senior fitness

The 1 Article that Will Make You Rethink Your Day-to-Day Approach

No commentary on life, living, and pursuing goals has influenced me more than what you’re about to read here (or see). Invest in this moment and read this post from start to finish…it will make you rethink your day-to-day approach and how you approach goals (especially since the speaker committed suicide 3 years after). I’ve included the full transcript to David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech “This is Water” as well as the video below.

Transcription of the 2005 Kenyon Commencement Address Written and Delivered by David Foster Wallace (May 21, 2005)


(If anybody feels like perspiring [cough], I'd advise you to go ahead, because I'm sure going to. In fact I'm gonna [mumbles while pulling up his gown and taking out a handkerchief from his pocket].) Greetings ["parents"?] and congratulations to Kenyon's graduating class of 2005. There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says "Morning, boys. How's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes "What the hell is water?"

This is a standard requirement of US commencement speeches, the deployment of didactic little parable-ish stories. The story ["thing"] turns out to be one of the better, less bullshitty conventions of the genre, but if you're worried that I plan to present myself here as the wise, older fish explaining what water is to you younger fish, please don't be. I am not the wise old fish. The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about. Stated as an English sentence, of course, this is just a banal platitude, but the fact is that in the day to day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have a life or death importance, or so I wish to suggest to you on this dry and lovely morning.

Of course the main requirement of speeches like this is that I'm supposed to talk about your liberal arts education's meaning, to try to explain why the degree you are about to receive has actual human value instead of just a material payoff. So let's talk about the single most pervasive cliché in the commencement speech genre, which is that a liberal arts education is not so much about filling you up with knowledge as it is about quote teaching you how to think. If you're like me as a student, you've never liked hearing this, and you tend to feel a bit insulted by the claim that you needed anybody to teach you how to think, since the fact that you even got admitted to a college this good seems like proof that you already know how to think. But I'm going to posit to you that the liberal arts cliché turns out not to be insulting at all, because the really significant education in thinking that we're supposed to get in a place like this isn't really about the capacity to think, but rather about the choice of what to think about. If your total freedom of choice regarding what to think about seems too obvious to waste time discussing, I'd ask you to think about fish and water, and to bracket for just a few minutes your skepticism about the value of the totally obvious.

Here's another didactic little story. There are these two guys sitting together in a bar in the remote Alaskan wilderness. One of the guys is religious, the other is an atheist, and the two are arguing about the existence of God with that special intensity that comes after about the fourth beer. And the atheist says: "Look, it's not like I don't have actual reasons for not believing in God. It's not like I haven't ever experimented with the whole God and prayer thing. Just last month I got caught away from the camp in that terrible blizzard, and I was totally lost and I couldn't see a thing, and it was fifty below, and so I tried it: I fell to my knees in the snow and cried out 'Oh, God, if there is a God, I'm lost in this blizzard, and I'm gonna die if you don't help me.'" And now, in the bar, the religious guy looks at the atheist all puzzled. "Well then you must believe now," he says, "After all, here you are, alive." The atheist just rolls his eyes. "No, man, all that was was a couple Eskimos happened to come wandering by and showed me the way back to camp."

It's easy to run this story through kind of a standard liberal arts analysis: the exact same experience can mean two totally different things to two different people, given those people's two different belief templates and two different ways of constructing meaning from experience. Because we prize tolerance and diversity of belief, nowhere in our liberal arts analysis do we want to claim that one guy's interpretation is true and the other guy's is false or bad. Which is fine, except we also never end up talking about just where these individual templates and beliefs come from. Meaning, where they come from INSIDE the two guys. As if a person's most basic orientation toward the world, and the meaning of his experience were somehow just hard-wired, like height or shoe-size; or automatically absorbed from the culture, like language. As if how we construct meaning were not actually a matter of personal, intentional choice. Plus, there's the whole matter of arrogance. The nonreligious guy is so totally certain in his dismissal of the possibility that the passing Eskimos had anything to do with his prayer for help. True, there are plenty of religious people who seem arrogant and certain of their own interpretations, too. They're probably even more repulsive than atheists, at least to most of us. But religious dogmatists' problem is exactly the same as the story's unbeliever: blind certainty, a close-mindedness that amounts to an imprisonment so total that the prisoner doesn't even know he's locked up.

The point here is that I think this is one part of what teaching me how to think is really supposed to mean. To be just a little less arrogant. To have just a little critical awareness about myself and my certainties. Because a huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded. I have learned this the hard way, as I predict you graduates will, too.

Here is just one example of the total wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of: everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute center of the universe; the realist, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely think about this sort of natural, basic self-centeredness because it's so socially repulsive. But it's pretty much the same for all of us. It is our default setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth. Think about it: there is no experience you have had that you are not the absolute center of. The world as you experience it is there in front of YOU or behind YOU, to the left or right of YOU, on YOUR TV or YOUR monitor. And so on. Other people's thoughts and feelings have to be communicated to you somehow, but your own are so immediate, urgent, real.

Please don't worry that I'm getting ready to lecture you about compassion or other-directedness or all the so-called virtues. This is not a matter of virtue. It's a matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural, hard-wired default setting which is to be deeply and literally self-centered and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self. People who can adjust their natural default setting this way are often described as being "well-adjusted", which I suggest to you is not an accidental term.

Given the triumphant academic setting here, an obvious question is how much of this work of adjusting our default setting involves actual knowledge or intellect. This question gets very tricky. Probably the most dangerous thing about an academic education -- least in my own case -- is that it enables my tendency to over-intellectualize stuff, to get lost in abstract argument inside my head, instead of simply paying attention to what is going on right in front of me, paying attention to what is going on inside me.

As I'm sure you guys know by now, it is extremely difficult to stay alert and attentive, instead of getting hypnotized by the constant monologue inside your own head (may be happening right now). Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed. Think of the old cliché about quote the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master.

This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth. It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in: the head. They shoot the terrible master. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger.

And I submit that this is what the real, no bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out. That may sound like hyperbole, or abstract nonsense. Let's get concrete. The plain fact is that you graduating seniors do not yet have any clue what "day in day out" really means. There happen to be whole, large parts of adult American life that nobody talks about in commencement speeches. One such part involves boredom, routine, and petty frustration. The parents and older folks here will know all too well what I'm talking about.

By way of example, let's say it's an average adult day, and you get up in the morning, go to your challenging, white-collar, college-graduate job, and you work hard for eight or ten hours, and at the end of the day you're tired and somewhat stressed and all you want is to go home and have a good supper and maybe unwind for an hour, and then hit the sack early because, of course, you have to get up the next day and do it all again. But then you remember there's no food at home. You haven't had time to shop this week because of your challenging job, and so now after work you have to get in your car and drive to the supermarket. It's the end of the work day and the traffic is apt to be: very bad. So getting to the store takes way longer than it should, and when you finally get there, the supermarket is very crowded, because of course it's the time of day when all the other people with jobs also try to squeeze in some grocery shopping. And the store is hideously lit and infused with soul-killing muzak or corporate pop and it's pretty much the last place you want to be but you can't just get in and quickly out; you have to wander all over the huge, over-lit store's confusing aisles to find the stuff you want and you have to maneuver your junky cart through all these other tired, hurried people with carts (et cetera, et cetera, cutting stuff out because this is a long ceremony) and eventually you get all your supper supplies, except now it turns out there aren't enough check-out lanes open even though it's the end-of-the-day rush. So the checkout line is incredibly long, which is stupid and infuriating. But you can't take your frustration out on the frantic lady working the register, who is overworked at a job whose daily tedium and meaninglessness surpasses the imagination of any of us here at a prestigious college.

But anyway, you finally get to the checkout line's front, and you pay for your food, and you get told to "Have a nice day" in a voice that is the absolute voice of death. Then you have to take your creepy, flimsy, plastic bags of groceries in your cart with the one crazy wheel that pulls maddeningly to the left, all the way out through the crowded, bumpy, littery parking lot, and then you have to drive all the way home through slow, heavy, SUV-intensive, rush-hour traffic, et cetera et cetera.

Everyone here has done this, of course. But it hasn't yet been part of you graduates' actual life routine, day after week after month after year.

But it will be. And many more dreary, annoying, seemingly meaningless routines besides. But that is not the point. The point is that petty, frustrating crap like this is exactly where the work of choosing is gonna come in. Because the traffic jams and crowded aisles and long checkout lines give me time to think, and if I don't make a conscious decision about how to think and what to pay attention to, I'm gonna be pissed and miserable every time I have to shop. Because my natural default setting is the certainty that situations like this are really all about me. About MY hungriness and MY fatigue and MY desire to just get home, and it's going to seem for all the world like everybody else is just in my way. And who are all these people in my way? And look at how repulsive most of them are, and how stupid and cow-like and dead-eyed and nonhuman they seem in the checkout line, or at how annoying and rude it is that people are talking loudly on cell phones in the middle of the line. And look at how deeply and personally unfair this is.

Or, of course, if I'm in a more socially conscious liberal arts form of my default setting, I can spend time in the end-of-the-day traffic being disgusted about all the huge, stupid, lane-blocking SUV's and Hummers and V-12 pickup trucks, burning their wasteful, selfish, forty-gallon tanks of gas, and I can dwell on the fact that the patriotic or religious bumperstickers always seem to be on the biggest, most disgustingly selfish vehicles, driven by the ugliest [responding here to loud applause] (this is an example of how NOT to think, though) most disgustingly selfish vehicles, driven by the ugliest, most inconsiderate and aggressive drivers. And I can think about how our children's children will despise us for wasting all the future's fuel, and probably screwing up the climate, and how spoiled and stupid and selfish and disgusting we all are, and how modern consumer society just sucks, and so forth and so on. You get the idea. If I choose to think this way in a store and on the freeway, fine. Lots of us do. Except thinking this way tends to be so easy and automatic that it doesn't have to be a choice. It is my natural default setting. It's the automatic way that I experience the boring, frustrating, crowded parts of adult life when I'm operating on the automatic, unconscious belief that I am the center of the world, and that my immediate needs and feelings are what should determine the world's priorities.

The thing is that, of course, there are totally different ways to think about these kinds of situations. In this traffic, all these vehicles stopped and idling in my way, it's not impossible that some of these people in SUV's have been in horrible auto accidents in the past, and now find driving so terrifying that their therapist has all but ordered them to get a huge, heavy SUV so they can feel safe enough to drive.

Or that the Hummer that just cut me off is maybe being driven by a father whose little child is hurt or sick in the seat next to him, and he's trying to get this kid to the hospital, and he's in a bigger, more legitimate hurry than I am: it is actually I who am in HIS way. Or I can choose to force myself to consider the likelihood that everyone else in the supermarket's checkout line is just as bored and frustrated as I am, and that some of these people probably have harder, more tedious and painful lives than I do.

Again, please don't think that I'm giving you moral advice, or that I'm saying you are supposed to think this way, or that anyone expects you to just automatically do it. Because it's hard. It takes will and effort, and if you are like me, some days you won't be able to do it, or you just flat out won't want to.

But most days, if you're aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line. Maybe she's not usually like this. Maybe she's been up three straight nights holding the hand of a husband who is dying of bone cancer. Or maybe this very lady is the lowwage clerk at the motor vehicle department, who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a horrific, infuriating, red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course, none of this is likely, but it's also not impossible. It just depends what you what to consider. If you're automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won't consider possibilities that aren't annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.

Not that that mystical stuff is necessarily true. The only thing that's capital-T True is that you get to decide how you're gonna try to see it. This, I submit, is the freedom of a real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't. You get to decide what to worship.

Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship -- be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles -- is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful, it's that they're unconscious. They are default settings.

They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing. And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving and [unintelligible -- sounds like "displayal"]. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.

I know that this stuff probably doesn't sound fun and breezy or grandly inspirational the way a commencement speech is supposed to sound. What it is, as far as I can see, is the capital-T Truth, with a whole lot of rhetorical niceties stripped away. You are, of course, free to think of it whatever you wish. But please don't just dismiss it as just some fingerwagging Dr. Laura sermon. None of this stuff is really about morality or religion or dogma or big fancy questions of life after death.

The capital-T Truth is about life BEFORE death.

It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:

"This is water."

"This is water."

It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out. Which means yet another grand cliché turns out to be true: your education really IS the job of a lifetime. And it commences: now.

I wish you way more than luck.

Photo Credit:
https:// medium.com/reflective-stance/seeing-the-water-e31d8f12f5c3–Is this the greatest philosophical question of this century? Check out Debbie Donsky’s thoughts.

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt outsourced from https://web.ics.purdue.edu/~drkelly/DFWKenyonAddress2005.pdf.
The 1 Article that Will Make You Rethink Your Day-to-Day Approach
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

82 Ways To Change Your Shape in the Mirror in 2018

It’s that time again!! Every year I compile a master list of the most valuable articles that have helped my personal training clients achieve optimal health and weight loss. It’s a comprehensive list of old and new that will help you cut out the guesswork.

Please share this list with anyone (friend, family member, colleague, client, etc.) who wants to change their life and finally see a difference in their health and lifestyle. Also, be sure to bookmark this page and return to it when you're frustrated with your results (which happens to everyone) or need a new idea.

Tip: Skim through this list and find the headlines that are most relevant to your current goals and interests (then spend 20 seconds skimming the article).

***************

Effective Weight Loss Tips and More!


-Your Business Plan to Lose Weight (or Achieve Optimal Health)
-37 Snack Ideas for Weight Loss (And You Won’t Be Bored)
-"14 Ways to Lose a Pound a Day" Review

-"42 Ways to Beat Your Junk Food Cravings" Review
-How to Lose Weight Without Exercise
-"Here's Why Counting Calories Really Isn't Necessary for Weight Loss" Review

-"How to Design Your Kitchen for Weight-Loss Success" Review
-The Secret to Losing Nearly 27 lbs!
-“20 Easy Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day” Review

-“4 Surprising Benefits of Eating at Night” Review
-Science Confirms Two Ways to Lose Weight Fast
-4 Ways Your Brain Makes You Overeat—And How To Outsmart Yourself

-6 Things 'Successful Diets Have In Common
- “40 Things You’ll Gain When You Lose Weight” Review
-7 Ways to Lose Weight After 50

-Will Eating at Night Really Make You Gain Weight?
-"6 Things You Can Do Every Day to Prevent Weight Gain" Review
-5 Non-Diet Ways to Trick Yourself into Losing Weight

-"20 Easy Ways to Lose 5 Pounds at Work" Review
-"10 Secrets to Lose 25 Pounds Now" Review
-Do This Every Day, and You May Lose 20 Pounds in 6 Months

Why You're Not Losing Weight or Body Fat


-"Best and Worst Meals for Diabetes-Savvy Dining " Review
-"If You're Trying to Lose Weight, Don't Make These 10 Breakfast Mistakes" Review
-"10 Mistakes You're Making Every Time You Think About Starting A Diet" Review

-"7 Reasons Your Weight Loss May Have Stalled" Review
-3 Reasons Why What You’re Eating is NOT Healthy (Even Though You Think So)
-“10 Trendy Health Foods That Can Threaten Your Waistline” Review

-“Why Stress Makes You Want to Eat Everything in Sight or Nothing at All” Review
-4 Weird Reasons Why You're Gaining Weight
-“5 Ways Your Breakfast is Sabotaging Your Weight Loss” Review

-“Just Say No to That Detox Diet or Juice Cleanse” Review
-The Underlying Influence on Your Weight Loss Failures
-6 Diet Tricks That Are Actually Making You Gain Weight

-"Don't Fall for These 10 Weight-Loss Gimmicks" Review
-"5 Bad Things about Detoxing You Don't Know" Review

Easy Recipes for Weight Loss


-The Best Fish Nachos for Weight Loss!
-Weight Loss Recipe: Chili Cajun Chicken and Sauteed Vegetables
-The Best Spinach Stuffed Salmon Weight Loss Recipe Ever!
-Weight Loss Quick Supper: Cajun Almond Crusted Chicken with Asparagus and White Beans

-Weight Loss Recipe: Almond Crusted Mahi with Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Garlic Potatoes
-Vera Cruz Fish and Brussels Sprouts Weight Loss Dinner
-15 Minute Weight Loss Dinner from Trader Joes

Why Salads May Not Help Your Weight Loss Goals


-Why Salad is So Overrated
-"25 Salads That Have More Calories Than a Big Mac" Review

Holiday Weight Loss Tips


-"10 Foods to Give Up for Lent—and How Many Calories You'll Save" Review
-9 Dishes Doctors Won't Eat at Thanksgiving

Best Sources of Protein for Weight Loss


-Save the Cow! Here is a List of Non-Animal Protein Sources
-"45 Vegetarian Protein Sources You Should Be Eating" Review
-36 Ways to Fulfill Your Protein Needs While Losing Weight

Foods You Want to Avoid....And Why!


-"50 Foods You Should Never Eat" Review
-"25 Awful Ingredients Everyone Still Uses—But Shouldn’t!" Review
-"The 10 Dirtiest Foods You're Eating" Review

-11 Foods to Toss Out of Your Kitchen For Good
- “21 Foods that Sound Healthy, But Are Not!” Review

Why You Should Avoid These Drinks


-"20 Coffee Drinks with More Sugar Than a Can of Coke" Review
-How To Fit Alcohol in Your Diet without Ruining Your Weight Loss Goals
-"70 Most Popular Sodas Ranked by How Toxic They Are" Review
- “The Most Unhealthy Drink Orders at the Bar” Review

-"The Best and Worst Booze to Drink if You Want to Lose Weight" Review
-4 Ways To Beat Your Diet Soda Addiction In One Week
-How Caffeine Could Prevent You From Losing Belly Fat

How to Eat at Restaurants and Airports


-“23 Restaurant Foods with Crazy High Amounts of Sugar” Review
-How to Eat Healthy at the Airport

Fitness/Exercise Myths and More!


-4 Simple Ways to Flatten Your Stomach
-You Should Master These 6 Exercises Before the New Year (And Here's How)
-12 Workout Myths That Just Need To Die
-The 15 Most Common Mistakes Personal Trainers See in the Gym

-“7 Myths About How to Stay in Shape” Review
-“How Much Exercise It’ll Take to Undo 17 Popular Fast Food Items” Review
-“20 Ways to Ensure Workouts Happen Every Day” Review

-End Your Lower Back Pain Today
-"The 21 Worst Things You Can Do For Your Body" Review
-Personal Trainer Wisdom: 1 Fitness Myth Unraveled

The Keys to Improve Your Sleep and Reduce Fatigue


-49 Reasons You're Always Tired
-11 Ways To Sleep Better Tonight
-This simple addition to your bedtime routine could make a huge difference in your sleep

Resolutions, Goals, and Relationships


-”13 Weight Loss Resolutions You Shouldn't Make" Review
-”The Best All-In (Life Changing) Fitness Plan for 2017
-5 Morning Habits That Have Made Me More Successful (and Less Stressed)

-"9 Ways to Ensure Your Relationship Is Built to Last" Review
-99 Ways to Redefine Yourself Today
-Excerpt from the book Redefine Yourself: Define Your Purpose

Picture Credit: souprecipesforweightloss.com-Will this smoothie help you change your shape in the mirror?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
82 Ways To Change Your Shape in the Mirror in 2018
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

3 Tools to Dramatically Improve Your Romantic Relationship

Optimal health extends beyond your time in a personal trainer’s studio. If you spend an extra effort on your relationships, you might be surprised how your overall well-being is improved as well. No matter if your romantic relationship is sound or a struggle, here are 3 tools to dramatically change that dynamic today.

The 5 Love Languages Personal Profile for Couples


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Although you can ambitiously read the book of the same name, I highly recommend taking this free quiz online at 5lovelanguages.com. It will help you identify the love languages (words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch) that you value the most. Why is this important? If your partner values “acts of service” the most (like making dinner together), it may not matter how many bunches of flowers you buy him or her. Although you value “receiving gifts” the most, it doesn’t mean your partner will too. How often have you heard someone say (or said yourself), “It doesn’t matter what I do, he never appreciates it.” I ask you: Do you really know what he appreciates or value the most? Perhaps, all your partner wants is “physical touch”…a hug to show your continued interest in him. You can see how easily this lack of communication or awareness can compound into many nonsense arguments.

I recommend that you and your partner individually take this quiz and then discuss your scores. Although you’re not instructed to breakdown each of your answers, I highly suggest you do this. The two of you may share the same the answer but may have a completely different mindset approaching the scenario. Essentially, take the guesswork out of the relationship and learn how your partner approaches a scenario and what he or she values the most.

My Life Story: A Visual Map


Personal Trainer Wisdom: The ‘My Life Story Map’ left a lasting impression on my wife and I before our wedding last year. It helped us recognize the defining moments in our past and understand how they have shaped us. Although we utilized the ‘A Visual Map for Reflecting on My Past’ diagram by Sibyl Towner and Sharon Swing, you can certainly create your own. Basically, you and your partner will draw and write a timeline of your life on separate pieces of paper. At the top and middle of your page, draw a horizontal (parallel) line. On the top line, write the years of your life that correlate with the important events that you describe on the middle line. The middle line should reflect events, people, places, vocations, avocations, and more. You can record these events above or below this middle line depending on whether the event is perceived as a positive event (above) or negative event (below). As you try to determine the most noteworthy events, ask yourself the following questions: Which events elicitated the biggest emotional response? Which events were most responsible for your personal and professional approach today? Which events specifically affected your relationships with others today? When did you feel the most insecure and weak or secure and powerful? What were the biggest turning points or decisions that steered your life the most?

You may certainly personalize this timeline however you see fit. Honesty is most important (with yourself and partner). Evaluate how these life occurrences affected you and write that down. For example, my parent’s divorce had a profound effect on my life. Unfortunately, it shaped a negative perspective on relationships for a long time (conflict management, displays of affection, etc). At the same time, while moving after my parent’s divorce was certainly a great challenge at the age of 12, I became more adaptable in a number of different environments. I became more curious. Think about these long term effects on my life! I now love travel and feel comfortable exploring and interacting with the unknown world. What events in your life have shaped you? Not only is this a great way to see a timeline of your life on paper, but it is also an opportunity to see what has influenced how you behave, perceive, or generally approach the world. Take this time to learn about yourself while helping your partner understand you.

A Hug


Personal Trainer Wisdom: The root of all life is interaction…and nothing is easier or cheaper than a hug! Even if you don’t have the right words, a simple hug could express how you feel. It also shows your vulnerability to your partner as well as physically connecting to him or her.

Photo Credit:
The wonderful and talented Elizabeth Nord (Photography)–My wife, Sammy, and I still remind ourselves of the promises we made on our wedding day (and you should always too). A solid foundation always requires honesty, communication, and self-awareness.

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
3 Tools to Dramatically Improve Your Romantic Relationship
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

37 Snack Ideas for Weight Loss (And You Won’t Be Bored)

As a personal trainer, my personal training clients always wonder what quick and healthy snack options will help them lose weight. With a little research (and tasting), I’ve compiled this master list to guide their (and your) choices. Please keep in mind that “snacks” are really filler foods or indulgences that rarely meet your entire nutritional need at a given time (such a tease!). You’re probably seeking food because you’re hungry, and a small meal is most ideal (even if it’s only 100-300 calories). Since you now eat with intent, you want to choose a nutrient balance of vitamins, fiber, protein, fat, and more.

The snacks/small meals below are perfect examples of delicious, on-the-go options that satisfy your hunger and nutritional needs without adding to your waistline. Be sure to bookmark this list in case you’re looking for something to prepare at home or pickup in-between appointments. I’ve included a number of meal delivery services as well. Finally, check out the "Ideal Weight Loss Plate" below to help you choose combinations beyond this list.

At-Home Ambition


- Kale, black bean, red pepper flakes, and avocado bowl
- Spanish spinach with chickpeas
- Hummus and tabouli salad
- Chickpea salad
- Mixed olives, almonds, and minced garlic tossed in a little tahini sauce
- Roasted chickpeas and carrots with lemon and tahini sauce and crushed almonds
- Cashews with sliced apples
- Pistachios with a banana
- Kale chips with jalapeno hummus and lemon
- Hummus with chia seeds and sliced bell peppers

Eating on the Road


Chipotle
- Tacos: Corn tortillas, avocado, black beans, romaine lettuce, pico de gallo
- Bowl: Black beans, pinto beans, fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa, tomatillo green-chili salsa, guacamole

Roti
- Bowl: Hummus, tomato and cucumber, fresh vegetables, red cabbage slaw, sumac onions
- Bowl: Tomato and cucumber, red cabbage slaw, sumac onions, tahini

Lyfe Kitchen
- Edamame hummus with seasonal vegetables
- Fish tacos with seasonal fish chayote slaw, avocado, cilantro, green onion, chipotle aioli, corn tortillas, salsa fresca
- Roasted curry cauliflower with brussels sprout petals, roasted grapes, capers

Protein Bar
- HI-5 Smoothie: Coconut milk, kale, spinach, cilantro, and pineapple blended with crushed ice
- Market Smoothie: Coconut milk, kale, romaine, spinach, celery, apple, ginger, cucumber, parsley, lemon, and lime
- Sweet Greens Smoothie: Coconut milk, pineapple, apple, spinach, romaine, kale, celery, ginger, cucumber, parsley, lemon, lime

Pret a Manger
- Moroccan lentil soup: A bold soup packed with hearty lentils and chunky vegetables, with a handful of spices and a dash of balsamic vinegar to create an authentic Moroccan
- Black bean soup
- Mediterranean Mezze Salad: A colorful salad loaded with falafel, butternut squash, harissa chickpeas, beet hummus, dukkah, pomegranate seeds and fresh mint
- Veggie Fiesta Salad: Black beans, charred corn, jicama & zucchini slaw, cubed pepper jack, avocado, pickled red onions, cilantro & lime over a bed of romaine and spinach

Freshii
- Superfood Soup: Vegetable broth, quinoa, kale, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, red onions
- Salad/Bowl: Spinach, kale, almonds, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, mushrooms, roasted peppers, sesame seeds, beet slaw

Left Coast Food and Juice
- Jimmy Ching: Napa cabbage, romaine hearts, snow peas, crunchy quinoa, cashews, green onion, mint, sesame seeds, chinese mustard vinaigrette
- Robust Rosa: Kale, spinach, roasted broccoli, red onion, roasted tomato, toasted hemp seeds, avocado caesar dressing

True Food Kitchen
- Charred Cauliflower: Harissa tahini, Medjool date, dill, mint, pistachio
- Seasonal Ingredient Salad: Brussels sprout, butternut squash, cauliflower, white bean, pomegranate, toasted mulberry, horseradish vinaigrette
- Ancient Grains Bowl: Miso-glazed sweet potato, turmeric, charred onion, snow pea, grilled portobello, avocado, hemp seed

Sweet Green
- Spicy Sabzi: Organic baby spinach, shredded kale, spicy broccoli, raw beets, organic carrots, bean sprouts, spicy quinoa, basil, Sweet Green hot sauce, carrot chili vinaigrette (ask for no roasted sesame tofu)
- Bowl (build your own): Organic mesclun, bean sprouts, spicy broccoli, hot chickpeas, toasted almonds, local apples, lime cilantro jalapeño vinaigrette
- Bowl (build your own): Organic arugula, basil, shredded cabbage, raw beets, toasted almonds, spicy sunflower seeds, carrot chili vinaigrette

Caffe Baci
- Grain Salad: Organic kale & spinach, citrus marinated northern beans, tri-colored quinoa, pickled red onion, toasted sunflower seeds, citrus vinaigrette on the side
- Grilled Vegetable Salad: Native, grilled seasonal vegetables, balsamic vinaigrette
- Tomato Salad: Fresh vine tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, fresh basil, red wine vinaigrette, Italian spice blend

Meal Services


- http://www.sageeatschicago.com
- https://www.fittinglydelicious.com/
- https://www.purplecarrot.com

Photo Credit:
Purple Carrot .com – Could this be the snack that helps you lose weight and satisfy your hunger on-the-go?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
37 Snack Ideas for Weight Loss (And You Won’t Be Bored)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
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99 Ways to Redefine Yourself Today

Here is the master list of intent from my self-improvement book, Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness. Use it to set your path in 2019.

1. Believe that you can redefine yourself.
2. Create a business plan for your life.
3. Become a human scientist and study the physical, mental, and emotional you.
4. Make it a point to understand yourself and others.
5. Commit to this journey and don’t take the easy way out.
6. Become an outside observer to the mechanics of your mind and think about your thinking.
7. Ask yourself the tough questions and answer honestly.
8. Practice looking at yourself objectively.
9. Trust your instincts, your gut, and your perspective, but know where they stem from.
10. Don’t be a bystander in the course of life.
11. Adopt the mantra “Keep it Simple”.
12. Write your new mantra on a post-it note and place it in numerous places as a reminder.
13. Confront your inner influences.
14. Approach new ideas with an open mind.
15. Realize that you’re not alone.
16. Practice mindfulness.
17. Teach yourself to wake up to life around you—and inside of you—at any given moment.
18. Schedule alerts throughout the day to remind you to “take a breath”.
19. Listen to your inner voice.
20. Catch yourself making negative statements about you while randomly doing other things and write them down.
21. Don’t analyze yourself.
22. Filter your subconscious messages.
23. Create a list of positive messages and repeat them to yourself daily.
24. Face your inner self.
25. Remove the invisible obstructions that hold you back from achieving personal success.
26. Become a detective and collect the truth of a moment, observing yourself and every movement, sight, touch, scent, and sound of the world.
27. Gather evidence for the truth without judgment.
28. Don’t take a leap of faith without stopping first and observing the moment.
29. Accept that you don’t know everything.
30. Stop the train of life and pick up the bits and pieces around you every once in awhile.
31. Remain aware before making a decision, judgment or movement and commit to a higher state of living.
32. Accept the real perfections and imperfections of the world.
33. Soak in the aura of a moment wherever you are as often as possible.
34. Don’t dwell on the imperfections of you, your situation, or your surroundings.
35. Remove yourself from a situation when necessary (despite your emotional investment).
36. Don’t fixate on imperfect pieces of life that are unchangeable at the moment.
37. Don’t construct a rose-colored reality to mask the blight and scathing.
38. Accept things in their current state, including the blight and scathing.
39. Sometimes listen to your subconscious when it taps you on the shoulder.
40. Sometimes ignore your subconscious when it taps you on the shoulder with the same negative message.
41. Remember this quote by Frederick Douglass, a former slave and leader in the abolitionist movement. Accept that what you discover isn’t always the easiest to handle (and that’s okay): “…I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out. In moments of agony, I envied my fellow slaves for their stupidity. I often wished myself a beast.”
42. When you don’t accept it, tell yourself again and again and again that you should.
43. Quit complaining and do something.
44. Accept your ‘selfish friends’ as they are and ignore their ‘selfish’ tendencies. Discuss with them how their actions make you feel or begin dismantling your friendship.
45. Accept that the president (insert Republican, Democrat, or Independent here) is the leader of the United States. If you don’t support them then either: get involved with politics, make a grassroots effort for change, or ignore their political decisions.
46. Develop an evidence-based strategy to overcome challenges and choose the best possible decision.
47. Judge yourself fairly.
48. Don’t avoid looking at yourself.
49. Accept that obsessive, perfectionist ambition will lead to a perfect state of stress and an emotional unacceptance of your life.
50. Limit your distractions and listen to the people around you.
51. Don’t multitask (sorry).
52. Accept that feeling overwhelmed or frustrated is the result of your perspective.
53. Think rationally about the challenges you face daily.
54. Identify the fears that steer your behavior.
55. Refuse to allow insecurities to steer your behavior.
56. Tell yourself that you’re strong enough to face your fears again.
57. Tell yourself that your insecurities are irrational.
58. Find the root of your insecurities and write down the evidence against these irrational claims.
59. Extinguish Your Insecurities.
60. Don’t worry what people think unless you request for their input.
61. Accept people’s input, but remember you don’t always have to agree with their opinion or approach.
62. Leash and manage your emotional output.
63. Develop a cool head that will allow you to see the whole picture without a filter.
64. Recognize what drives your emotions and the coping behaviors that result.
65. Accept that you failed to reach these goals once before, and you may fail again.
66. Regain control over your life.
67. Feel confident about your approach, accepting the consequences, and adapting whenever and wherever needed.
68. Take control of the trends, patterns, and little idiosyncrasies that make up your world.
69. Don’t say “It is what it is” unless you’ve fully investigated yourself and the possible solutions.
70. Accept that improving a relationship might mean adapting or leaving it.
71. Identify the areas in your personal life in which you feel helpless.
72. Find control over your happiness at work.
73. Take control over your position and reshape it in a way that brings fulfillment to you.
74. Reevaluate your role in the company.
75. Change or redefine your position so that it fosters autonomy.
76. Request a position that values your creativity and judgment.
77. Understand your decision-making process.
78. Control the external influence on your decisions.
79. Convince yourself that you can change your environment.
80. Approach new problems with confidence.
81. Identify the problem accurately and specifically.
82. Consider as many solutions as possible and their implications.
83. Choose the best solution and then act.
84. Accept that making mistakes is part of the learning process and sometimes we have to make them repeatedly before we notice they’re a problem.
85. Accumulate wisdom through error.
86. Change bad habits by inserting a new routine, keeping the old cue, and delivering the old reward.
87. Accept that you already live by a set of rules.
88. Redefine your boundaries based on your needs (not your wants).
89. Create conversations with others.
90. Realign your perspective with your purpose—what you feel you were meant to do.
91. Create goals to maintain your positive focus.
92. Create a bucket list.
93. Slow down your life.
94. Treat life as an adventure and explore the unknowns.
95. Smile more often.
96. Share wisdom with others.
97. Give people the benefit of the doubt more often than not.
98. Help someone when you notice it.
99. Be your best self.

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
99 Ways to Redefine Yourself
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
Self-improvement book by Chicago personal trainer Michael Moody

Self-improvement book by Chicago personal trainer Michael Moody