This is the time of year where as clothes are being shed, so too are people wanting to shed pounds to get that summertime body, are entering half-marathons, marathons, triathlons, death races, iron-mans….
Summertime goals get very ambitious, and although some athletes and exercisers do achieve their goals, unfortunately many more end up not completing their weight-loss and fitness goals. What is the factor that differentiates those who are successful in achieving their goals, to those who let there goals pass them by?
There are many different theories surrounding how to set goals that increase the probability of achieving them. You may have heard of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Oriented), or setting short-term and long-term goals. Although this may seem doable, the majority of people see these time-consuming goal setting processes as a barrier to goal setting, and as a result fail to set goals at all. So how do we make goal-setting simple, and a do-able? As let’s face it, the goal itself should be the hard part, not the act of setting it.
This one principle will guarantee that you achieve your goal this summer, no matter what it is. Simplicity. Make a one line goal, and every decision you make will either help you achieve it or will not; this will ensure that you are always acting in a way that puts you on the path to achieving your goal.
The Goal: I want to lose ten pounds by July.
You are contemplating an extra helping of dessert. Will this help you lose ten pounds by July? No.
You are thinking of pulling an all-nighter for work. Will this help you lose ten pounds by July? It likely will not matter one way or another as long as you don’t indulge in bad snacks when staying up.
The Goal: I want to finish a marathon in September.
You are contemplating an extra helping of dessert. Will this help you complete a marathon in September? It likely will not matter one way or another if you are training hard.
You are contemplating pulling an all-nighter for work. Will this help you complete a marathon in September? No. This will affect your training the next day and therefore results.
This principle of having a simple goal is well-explained by Chip and Dan Heath in their book “Made to Stick”. In the book, the author outline how simple goals are the easiest to achieve, as long as the message is clear. Your actions will either support or defy the overriding goal.
They use the example of Southwest Airlines, one of the most profitable airlines in the world as an example. Their simple goal is to be the “lowest fare airline.” So when Southwest received feedback that on longer flights where they were only serving a packet of peanuts people were getting hungry and would have preferred a chicken salad, did they add the salad? Would the addition of the salad contribute to them being, “the lowest fare airline”? No. So the peanuts stayed.
Setting goals can be that simple! So instead of overtaxing yourself, making a variety of goals, trying to stick to rules of goal setting or following the best theory, have a one line goal that is very clear, and use it to guide your actions in a yes or no fashion. Will your action help you achieve your goal? Yes or no. And watch the pounds drop off and the miles stack up.
In sport and fitness, the quest for perfection is the overriding goal of many athletes and competitors. Pitching the perfect baseball game, shooting the perfect 3 point basket, having the perfect figure in bodybuilding. Perfection is what many athletes strive for in competition, and what drives them to train harder, commit more, and be constantly self-critical of flaws and shortcomings. Perfection is often synonymous with success in the sporting world, and in our lives in general. If you can achieve perfection, then you have succeeded.
Sport and competition propagates the pursuit of perfection by the win/loss dichotomy that is inherent to the nature of competition. In sport, we tend to assigns labels to winners and losers, and since there can only be one winner, the rest of the competitors are losers. This win/loss mentality in sport and competition is further strengthened by slogans with the intention to motivate athletes such as “There is no second place”, and “If you’re not first, you’re last.” Most serious competitors abandon the idea of “It is not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game” the very first time they lose the game. As you can imagine, these motivational sayings increase the pressure that competitors feel to succeed, or to achieve perfection.
Unfortunately, this pursuit of perfection may be a misnomer. In sport, especially in open sports where you are actively competing against another person or team rather than in a controlled environment, perfection is not a realistic goal. Even if you were to do everything perfectly yourself, you can not control the actions of your opponents or even teammates. In fact, what does a perfect soccer game even look like, or a perfect body? Even a team playing poorly or with a weak player may win, and every judge will look at a body differently. What is perfect is in the eye of the beholder; for many sports there is no absolute standard. This makes it even harder to achieve perfection, as you may be striving for a goal that in intangible, and with many different, and at times competing, standards. Not only that, but there is no end-point to perfection. You may have considered perfection to be finishing a half marathon in 1.5 hours, but if you achieve that you will likely push yourself to achieve a new, higher goal as you can’t be perfect yet!
This constant striving for new, higher goals when a goal has been achieved is called ‘conditional goal setting.’ Although this constant pressure may mean that you achieve benchmarks and personal bests that you previously considered impossible, these accomplishments are accompanied by the stress of always striving for more and never feeling the relief of accomplishment; when a goal is accomplished, there is no joy or relaxation at this win, a more ambitious goal will immediately take its place.
How do you relieve the pressure of striving for perfection? Change your goal to strive for EXCELLENCE. Unlike perfection, excellence can be achieved even if you do not come in first. The second place competitor can put in an excellent performance, even potentially more excellent than the first place finisher. You can play an excellent soccer game, or have an excellent figure. By changing your goals to striving for excellence and not perfection, you vanquish the possibility of being a loser as long as you give your honest 100% effort; feeling like you have achieved success does not rely on a medal, standing, or judge’s opinion. And when you start striving for excellence instead of perfection and relieve yourself of the pressures of achieving unattainable standards, you can win everyday.
I’m officially back on track and loving it. Feels sooooo good. I’m not doing crazy workouts 7 days a week, but the diets are back on track and it feels like everything else is also.
Video update from last weekend (sorry it has been a busy week).
One Fit City is honored to have a brand new voice in Allison Rasquinha. A performance consultant by trade, her perspective is educated and unique. Let it motivate you to find something different to push you towards health. Allison is an asset to the movement towards building a healthy Nation, One Fit City at a time.
Is Thinness Happiness?
I want to be thin.
Why is it that thinness is often the overriding goal of gym-users, grinding away on the treadmill for hours at a time in pursuit of thinness idealized by North American culture? Those sweating it out in this manner are unconcerned with trying to achieve improvements to cardiovascular fitness, the health benefits of exercise, the satisfaction of seeing gains in muscle, or seeking new personal bests in the weight room. These are the gym-goers desperately trying to reveal collar bones, protruding hip bones, drop a clothing size, or get the thigh gap popularized by social media.
In today’s society of fat-shaming and thin models, many people are hitting the gym under the guise of “fitness”, when in reality their goal is to achieve the idealized skinny frame splashed on magazine covers and billboards. Why is it that we get sucked into this pursuit of thinness?
In North America, success is often judged in how well we are doing in comparison to other people. Who has a higher salary? A faster car? A bigger house? Who is thinnest? Being able to maintain a thin, idealized, body type for many is equated with success. This connection between thinness and success is the direct result of showcasing this relationship in movies, magazines, and ad campaigns that portray successful, fashionable, and happy-looking people as thin, creating a link between being thin and being successful. In a results-driven culture where success is constantly sought after, this creates an inordinate amount of pressure to maintain a thin body.
But does thinness equal success? Absolutely not. If getting thin is your goal in the gym, it is time to re-evaluate, and change that goal to fitness. Fitness allows you to chase your kids around the park, play ball with your friends, go for a peaceful morning jog. Fitness will prolong your life, boost your mood, enhance your energy, and increase your overall happiness.
Thinness, in contrast, does not necessarily do any of the above. Although taking a peek at those protruding hips may give you fleeting joy, it is accompanied with the corresponding pressure of having to maintain that ideal. After all, after getting thin, what could be worse then gaining weight again, thus robbing you of the illusion of success that accompanied thinness; instead experiencing fatigue, irritable mood, and newfound stress of maintaining the thinness.
The quest for thinness is never over; there is always a new level of thinness you can try to achieve. It is the same conundrum of trying to achieve happiness in a comparative manner – trying to one-up other people by having the highest salary, fastest car, biggest house. Although the end result may seem like a happy life, it is irrevocably intertwined with the pressure of trying to maintain this “better than” status. As you can not control the success of others, the uncertainty and fluidity of the “better than” status is inherently stressful. In the same way, there will always be someone thinner you will have to beat.
Fitness is under your control, an not necessarily comparative in nature. You can be as fit, healthy, and subsequently as happy as you’d like. You can pick your diet, choose your workout routines, and decide your personal fitness goals. This sense of control, along with the physical and psychological benefits of a fit (not necessarily thin) body, are rewarding without being comparative. Fitness takes on many forms: people can have the same level of fitness and very different bodies; a fit ice skater does not have a body that resembles a fit sprinter, or a fit football player. However, as your potentially more wealthy, higher earning peers may agree – happiness from fitness is a lasting success.
Well I did it. I went to the gym 21 times. That is 3 times a week for 7 weeks. This a pretty big accomplishment for me. It is my greatest gym attendance ever.
This isn’t my first self improvement blitz. I’ve tried on three previous occasions with exactly three attempts each time. Each one of those ended for some stupid reason. But I wasn’t really setting myself up for success either.
This time I’m doing it differently.
First I’m telling each of you about my self improvement, making myself publicly accountable. I’m also keeping a detailed journal about each visit to the gym tracking the exercises I perform.
Next I’m working with a trainer. It helps to have someone that knows what they’re doing to help me. He teaches me how to work out safely and to push just hard enough to get my best. Also he can’t be fooled.
I schedule my work outs. I enter it into the calendar on my phone and I stick to it. I don’t miss the parent teacher meetings scheduled into my phone. I don’t skip work that is scheduled into my phone so I don’t skip work outs.
I’ve set realistic goals and look to take the next step as I reach my goals.
But it isn’t all sunshine and lollipops. There are days and weeks that suck. When there is more work and stuff to do, than time in the day. I got sick and suffered an injury in the past 7 weeks. All events that would have stopped me in the past. But I stuck it out and reached this first mile marker.
And what’s with the number 21? Some experts believe that if you can do anything 21 times it improves the chances of becoming a habit. So while it takes a great deal more than just showing up 21 times to be successful, I’ll take all the help I can get.
It is already Tuesday, wow time is flying by. I hope you are all having a great week!!
I thought I would post my video update from the weekend.
Have a great week!!!
I am back. I have since had my skin surgery, and am just getting back into the grind of working out.
I thought I would update everyone since we were “out”, and post my video updates since then to current.
October 20, 2013:
October 27, 2013:
November 11, 2013:
November 17, 2013:
December 1, 2013:
December 22, 2013:
January 4, 2014:
February 2, 2014:
February 17, 2014:
March 2, 2014:
I also was featured in the Winnipeg Sun this past week. The link to that is as follows:
Thanks again for all your support!! I’m glad to be back!!!
The whole goal of this blog was to find stories of success. Not just from the creators of the blog, but other trainers. This is the first of what One Fit City hopes is many. Kristine started working with Doug Drobot, a fantastic trainer with his Degree and background in sport. He coaches kids, so you know he can be kind, but crack a whip when it’s time to work. Keep in mind, this program was created for Kristine, and you may require something totally different. Talk with a professional, and get working on your fitness path.
Here is Kristine’s first blog – Thanks to Doug for convincing her it was a good idea.
My name is Kristine and I started at Snap Fitness on Taylor December of 2013, I first joined up years before hand at the Snap Fitness on Pembina but as the gym has never really been my thing I didn’t take to it and soon gave up on the idea of getting fit at a gym. For me I liked to be outdoors and swim and hike and go for bike rides outside, for me being in the gym for two hours a day just seemed to be a waste of a beautiful day and the drive to get to the gym did not thrill me either. I have tried in an attempt to get into shape at other gyms (pools,Shapes) but with little success, I didn’t feel motivated to join I felt uneasy and my confidence was very low not only in my ability but in myself.
For years I struggled to keep on top of my weight but for me food was a huge problem in my life, when I was stressed I would eat, sometimes I would eat out of boredom and sometimes I wouldn’t even know why I was eating I just felt I had a craving that only food could satisfy. I was never very comfortable showing off my body in bathing suits or even shorts or a dress, my legs have always been a huge issue for me and until now I felt that no matter what I did it was a lost cause I was never going to get fit and be at a good weight where I felt comfortable and happy with myself. I went through a lot of ups and downs before I decided that I wanted to try again.
So I spoke to my family letting them know that I wanted to start going to the gym and that Snap had a trial 1 month membership and from where I was living there was a snap fitness 10 minutes away. I got the card in the mail about a week or so later and part of the trial is you get a free nutrition consult and fit Score. I called without hesitation and set up my meetings a few days later. When I walked in the staff was incredibly friendly and it was a nice big open gym where I didn’t feel out of place I saw all sorts of people there whether they were young, older, bigger or those who just want to keep their figure, I felt relieved that is was such a relaxed place and I knew I would get the help I needed.
For my fitscore I met Doug one of the personal trainers at Snap Fitness on Taylor and first impression was he was the kind of guy that could help me get back into shape and feel good about myself without me feeling anxious or “not working hard enough” He ran a few tests to check my strength, endurance and flexibility needless to say I felt awkward because of how out of shape I was. Then he ran it through the computer and talked to me about my goals and how I was as far as fit wise, I never felt uncomfortable talking to him, he never asked me what my diet was like nor did he push to find out what type of exercise I was doing for me I felt all he cared about was that I was in the door and taking the first step to getting back into shape. Doug also had one last job before we could part for the day and I would start my nutrition consult… he had to take my measurements, needless to say I was uncomfortable because I knew I was big at least big for me.. and I didn’t want to know just how badly I had let myself down over the years. He was encouraging throughout the whole thing and we spoke about different training options and what types of exercises I could do to help strengthen my body and increase my endurance.
I told Doug that my main reason for doing this was so I could enjoy going out and taking my dog Diablo for
jogs and actually be able to keep pace with him for more that 5 minutes so we worked on trying to get me into the gym at least 3 times a week to work on it.
Next I was introduced to the Truestar program through my nutrition consult and all I have to say is when I first looked at the sight it was confusing but the different recipes that you could make and all of the different options you could choose from was amazing they truly outdid themselves for this website. With a little coaching I was able to pick up how to navigate the site and how to set up my nutrition guide so that the recipes that come up are specifically geared towards me nutrition goal. For example I am on a 1300 calorie a day high protein low calorie diet which based on your goals and expectations you set up in your nutrition consult, I have 3 meals plus a snack for the day and all of the recipes are only the amount of calories you are allotted per meal. For example my breakfast I am allotted 300 calories so when you are in your nutrition and daily meal plan when you select breakfast and substitute it will give you all breakfast meals that are 300 calories and that are specific to my high protein.
At first I thought for sure that like any diet I was going to feel starved but I was assured that because I am giving my body the proper nutrition and the proper portions that I would not feel hungry in fact that it was a lot more food that I would expect. I was skeptical but I tried to follow the meals as much as I could during the holiday season, I found that just changing my diet to the meals through Truestar I lost 7 lbs in just over a week! I know a lot had to do with not eating heavy meats like hamburger and not eating nearly as much carbohydrates but I was incredibly surprised at how good I felt after just a short period of time, although I was not going to keep that weight off due to Christmas being right around the corner but I continued and was determined to get back to it after the holiday season. I truly believe in the
Truestar program I have never felt better about the food I am putting into my body nor about the quality, All of the recipes I have come across I have not found one that has some weird random food that I have never heard of, I have had no problem finding the foods that they require and they don’t take a lot so buying for two weeks worth of meals is the same as two weeks worth of terrible for you foods yet the benefits are far greater.
Just shortly before Christmas I heard about the HIIT classes (High Intensity Interval Training) that Doug was going to be training and I was intrigued as to what the class would entail so as a gift my family purchased some classes for me and I decided I wanted to go three times a week because the classes were convenient in the evening for me and it was a commitment that I had to keep. Well I have stuck with the classes for just over a month and I have seen along with my family amazing results. The classes are as they say intense especially for those who are not very active but I felt amazing after the class I felt tired and sore but not to the point where I couldnt move for days on end….. that was after my first two classes I have completed 14 classes and I dont plan on stopping I have never enjoyed something so much, it is not only great for your body but for your spirit the people at Snap are amazing they always make me feel welcome and always ask how I am doing as if they have known me for years, I can walk into that gym and feel like family they are great at what they do and always make an effort to let you know that
you are doing great. The people in the class are equally as amazing I always feel good going to class knowing its going to be fun talking about how sore we were the last class or how our week has been, its great to be able to have that communication with people who like you are looking to better themselves and get fit.
When I first started the classes I was almost 200 lbs.. you would never have guessed because I hid my weight well… all over the place so its evenly distributed. After two weeks of the classes I asked Doug if he could remeasure my hips and thighs and I was surprised to find that I had lost two inches on my hips and an inch in my thighs. I also have been able to drop a few pounds but as I workout I put on muscle and lose fat so the scale does not move too fast but it does not discourage me. I have had so much support over the last few months not only from my family but from the Snap fitness team that I can finally see my goal within reach I finally feel it is obtainable and I have finally found the environment in which I can keep motivated and in good spirits about myself. I will keep posting about the delicious recipes and
I will continue to work hard and help to motivate other people to try Truestar and Snap Fitness out as I am living proof that you can turn yourself around with the right environment and the right tools and motivation.
OH… I almost forgot I have been on the Truestar program everyday for about a month now and the things I used to love and crave and I used to get cravings alot… they have almost all completely disappeared.. I no longer eat double the portion amounts I no longer crave chips and chocolate and anything that was bad for me. In fact I only eat my three meals and my one snack a day and I feel so good after that I will never go back to eating the way I used to, even just going off for one or two meals I notice a huge difference I feel sluggish and tired and I can almost feel my digestion slow down to try and filter out the good nutrients out of it. Even just having hamburger I notice a difference right away. I feel anyone who is looking for a change should try Truestar out even if you dont want to go to the gym just changing the way you eat can make a HUGE difference in the way you think and feel about yourself.
One Fit City is always looking for stories to tell. We’d love for you too be one, like Chris. The great thing about this story is it’s the first Male, and it’s a father who works shift work. Follow along as Chris gets fitter, and starts really sharing his health journey.
Here’s Chris’s first blog:
My first work out with Jordan just happens to be on the same weekend my son turns six. A time when every parent reflects on when their children were babies, and discusses how much they have grown. I’m no different, but this ultimately leads to a bit more reflection on my personal growth and development.
Like all parents, my wife Tashina and I want the best for our children. We look at the latest, and also the the tested and true, methods of parenting. Everything from healthy food to playing sports and having fun have been front and center over the past six years. We have done reasonably well with two healthy well adjusted kids.
One of the things I noticed a year and half ago was while we made healthy choices for our children, we ourselves were not. As parents we were not leading by example. I’m a student of leadership and I realized that it wasn’t enough to make the right choices for my kids. I needed to demonstrate the choices that I want my children to make. I need to be their guide to life.
So changes were made, and the first place to start on a journey to health is what you put in your body. As a Paramedic, I understand the science of how the body works and what is needed to achieve health. I understood the theory I just didn’t live it. Pepsi was my primary method of hydration, fast food had become half my diet. I was overweight, stressed, unhealthy. I was missing work, stopping into my doctors office on a regular basis with another ailment. I needed a change.
So by simply making a commitment to eating in a way to fuel my body with what it needed, I started losing weight. A year later I’m down 70 lbs and feel great. But I’m not healthy yet. While my energy and physical activity picked up I was still in a unhealthy state. I need to physically be able to meets the demands of work and life, and I wasn’t.
So now I begin the next phase of my journey to health by working with Jordan and One Fit City. I’ll be working to achieve a level of fitness that will allow me to meet the demands of life and still have some left over to share with the ones I love. By leading by example I will show my children a better path in life. If you are looking to take the first step or the next step. Feel free to join me as I discuss how my journey is going and why it is so important that you start your own path to health.
We will never talk about the last 2 months again. This post is to ensure the entire world it won’t happen again. We have hired a group of programmers to ensure One Fit City will grow, and grow massive. Here is the exciting things to come!
If you want to be the next success story, contact me directly by liking and messaging the One Fit City Facebook page - Last 10lbs, full make over, just want to get a little more healthy. I want success stories, and I’m willing to help create them.
The redesigned site is almost ready to go, which means, more advice, more videos and a lot more content to motivate you on the way to a healthy lifestyle. The past 2 months have reminded me why I do this, and I was heart broken when the site was taken over by someone else. In the meantime, I’ve been creating content and finding new resources for the people of the world who follow all the success the website shares.
First off – I want everyone to go get free recipes, and nutrition advice here. There is no better website for recipes, meal plans, and nutrition success. Share it with friends, and then ask any questions you want by connecting with me. The Truestar company offers all their knowledge for free. Truestar is going to be a significant part of my next project – Watch for their protein to make it’s way into a lot of the cooking I do.
First New Project in Winnipeg:
One Fit City Kitchen Take Over – I’m going to be heading into people’s homes, showing some cooking tips and getting everyone I can to realize how simple this nutrition thing is. ALSO! I’m cooking healthy so you all can see that it actually tastes good. As this takes off, we will be live streaming the kitchen parties. Anyone want to host a night of cooking? Let me know! Grab your friends, and let’s start getting you all eating right, exercising together and making this City healthy. This video was filmed at Tamarak Place – it’s one of the apartments managed by www.yournextplace.ca – a new sponsor of what is going on with One Fit City
The other new project is “The WOW Factor” – I’ll be putting up a Workout Of the Week coming soon. It’s design is to be simple, but total body. I want everyone that tries it to tweet me, or post on the One Fit City facebook page what you thought, and how you did. These are going to be tip based videos and in some cases, full demo workouts to try. The videos are sponsored by River City Ford, they have been fantastic to the One Fit City movement. We wouldn’t be this far ahead without their support.
The whole point of this site is to get people moving, eating right, and enjoying health.
It needs support now that it’s back! So please, share, talk, tweet, and tell everyone you know about it. Also, watch closely for up coming events and seminars. You are welcome to connect with me, or join in on any event you see. This is simple, just share and support. This is the start of the creation of a healthy community.
Be sure to read and share all the Huffington Post: www.huffingtonpost.ca/jordan-cieciwa/
Watch and subscribe to the youtube Channel: One Fit City TV
Get on Truestar and sign up to get free recipes and fuel your body right: Truestar recipes