown
Why is it that the world can look at a woman and see how beautiful she is but that same woman constantly reminds herself of how ugly and fat she is?
Many people forget how important self talk is. You can try to ignore your thoughts and the scripts that play over and over but you won’t last long. What we think about and how we think about it dictates the way we perceive the world, and therefore how we feel about things. It is all connected.
Let’s take obesity, for example. Are you overweight? Really? I am not talking about the I-wish-I-could-drop-5-pounds-before-bikini-season overweight. I am talking about the I-am-going-to-literally-die-if-I-don’t-drop-80-pounds overweight.
If the latter is you, then do something about it! You look at yourself in the mirror, you see all the fat, and then what do you say? If you are like most people, you are disgusted. You feel like a failure to let yourself get this big. Well, honestly, that is a start. At least you are seeing yourself as what you are.
Now try this. Look at yourself in the mirror and see what you can be. It will be hard at first. You have been talking trash to your body for years so your thoughts are conditioned to go negative. Did you go to the gym yesterday? Great, that is the right direction. Did you go to bed without eating that piece of pie you normally do? There is another win.
Take a moment to look into the mirror, commit to another day of healthy nutrition and a workout, then take a step. You have to commit everyday.When you catch yourself punching you in the face with self degrading words, stop. Realize it is a big part of how you got there in the first place, then replace it with something positive. I am not advocating old school positive thought theology, but the studies are clear that positive people are just more pleasant to be around! And, you’ll find it is a lot easier to like yourself if you are not always beating yourself up!
Here’s what you can do to start: Look for foods that are not processed. Look at your schedule and put you on it. Label it like my best man used to label his workout sessions: “Obesity Reduction Session.” it’s funny, but 3 months and 50 pounds later, it was no longer a joke.
Quotes:
  • "The way we communicate with others and ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives." -Tony Robbins
  • "As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains." -James Allen
  • We must "be" before we can "do" and we can "do" only to the extent that we "are," and what we "are" depends upon what we “think” - Charles Haanel, The Master Key System
Resources:

What do you say to yourself that beats you up?

Catching Kayla

Kayla Montgomery is one of America's best long distance runners, but that's not why this story is so amazing. She has been battling with multiple sclerosis (MS) since high school and it doesn't make racing easy at all. Watch her inspiring story of perseverance - it's simply incredible. [video width="640" height="360" mp4="http://jamesleath.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/E60-Catching-Kayla.mp4"][/video]

A story of Anger and Forgiveness

Nails in the Fence 

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.The-Nail-In-The-Fence-Story-When-You-Do-Not-Control-Your-Anger-You-Only-Do-Damage

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

The little boy then understood how powerful his words were. He looked up at his father and said, “I hope you can forgive me father for the holes I put in you.”

“Of course I can,” said the father.

 I don't remember where I got this story, but it rang true with me as I look back on my younger days. 

I think the lesson the young man in this story learns is such an important one and also is a lesson that unfortunately many of us learn much later in life.  When we are young, saying or doing mean or hurtful things out of anger or frustration to the ones we love (or even strangers for that matter) seems pretty easily remedied.  As children we are confident that the adults and people in our lives are more then capable to forgive and forget our offenses no matter what we would say or do.  It’s not until we reach adulthood that we realize the long term damage our words and actions can have on one another.  Suddenly as adults we look back on our own lives at the times when someone hurt us with their cruel words or actions and although we were able to forgive them, there are some things we discover were never able to truly forget.

The fact is there are some things that we may say or do that ultimately can never be taken back no matter how many times we apologize to the one’s we hurt.  Unfortunately we tend to realize the level of irreversible damage we caused only in hindsight and even more, the ones we tend to hurt the worst are the people we usually love the most.  As the saying goes, “To err is human, to forgive divine,” which is true, we are human, we make mistakes, and sometimes we say or do things we don’t mean out of anger in times of great frustration or sadness.  Yet, every time we are in a dispute with a friend, disagreement with a loved one, or even just having a bad day,  it’s so important to remember to pause and take a moment to think about the possible permanent repercussions our actions and words could have on others.  It’s only natural that we will have times in the future where we will lose our tempers or be pushed to personal our limits.  However, when we find ourselves in those times of great frustration or anger, we must be sure that whatever we say or do in those moments won’t,  like the nails hammered in the fence, end up leaving permanent holes in the one’s we love and in relationships important to us that we will never be able never undo.

What is your “building” made of?

  Comedian Jim Gaffigan

Are you in an abusive relationship with food? Do you give it power over you? Do you allow it to ruin your body?

Have you ever thought of food as a person that can make you feel good or make you feel like crap? For example, one of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan, is famous for his bit on Hot Pockets.

He says, “I have never eaten a Hot Pocket then thought ‘I am really glad I ate that’- it’s more like: ‘I’m gonna die! Did I eat that or rub it on my face? My back hurts…

It’s the truth though! We are born with all the tools needed to be the best nutritionst in the world! When you have a stomach ache after eating, that is your body telling you either not to eat that or you didn’t listen earlier and now you have eaten too much! When you stand up after a meal and have to take it easy as you straighten up, don’t you dare say “that was good” because you just failed again at your diet! Who are you going to blame then?

Let’s be honest, though. It tastes good, right? Next time you are eating something you know I would slap out of your hand, ask yourself, “Is this so good that I want to wear it?” because the truth is WE ARE MADE OF WHAT WE EAT!

That last point falls on def ears often. Here is an illustration to prove my point:

Imagine building a building with shoddy material. Upon completion you ask, “Will this building last 80-100 years?” and then the builder says, “No, but the wood sure smelled good while we were building.”

What is your “building” made of? Is it time for a remodel?

A Primer on Goal Setting

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?""That depends a good deal on where you want to get to." "I don't much care where –" "Then it doesn't matter which way you go.” ― Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland

If you leave your life to chance, there is a good chance you won't be happy. There is no shortage of books written on goal setting, or of people who talk about how to set goals. I even gave a short presentation to a great company you can watch by clicking here. For you readers, let me try and simplify it:

What do you want? Why do you want it? When will you celebrate? How will you do it? That's it- the secret to setting a goal.

What do you want?

Start general, get specific. Saying you want to lose weight is a great place to start, but after a trip to the bathroom you just completed your goal. Get more specific. "I want to lose enough fat to fit into size 6 jeans" is a great goal to use as an example.

Why do you want it?

Attach some emotion to your goal. If you are disgusted, if your are fed up, if you can't stand to spend one more day of the madness, then you will change. Until you have the why, and it irks you to your core, you won't change a thing.

When will you celebrate it?

Set up milestones to hit, and stick to them. If you don't celebrate the wins along the way, you'll get to the end and have missed the journey. Set a goal for what it makes of you to achieve it. This is important because once you hit it, the only thing that has changed is you/ You still have negative co-workers. You still have stressful deadlines. However, the new you can handle them differently because of the person you turned into during the journey, during the struggle.

How will you do it?

You must answer the first 3 questions before you hit the last one. The how is easy. Why? Because if you want it bad enough you will find a way. If you want to lose weight but fail, and then quit, it was not because you didn't know how. It was the why- the why was not strong enough.

Your Cardio is Boring: Try Sprinting on a Treadmill

Cardio challenge: Dirty 30I am not a fan of cardio for the simple reason that an hour on any machine is enough to drive me crazy. So instead of slow steady-state cardio, I do sprints. In fact, I shaved 45 minutes off my 1/2 marathon time and never ran more than 3 miles in a training session.

Sprinting on a treadmill is a lot of fun, but you have to focus. Forget the television. You need 30 minutes of motivating music and water tip sip on throughout.

Here's how to do it: 1. Warm up on the elliptical for 5 minutes. 2. Jump on a treadmill and put the speed on anywhere between 7-10, depending on fitness level. (Amanda started at 7.5, I am at 9.5) 3. Wait until the treadmill says 0:30 and jump on (grab the handles and jump on running) 4. When the time hits 1:00 that is one, so grab the handles and jump off. 5. Repeat for 30 minutes.