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Essential Things You Have to Know About Artificial Fitness Complexity

Essential Things You Have to Know About Artificial Fitness Complexity

I believe that everyone deserves to feel their best every day. Unfortunately many people don’t have an optimal experience in life because they struggle with having excess weight that holds them down physically and emotionally.

*DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT ANOTHER RA-RA FITNESS ARTICLE. IF YOU READ THIS TO THE END AND TAKE ACTION, YOUR LIFE WILL BE CHANGED FOREVER.*

Being overweight sucks. Any way you try to frame it, you still have to face the facts that it interferes with your overall quality of life. The good news is that it’s unnecessary for 95 percent of people to be that way. If we are going to be real, there are only two reasons you might be overweight.

  1. You have a metabolic disorder due to something such as a thyroid imbalance.
  2. You just don’t know what the hell you’re doing.

Now, I understand your first knee-jerk reaction is probably “screw this guy,” but hear me out.

Artificial Fitness Complexity

I was reading my buddy’s article on decomplication where he was explaining why we believe so many of the most common things we struggle with are difficult, when in reality they are quite simple. As it turns out, there is this concept at play called “artificial complexity” that means that you make something way harder than it needs to be because your ego is getting in the way of how simple the solution is, or you flat out don’t have the willpower to do what it takes to get your ideal outcome.

As my buddy put it in his article, “Artificial complexity occurs when a commonly encountered problem has a simple solution, but that solution is made more complex to appeal to the solver’s lack of willpower, past failures, or to benefit the interests of a third party (usually a company selling something).”

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In the fitness industry, artificial complexity is running rampant. Many people think being lean is complicated — it’s not. Many people also think it will detract from their social life — it doesn’t. Just about everything that makes people think that committing to their fitness will suck is complete B.S.

What REALLY Affects Your Weight

Here is what matters.

  1. That you eat the right amount of food for your body.
  2. That you move your body.

That’s it. Let that sink in for a moment.

I know you have heard so much about GMOs, gluten, and bad carbs vs good carbs that you think what I am telling you is too simple to be true. Why would so many people be making such a fuss over so many things if only two things really mattered when it came to their ability to attain a lean physique?

The answer is obvious isn’t it?

Fitness is a multi billion dollar industry that everyone wants to get their piece of. Just like any other industry, if you want your product to sell, you have to be constantly reinventing it in a new way. Even if the product doesn’t need to be reinvented!

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That is why you always see the next best diet and the next best fat-blasting workout routine. People just need something new to talk about. That’s cool up until the average person gets confused and falls into the trap of artificial complexity. When you see a thousand different options out there, how do you know where to begin? How do you have the discipline to stick with one thing, when you know there is another tactic out there that might be even better than the one you’re doing right now? I mean, everyone who is pushing these products and programs looks pretty good with their shirt off, so who do you listen to?

Well, today you listen to me, because I am lifting the veil of this complexity that has crowded your mind for far too long.

The Truth

I am here to tell you that:

  • You do not need a new groundbreaking supplement.
  • You do not need to workout for hours every day with cutting edge equipment.
  • You do not need to eat chicken and broccoli out of tupperware six times a day.

All you need to do is focus on the two things that matter most, and fitness can be a very enjoyable part of your life.

Here’s the deal, you need to start focusing on what matters, and let everything else go. If you are someone who is overweight, but you are stressing about buying organic, cut it out! Those organic baby carrots aren’t going to help you get any closer to your goals.

What will help you is just focusing on what will bring you results.

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  1. Calculating your calories and macronutrients (and sticking to them)
  2. Moving your body

You don’t even have to do these things every day. Five to six out of every seven days is plenty to keep you from putting on any extra weight. Just do it consistently and make it a part of your daily routine. Many people will read this and think “No there has got to be more” or “No this isn’t something that would work for me because of x,y,z,” and they will just go on living their life, but some of you will feel something rise up inside of you.

You will say enough is enough. I want to live in the body I know I deserve, and I refuse to settle for less. You will save this article, maybe even print it out, and put it on your wall, and look at it daily as a reminder that two things matter: that you’re doing some sort of exercise (move) and that’s you’re eating the right amount of food.

Time to Take Action

Let’s break these two things down in case you are one of those people who are ready to take action right now. Exercise I recommend doing workouts like the one below 3–5 times a week: jump rope and body weight high-intensity interval training workouts.

You can do just about anything. Just make sure you do it consistently.

Nutrition

I recommend using this calculator to find out how much food you need to eat each day, and then using myfitnesspal to track your food to make sure you’re hitting your daily goals for calories and macronutrients (fats, protein, carbs.) Again, hit these numbers 5–6 days a week, and you’ll be great. That’s it. I

f you try and fail at this going forward, it’s going to be because of your will power, not because you had the wrong tactics. Unless of course, you fall into the 5 percent of people struggling with Hyperthyroidism (what happens when your body isn’t making enough of your thyroid hormone.) But, let me reiterate, that’s probably not you.

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You just need to take the advice I just gave you about eating the right amount of food and exercising and follow it. For as long as it takes to reach your target goal, follow it. It may take a week, a month, or a year. It doesn’t matter. This is now a part of your life, so there’s no reason to even think about an end date for this new attention you are diverting towards being lean. Embody it. Build this into your identity, and just go with this process.

One Year From Now

After a year or so of being diligent with tracking, you’ll figure out how much food your body needs, so you’ll be able to stop using myftinesspal. At this point you’ll have such a deep understanding about what your body needs that you’ll never have to worry about finding a new diet again. Your diet is always just to get back to your numbers and tighten things up.

Movement will become something that you look forward to, something that you use as a form of therapy and that you do because you enjoy it. That’s the point I have gotten to and you will too. Just stay the path and find ways of moving your body that you enjoy (like this.)

Beyond that, let the good times roll. Live a life where you look and feel awesome every day. It’s your opportunity. Go.

Featured photo credit: Body Building via bodybuilding.com

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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