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BABY STEPS ARE A BUNCH OF CRAP. BRAINWASH YOURSELF.

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I don’t believe in baby steps.  Baby steps are an excuse to hang on to some of the things that are holding you back from a healthy lifestyle.  Let’s just say you are trying to lose weight and start living a healthy lifestyle.  You also smoke and drink frequently.  To live a healthy lifestyle you are going to have to start eating healthy, start training with weights  and by doing cardio.  You will have to stop smoking and drinking.  I’m not opposed to drinking but I have cut way back.  And by “way back”, I mean that drank about as much this last year as I did during two nights out, the year before.

Obviously, if you have not been active, it would probably be a good idea to get a physical to make sure that you don’t have anything that may become a problem if you push yourself “too hard.”    But no matter what you are going to have to push yourself.  The longer you continue with your training and cardio the more you should increase your intensity.   You don’t want it getting too easy.  DON’T JUST GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS.  That is one thing that I consider when people say baby steps.  They just go through the motions and take it easy in the gym and call it a work out.  When I walk out of the gym my shirt is soaking wet.

When people talk about baby steps they also plan on making a few changes at a time.  So they will cut certain things out of their diet but maybe keep a couple of unhealthy things in it and they also cut back on drinking from 3 times a week to twice a week and they continue to smoke.  So I guess they plan on implementing their plan over the course of their transformation.  So maybe by week 4 they are going to clean up their entire diet and by week 6 they will only drink once a week and by week 8 they will smoke one less pack a week.  It’s all an excuse.  More than likely what will actually happen is that they will push their healthy deadlines back and they won’t give up the cigarettes or the drinking.  And their training and cardio will be ineffective.

For me it was coming to the realization that if I made my changes all at once that it would actually be easier.  Baby Steps will prolong the “Suffering” (I never suffered.  It wasn’t easy but I never suffered.  If you do suffer, you need to work on “Controlling your Mind”).  I convinced myself that it was mind over matter.  I convinced myself that if I couldn’t succeed than I was weak.  If I couldn’t control my own mind I was weak.  The key word is WAS.  I am STRONG enough to control my own mind.  I can achieve my goals   I can S.W.I.M.™ (Self-Control, Will Power, Inspiration, Motivation).  When you can conquer the bad habits and the addictions all at once it actually makes you stronger.  It adds to your motivation.  And when you succeed you will never forget what it took to get you there.  

Test Yourself and Make Yourself Stronger

Midwest Spartan 10

It’s all about controlling your mind.  I came up with S.W.I.M. (Self-Control, Will Power, Inspiration, Motivation), because it reminds these four things are what it takes to not only transform but to help you achieve all of your goals.  They all come from inside you and if you listen to them you will be able to control your own mind.  If you want something bad enough and you know what you have to do, you will do it or you really didn’t want it.

When I started my transformation, I was tested every day.  It could be walking through the Super Market and passing by the bakery.  In the past I would check to see if they had any cookie samples that they had set out.  I’d grab a handful of cookies and eat them as I walked around the store.  It really didn’t matter whether they tasted good or like crap, I was already planning on circling back, for seconds, thirds or fourths.  I love free stuff, even crappy cookies.  It’s funny how I can walk by these samples and look at them and even if they look good, know that I won’t be munching on them while I walk around the store.

Another big test is going out to a bar with friends and sticking with water as your drink of choice for the night.  I use to drink once every week or two and if I went out-of-town, it was almost every night.  I decided that I wouldn’t totally cut drinking out but I didn’t want to be spontaneous.  I didn’t want to drink every time I had the opportunity too.  By spontaneous, I mean that I will plan it out several weeks in advance.  If friends ask me to out with them this coming weekend, I will probably go.  I’m not going to become anti-social.  But I am not going to drink.  Usually, people try to get me to do a shot or drink a beer.  It almost becomes a game.  When I head home, I actually feel like I accomplished something.  There are a lot of advantages for me when I do this: I save money.  I have no hang over.  Most of all I am strong enough to control my mind and continue with my healthy lifestyle.

Eating out can be difficult because I don’t usually know what will be put into my food and there will be bread and appetizers brought to the table that I would have scarfed down in the past but now I bypass most that.  I do try to find things that will work within my nutrition guidelines.  If I can’t find them I usually try to order something that I can make a lot of changes too.  I also think about what a restaurant might do to my food. Such as adding steak butter to my steak and ask them not to add it.  Check out my video on ordering breakfast in a restaurant.  

At the beginning of my transformation I started running in Obstacle Course Races.  These races have tested me physically and mentally.  They provide me with a new way to compete against others as well as myself.  They force me to push myself.  Climbing ropes, going across monkey bars and running 9 miles are only some of the challenges that I face on these races.  They are also things that I would have never thought that I would do at the age of 46 especially since I haven’t done anything like it for over 20 years.  

I don’t really feel like I am missing anything.  And I do take a cheat meal once in a while and I will drink a beer once in a while.   But more than anything I feel stronger by walking into the fire and not getting burned.  

The Power Of Mind Control

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The most important part of my transformation has been the psychological aspect.  That is how I came up with the acronym S.W.I.M. (Self-Control, Will Power, Inspiration, Motivation).  Honestly once I figured this out and thought about what it meant it made my transformation that much easier for me.  It allowed me to set a psychological goal if that makes any sense.  It was tough at first but after a little while it became easier.   At this point it’s almost funny.  I figured out how to control my own mind.  I looked at how many things I did out of habit or temptation.  I was addicted to food.  I felt peer pressure.  If I went out to dinner, I would eat anything that hit the table.  Not just a slice of bread but usually about 2 loaves.  How many appetizers could I cram down my throat before my main course?  If there was calamari, I was probably eating two appetizers.  If I went to a bar, I drank.  What else would you do in a bar?  (I’ll still go to bars once in a while but rarely drink).  If I walked into the supermarket I would walk by the cookie section about 10 times for the free samples.  I would buy 3 boxes of Oreo cookies to save for my “cheat day”.  I would than convince myself that I was just going to eat one and save the rest for later.  Within 3 hours the first box was gone.  The next two might make it for about 3 more days.  I would travel and convince myself that I needed  to stay out of the gym during the entire trip.

I took at look at how my lack of self-control had made me feel crappy about the way I looked at myself.  I realized that it was a weakness.  I was WEAK!  I couldn’t control my own mind.  I felt like I had an addiction and had no control over it (I actually did).  How could I be that weak?  It was embarrassing.

Once I became honest with myself and could actually look in the mirror and say that I need to lose 40 pounds not 10.  I need to realize what else is affecting my life.  What do I need to do to make this transformation?  5 days a week in the gym (already doing that), running 5 days a week (right now I run 4 days a week.  2 days are light and 2 are tied into my workouts).  Stick with a nutrition program that I can live with, without cheating.

It’s amazing how many situations I end up in where I pass on things that I would have jumped all over in the past.  I actually feel really good about myself when I sit down to dinner with friends and don’t touch the bread, which I use to gob with butter.  I don’t need it.  I wanted it.  My health is more important and the truth is that when you can control your mind over things like this you can also control it over other things.  I chewed tobacco for over 20 years and every time I quit I constantly thought about it.  I needed it when I drove, drank, or had stress.  I had a lot of stress.  I could not even tell you the day that I quit.  It is irrelevant to me.  It really doesn’t matter since I don’t think about it.  I almost forgot to write about it in this post.

It is important that you enjoy the food that you do eat.  6 healthy nutritious small portioned meals a day that include both carbohydrates and protein.  Be creative with your food.  There are plenty of things that you can eat that taste like they are bad for you because they taste so good.

Being able to control my own mind influences many other aspects of my life.  It also makes me consider how my actions may affect other people.  I rather be a positive influence than having a negative influence or no influence.  I have also realized that I can do much more now at 46 then what I ever thought that I could.  I don’t set limitations for myself anymore (this will be a future post).

I would challenge to try something next time you go out to dinner with friends.  When bread is brought to the table don’t eat any for the entire meal.  See if you can resist it.  If you don’t like bread try using this with a similar situation.  Pass on cake at a party at the office.  Don’t bother getting some just to bring home and eat later.  Just pass it up.  This is less about your nutrition than it is about being able to control your own mind.

If you thought that this post was about bending spoons or controlling someone else with your mind, sorry to disappoint you but the truth is that if you can learn how to do this than you will change your life for the better.  You will accomplish more.

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE AND LEARN TO S.W.I.M.™

My Two Running Partners Motivate Me

It’s always nice having one or more partner to run with.  Mine never miss it.  In fact, as soon as I get up there are always ready to go.  This is usually their favorite part of the day.  It would be tough to tell them sorry but we aren’t going running.  The are a big part of my motivation.

Our run is usually around 3 miles and it borders a woods and goes around a cornfield.  Both of them get plenty of exercise, mostly from chasing deer and rabbits.  The summer got pretty hot and we usually went pretty early. Since dogs don’t sweat they can overheat pretty easily.  Because I do a couple of loops or cut back across my own path, my dogs don’t have to stay with me the whole.  I also will do HIIT, which means that I am walking, jogging and running.  It makes it easier to keep them from going to hard.  On hot days, I will carry a camel back with me so that they can get water.  In other cases I will take trails that have creeks that run by them.

 

I guess since my dogs workout with me one of them decided that it would be a good idea to see what kind of supplements I take.  She actually didn’t eat any of them.  But the following video is the aftermath.  I do actually give a couple of supplements to my dogs.  But they are also designed for them.  

 

Midwest Super Spartan 2012

In about 5 hours I’ll be running in my first Spartan Race.  Even cooler, I’m running on the Dial For Men Team.  About 6 months ago I ran in my first obstacle race.  It’s amazing what a life changing transformation can do you for you.  It’s not just about changing your body.  My biggest change has been psychological.  I’m not crazy anymore.  Well maybe I am, but my perspectives have changed.  Like I say in other parts of my blog, I can now  S.W.I.M.  I have Self Control, Will Power, Inspiration and Motivation.  If I see something that I want to do because I think it’s fun or because it’s a challenge, I will now go out and do it.  I don’t like being a spectator, I want to participate.  I’ve missed out on to much of life waiting on others to join me or waiting on me to get prepared for something or making an excuse not to do it.


While surfing the internet about a year ago I came across Tough Mudder.  I thought that this looked like a great event.  The first problem with it was that it was 12 miles and I had no intention of running 12 miles.  I started to notice other shorter races that were similar types of races (obstacle races, mud runs, zombie runs).  Many of these were only 5k.  That I could handle.  The most I had ever run before was 8 miles and I did that twice (with no obstacles).  Funny thing is I noticed that 30 plus Facebook friends like Tough Mudder and even some of these other races.  Even funnier, like me, most of them haven’t done the Tough Mudder or even the shorter ones.  But a lot of them have told me that they want to do them. Why like something if you aren’t going to do it?  Naturally, I liked it too.   Maybe some day I would even see what one of these races were like.  If nothing else “LIKE” as many as possible on Facebook.

My first race was early in my transformation and it wasn’t easy.  I tried to find other people who would race with me, but either they had plans or hadn’t trained for it.   I’m not going to say that today’s race will be easy either but these are challenges that are continuing to help form my new life.  For those of you who think they would like to do one of these but are using the “I’m not in shape or I’m not ready” excuse to not do it.  Think again.  Do it at your own pace.  I see a lot of people who do these things for the fun of it and they are not always the fittest people, but they have fun.  If you pick one out several weeks away and start working out now, you can make dramatic changes in 3 to 6 weeks.  If you decide that you like it, the next one can be more of a challenge for you if that is what you want.

Don’t just “Like it” on Facebook, go out and do it.  Don’t wait for someone else to join you.  If they do, great.  Get out and S.W.I.M.

 

Cristian Mihai

writes a short story every week

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