The MOST Important Factor in Getting Long Term Change

By | Behavior Change, Mindset

Welcome to your second Mindset installment of our Transform You 2020 series.

On Monday, I talked about how you can’t rely on willpower if you want to make a change. (Click here if you missed it…)

I talked about a highly effective hack to overcome our limited willpower, by changing your environment, which can force a change in your habits.

But what if you don’t want to rely on environmental changes long term? How do you become the sort of person who can drive by McDonalds and never pull in, or who won’t eat the package of Oreos sitting in the cabinet?

The answer is to go deeper and really look at your beliefs and identity.

Our sense of identity (conscious and unconscious) drives our choices and our actions every day. Our actions are a reflection of our current beliefs about ourselves.

James Clear describes this brilliantly in Atomic Habits, where he talks about three layers of behavior change: outcomes, process, identity.

Image credit: James Clear, jamesclear.com

Outcomes are the goals that we want to be able to achieve, like running a 5k.

Processes are the habits that will get us to our goals, such as running or walking 1 mile every day.

Identity is made up of our deepest beliefs about ourselves, our world view, our values, our judgments about ourselves and others. It is our identity that drives many of our daily choices and actions.

We usually try to change by figuring out what outcome/goal we want (ie, lower blood pressure, improve health, run a half-marathon, lose 20 pounds) and then identifying the processes/habits that will get us there (ie, eating more veggies, exercising every day).

But James argues that the deepest, most sustainable way to change is to actually change our sense of identity, our beliefs about who we are, which will then drive a shift in habits and help us achieve the outcomes that we want to achieve.

When we focus on who we want to become and the type of person we want to be, every action we take becomes a vote for the type of person we wish to become.

The converse is also true. When we don’t consciously decide the type of person we want to become, our actions tend to reflect unconsciously held beliefs about ourselves. Maybe our unconscious belief that we’ll never be a morning person keeps us from staying consistent with early morning workouts, for example.

So how do you change your identity?

First, be aware of the stories that you tell about yourself. Do you see yourself as someone who will always struggle with __x,y,z___? Do you believe that you aren’t worthy of putting yourself first? Do you see yourself as not athletic? Or not capable??

Identify the narratives that may be hiding in your subconscious.

Would you say these things to your best friend if he/she were looking for advice? If not, they aren’t things that you should say to yourself.

Replace those narratives with a positive focus. Decide on the type of person that you want to be–who do you want to become? What is most important to you to focus on first?

Do you want to be the kind of person that takes care of their health and their body? Do you want to be the type of person who never misses a workout? Do you want to be someone who is always there for their family? Always on time? Organized? Obviously, this is not limited to health and fitness.

Once you have an identity that you want to focus on, think about how you can prove that identity to yourself with one small action every day. What is one small win that is doable but that can reinforce that identity?

For example, if you want to be someone who takes care of their health, perhaps a small win could be eating one veggie-based meal or snack each day.

Or, you could buy a pedometer and aim to increase your step total by 50 or 100 steps per day.

If you want to be someone who is tidy and organized, perhaps you start by making your bed each day.

Over time, these small, identity based habits will both help you achieve the results you are looking for, while also more permanently shifting your beliefs about who you are. And that is how you can truly achieve lasting change.

Stay tuned because on Friday, I’ll share two habit hacks that can really help you get these small wins that will reinforce your new identity.

For now, carve out some time to think about an area of your life where you want to become a different type of person. What is that new identity? And what is one *small* thing you can do to start proving that to yourself each day?

Why you don’t need (and can’t rely on!) willpower!!

By | Uncategorized

This week, I’m going to focus on mindset. This is perhaps THE most important factor in the success or failure of any long term change.

Some of it is related to our identity and beliefs–to how we see ourselves and thus what drives our actions. I’ll talk about that later this week.

But a lot of our success or failure is related to willpower… although not in the way that you’re probably thinking. That’s what I’m going to talk about today.

You are NOT weak or lacking in willpower if you’ve tried and failed to make a change.

So why, then, when we KNOW it’s good for us, is it SO hard to change our habits?

Why is it hard to get to the gym consistently if we’ve never really gone?

Why is it so hard to stop drinking soda or to start eating healthier meals if those aren’t our current eating habits?

And why do some people seem to have it together so easily?

How is it that they can make it to the gym every day and bring salads to work for lunch and it looks like they’re not even trying?

The answer is NOT that they have some unlimited reservoir of willpower.

No. Recent research has proven, without a doubt, that you cannot make changes like this–changes that last–with willpower alone.

In fact, research has also shown that our willpower is a finite resource. We have only so many decisions that we can make each day before we run out of willpower. Researchers call this “decision fatigue”.

So, while we may be able to exert willpower to do something once or for a limited period of time, it’s not a good strategy for the kinds of long term change that a healthier lifestyle requires.

Rather, the trick is to change your environment in ways that make it easier to succeed–that remove as many decisions from the equation as possible, so that you don’t have to rely on willpower.

Let me give you an example.

Emily, the TC manager, had never gone to a gym or a group exercise class before she joined us as a client 8 years ago. Plus, after back to back pregnancies and the exhaustion that came from having two kids under 2, she felt very out of shape. And the only class time that worked for her schedule was 5:30 am… but at the time she was not a morning person.

So coming to our classes was a BIG leap for her.

She realized that, in order to get herself out the door, she would have to do some things that made getting up as easy as possible (and unavoidable!). Here’s what she did:

  • She moved the alarm clock so that she had to get out of bed to turn it off, lol.
  • She laid out all of her clothes and shoes, along with her wallet, keys and water bottle, the night before.
  • She made a smoothie the night before and put it in the fridge, so that all she had to do was get dressed, brush her teeth, grab the smoothie and walk out the door.

With these actions, she made it easy for herself to get up and going by having everything ready–she didn’t have to think about what she was wearing, or what to eat beforehand, etc. She also made staying in bed hard, by moving the alarm clock across the room.

She became a regular at 5:30 and, before long, she started to not only see the benefits of the workouts, but she met people and found herself enjoying both the community and the classes. Working out became easy and, ultimately, part of who she is.

There are other examples of clients who have changed the route they use to drive home from work so that they don’t pass any fast food restaurants that might tempt them to stop.

Many purge their house of all sweet and/or salty snacks, soda, or maybe even alcohol.

I fall into this category–Tessa will tell you that if I have certain things in the house, like M&Ms or chips, I’ll eat the whole bag. The only way for me to avoid that is to not have them around at all.

So what habit do you want to start?

What can you do to make it easier… to smooth the path?

Conversely, what can you do to make it harder to slip back into your old ways? Can you do the equivalent of moving the alarm clock or changing your route home from work?

How can you get your willpower out of the equation and instead program your environment so that you make the decisions you want to make?

If you can figure that out, you will unlock your potential for lasting change.

 

5 Ways to Go Beyond the Basics with Your Nutrition

By | Health, Nutrition

Hopefully by now you’ve thought about how to level up your nutrition game, perhaps using one of our two most important healthy eating habits.

(Click the links above if you missed either of those articles…)

Today, I’m going to share my 5 favorite ways to go beyond the basics, for when you want to do everything you can to feel your best.

One: Hydrate!

Drink ½ your bodyweight in ounces of water per day. Listen to your body and do what feels right to you. But most of us are walking around with some level of dehydration, which is like putting the brakes on both your metabolism and your ability to do a hard workout.

Try upping your water intake and see how you feel. If you don’t like plain water, add lemon, lime, orange or cucumber slices or even add some berries to an infuser bottle.

Two: Don’t drink your calories!

Soda, alcohol and juice are the major culprits here.

I’m not saying that you can never have a glass of wine again, but be aware that your body treats soda, alcohol and juice as straight sugar. Not only will they add excess calories with zero nutrition, but they cause inflammation in your body. Go for moderation here as much as you can.

Three: Don’t eat after 7 PM.

That simple guideline will work for most people, but what I’m really saying is to treat food as fuel and time your meals for when your body needs fuel!

For most of us, this means not eating late at night, when we’re about to go to bed. Simply shifting your dinnertime earlier, to 6 or 6:30, and perhaps eating a lighter meal at dinner can make a HUGE difference!

You don’t need a ton of calories overnight, unless you are a shift worker and on your feet all night. You also don’t need a lot of carbs.

Most of my clients find that they feel best with an early dinner of protein and veggies, then nothing more until the next morning.

Perhaps try front-loading your calories and carbs earlier in the day–in breakfast and lunch–so that you have enough energy for your day, your workouts, etc!

Four: Try a sugar detox

This is a big one for most people, myself included. I have a huge sweet tooth. Just ask my wife, Tessa. If there’s a bag of M&Ms around, it will be gone by the end of the day. 😉

So I know what I’m asking can be hard.

But every time I or any of my clients have done this, we’ve felt AMAZING after just a couple of weeks.

Plus, there is more and more research suggesting that sugar is a major culprit in increased inflammation in our bodies, and is behind our high rates of heart disease, along with high blood pressure and diabetes.

This link is the last in a 7-part series, and it provides links to the previous 6 parts. The video provides scientific evidence presented by experts describing how damaging sugar is:

http://dustinmaherfitness.com/2013/04/the-skinny-on-obesity-part-7/

Given the evidence, try a 7 or 14 day sugar detox. See how you feel. Then think of what you could do to more permanently reduce your sugar intake. It can make a major difference in your health.

Five: Plan/prep your meals

This sounds simple, but it’s probably the thing that is most challenging for many people to do regularly, given the pace of life these days.

However, if you can manage to carve out some time on a weekend to cut up veggies, prep your lunches for the week, make a healthy casserole or soup that will give you leftovers, etc, you will be WAY ahead of the game.

Planned and prepped meals make it so much easier to avoid going out at the last minute or eating quick and convenient but often unhealthy packaged foods.

That’s it–my top 5 tips for leveling up your nutrition even more, and going beyond the basics.

I know that none of this is rocket science, but the truth is that being consistent with these simple strategies will do more for your health over time than will any crazy-restrictive 30-day diet.

I aim for 80% compliance all of the time, rather than 100% perfection for a few weeks. 😉

What is the BEST Diet/Meal Plan Out There???

By | Behavior Change, Health, Nutrition, Uncategorized

Now more than ever you’ve probably been bombarded with confusing ads, social media posts, and blogs encouraging you to follow THIS diet to lose weight, get healthy, increase your energy, improve your sex drive, decrease your risk of cancer… and on and on. 

You name it and someone has developed a diet or a supplement that will solve all of your problems.

And so confusion reigns. What is best? Keto? Paleo? Intermittent fasting? Carb cycling? Plant-based? Vegan? Whole 30?

The truth?? 

All of it, and none of it. There is no one diet or meal plan that is THE best for everyone out there.

There is no single diet that is guaranteed to work for you. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that healthy eating is actually much simpler than any of the diets listed above would make you think.

I’ll talk more about our philosophy later this week. For now, I want to focus on just one thing.

The reality is that the best approach to healthy eating is the one that you can stick with long term. Most of us know HOW to improve our nutrition–knowledge is often not the issue. Instead, it’s a matter of sticking to it that is the problem.

Some of the things that can get in the way include:

  • An all-or-nothing approach–one “slip” leads to guilt and throwing the whole idea of healthy eating out the window.
  • Trying to change everything at once–going from living on coffee, soda, sweets and processed food to trying to stick with Whole 30 will almost always fail.
  • Too much restriction–”off limits” foods often end up causing major cravings and guilt if/when you do finally indulge
  • Ideas that some foods are “bad” and others are “good”, which again can cause guilt or feelings of failure if you don’t let go of all “bad” foods

Rather than going down that path, I’d encourage you to step back and think about your current eating habits WITHOUT JUDGEMENT!

Then maybe identify just ONE thing that you could try to focus on this week. 

Think about starting small and gradually tweaking that one thing, leveling up your game over time.

So perhaps you never eat vegetables. Maybe your goal could be to add one serving of vegetables to one of your meals each day. That would be moving up one level.

Over time, perhaps you discover that you enjoy vegetables prepared certain ways and you add them to a second meal, thus moving up another level.

You can level up over time, gradually tweaking that one habit in a way that works for you, until all of the sudden you realize you are now a regular vegetable eater (and thus probably eat less sugar and/or processed food as a result, without even trying).

Sticking with this example, if you are already eating a lot of vegetables, this can still work for you. Maybe you level up by trying to eat a certain quantity with every meal and snack, as I and 40 clients did in December. We ate 200-300 grams of vegetables before every meal, striving to consume many different types, etc throughout the day. 

Just about everyone who did this lost weight and had more energy, mostly from eating fewer processed sugars and carbs. (We had no room for them eating that many vegetables each day, lol!)

Anyway, the point is that wherever you are, you can always level up. 

Think about one way that you can level up your nutrition this week!

If You Have Never Opened an Email of Mine, Read This…

By | 21 Day Challenge, Behavior Change, Challenge

This might be the most powerful and impactful 2 minute video that I have created.

I filmed it almost exactly 5 years ago for a 21 Day Challenge at the Transformation Center. This concept rocked my world back then. It has continued to be profound for me and has transformed my ability to achieve high levels of confidence, enabling me to tackle some of the biggest challenges of my life over the past few years.

We all want to feel confident, but how do we actually achieve confidence? This framework, revealed to me 5 years ago by my coach, Dan Sullivan, has made such a difference in my own life that I knew I had to share it with you!

Many people believe that in order to have high levels of confidence that they will succeed at something, they need high levels of competency–that they need to have demonstrated the skills that are required to succeed.

For example, I’ve had many conversations over the past week with people interested in the next session of our Killer Kurves program, which starts on Monday. People think that in order to be successful in the program they need to know what exercises are best, what foods are bad, how to prepare healthy foods, meal plans, etc. In some cases, they even think they need to lose some of the weight or get in shape before they start.

While these things might help you build confidence in the long run, there are two other things that are actually much more important (and much more straightforward!), and that will help you build your confidence more quickly.

->-> Click here to discover what these two components are <-<-

This is the simplest and most powerful framework I have ever seen for creating change, getting results and building confidence. Once you have decided on the first two pieces of the framework, everything else will fall into place.

->-> Click here to watch this 2-minute video <-<

After watching the video, I have two questions for you…

Are you committed?

Are you ready to show courage?

You really don’t need to have all the answers, you just have to be willing to start.

If you are ready to start your transformation, reply to this email to let me know.

We have programs that will meet you where you are, whether you are over 50 and looking for small group training with people your own age, or whether you have 40+ pounds to lose and want a supportive environment and an incredible community of people on the same journey, or whether you just want to ramp up your strength and fitness in one of our many Sweat Fit classes.

Let’s make this month an amazing, confidence-filled month for all of us!

Keep moving,

Dustin Maher

PS If you have 40+ pounds to lose and may be interested in our Killer Kurves program, don’t delay! It starts on Monday. Check it out here, then click the “Let’s Talk” button and fill out the form and I’ll be in touch ASAP to see if we are a good fit for you!

https://madisonbootcamps.com/killer-kurves/

A gift from my mom… 50 Healthy Snacks

By | Health, Healthy Snacks, Nutrition, Recipes

This list is very sentimental for me because my mom and I created this not too long before she passed away.

We would email and call each other often and add to this list, bounce ideas off of each other, remind each other of what we had growing up.

So I hope this list is something you can print off and use. A gift from my mom. 🙂

It follows one of our eating rules: never eat carbs alone.

Click here to download it as a PDF. (If you have trouble with the download, please right click on the link and select “Save File As” or “Save Link As”.)

Eating is such an important part of the health equation and it is why we give our clients eating plans, recipes, and menus. Not only that but we do food journal analysis and grocery store tours.

These are at no additional cost to our clients. So if you are looking for a fitness community that also cares about helping you eat and feel your best, then reach out and let’s chat and see if we might be a good fit.

Dustin

PS If you are looking for more detailed nutrition guidance, we have a 6 week small group nutrition coaching series–Eating for Success–led by trainer Erin Tallard, this course will give you concrete strategies that you can use to transform your eating habits and improve your nutrition for good!

It’s just $99 for members, $199 for non members.

Interested?  Click here to contact us!

Struggling with motivation and consistency?

By | Food For Thought, Lifestyle, Mindset

My wife and I are getting ready for our second child and this pregnancy has been quite a different experience for both of us.

With the first, everything was new and exciting.

Tessa loved being pregnant.

There was the fascination and excitement as Tessa’s body morphed into a new shape.

Each week we would find out what size vegetable our baby was and what biological functions were being created during that gestational week.

Then there was the baby room prep and making sure we had all the “stuff” for baby’s arrival.

Time flew by and each week built upon the last as our excitement grew.

Hospital bags for both Tessa and myself were packed weeks and weeks in advance of our due date.

But this time around it hasn’t been quite as exciting. We haven’t marveled quite like we did the first time around, at how Tessa’s body is changing, again preparing to birth a little human.

I haven’t been checking in to see what size vegetable the baby is this week.

This pregnancy is more like a necessary means to our desired outcome, to bless Bo with a sibling and for us to open our hearts to another tiny human.

Before I go on, please don’t take this as us being ungrateful. We are so incredibly thankful that we can conceive and seem to have a healthy growing baby. We are experiencing so much gratitude and we are grateful beyond words every day for this blessing and journey that we are on.

I am, however, even more excited about the baby’s actual arrival, because becoming a father has far exceeded my previous expectations.

The same thing happens in our fitness journey.

I see it in my own life and the lives of our clients at the Transformation Center.

There is an excitement and newness of starting a new plan, joining a new program, and meeting new people.

The body might start to feel better quickly. Clothes fit a little looser and energy is high.

But then when it no longer becomes new, it is no longer as exciting.

I see this happen as soon as week 3 in our programs. Our staff talks often about ways we can help people get past the 3-4 week hump.

For some it happens much later, but everyone will experience this at some point.

Unlike a pregnancy, which has a finite amount of time, living a healthy lifestyle never has an end.

So what can you do to stay motivated?

Here are a couple ideas for you:

  • Find the beauty in each day, in each meal, in each workout.
  • Make things fun. Connect with a workout buddy and plan to hit the same classes together. Find forms of exercise that are fun. But keep strength training in the mix, even if you don’t love it at first–it is so critical to our overall health and injury prevention. And most people come to love it eventually… having great trainers and fun workout buddies makes the time fly by. 
  • Remind yourself why you are doing it. We all have our reasons, but keep these at the forefront of your mind.
  • Sign up for an activity or event that will require you to specifically train for it. This is why I keep signing up for races.
  • Keep learning. Learn new recipes, try new types of exercises, try a new hobby or skill. Learning keeps things fresh and ensures we are always growing.

So if you are struggling with motivation, realize it’s normal.

Things will ebb and flow.

But those who win are those who are the most consistent. It becomes a non-negotiable in their life.

We are here to help, whether you are a current client struggling to find motivation, a former client who has fallen back into bad habits, or someone who has been shy of starting their journey.

Reply to this email and let’s chat.

Keep moving,

Dustin and TC team

Let’s talk about injuries

By | Food For Thought, Mindset, Transformation Center

Injury isn’t a topic that is sexy or exciting to talk about, but it is pretty much inevitable. Most injuries happen just going about life, and on a rare occasion it can happen while working out. I would estimate it’s less than 10% of the time related to working out, at least here at the Transformation Center.

It can be very frustrating, especially for those new to exercise, when they have an exercise related injury. I have seen many throw in the towel way too soon and give up, thinking that exercise just isn’t right for them.

Let me share a personal story.

This weekend I am heading to the Twin Cities to run a marathon. I signed up a couple weeks ago after my poor performance at Ironman.

If I were to have run this marathon around the time of Ironman, I was in good enough run shape to qualify for Boston. Not saying I would have, but saying I had the fitness to get there.

Now, I have been sick for a few weeks, and it’s been 5 weeks since I have done a long run, so I don’t expect a very fast run.

But…

It was only 4 years ago that I first gave running a shot. Many of you know the story, but I had only run a mile or more 2-3 times in my life and hated it.

I hired a coach, and committed to slowly building my miles up.

That first year of running was anything but smooth!

I developed 4 separate injuries from running… two foot issues, one achilles, and one knee/quad injury.

During these setbacks my mind kept saying, “See Dustin, you aren’t meant to be a runner.” There were so many times I wanted to quit.

But I had a bigger goal, finish my first Ironman.

So I would take it easy, modify, focus on foam rolling/stretching and eventually the injury would heal, and then another would pop up.

5 Ironmans later, multiple marathons, and over 30 additional shorter races, and I have only experienced a couple small niggles since that first year.

If I would have given up so soon, and looked at the injuries as a sign to give up trying, then I wouldn’t have had some of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Today’s message isn’t about running, it’s about understanding that you will probably get injured at some point. You might need to slow down or modify, but it doesn’t mean you need to completely stop everything.

At the Transformation Center, we have had clients who have broken a foot or maybe a wrist, or suffered some other kind of injury, but they have come back right away in a boot or cast. Even though they can’t do everything, they can still do something… and something is always better than nothing.

Keep moving,

Dustin Maher

PS Have you struggled with physical issues that are stopping you from exercising? Click here and let’s chat. There are some challenges that we don’t specialize in, but there are many we are very good at working with.

Lose Weight and Gain Health By Avoiding These 5 Foods/Ingredients

By | Food For Thought, Health, Killer Kurves, Lifestyle, Nutrition

There are many articles written about what specific foods you should eat to lose weight and/or improve your health. There is truth to all of that, and I do like the idea that by filling your plate with the right foods, there will be less room for the unhealthy ones.

But I want to take a different angle and share with you what I believe are the top 5 foods/ingredients to avoid or reduce for the fastest weight reduction and health improvement.

Sugar: Eating less sugar will almost automatically cause weight loss and reduce bloating. Make sure to still get a few servings of fruits each day, but reducing processed sugar will have fast results.

Enriched Wheat: By avoiding this, you will dramatically reduce your intake of processed carbs, which again will reduce bloating, water retention, and body fat.

Fake sugar: Even though these contain zero calories, they increase your sweet tooth and many studies suggest that they have long term negative health issues. Sucralose will be the most common fake sugar, but if something tastes sweet and there is zero or very low sugar, it either has a fake sugar or is sweetened with a more natural zero calorie replacement like Stevia.

Low fat: Anything that should naturally be higher in fat should stay in its natural form. Fat doesn’t make you fat and fat can fill you up, help with hormone levels, and can keep blood sugar levels stable.

Vegetable oils: Because it has the word “vegetable” doesn’t mean it’s healthy, lol. In fact, these fats are very unstable, creating a lot of free radicals in our body and are just really bad for us. They are highly processed. Staying away from vegetable oils will naturally reduce your enriched wheat and sugar intake, because they almost always all come together.

If you look at this list, it can pretty much be summed up by not eating processed food. The more man has played with it, the worse it is for us.

I know this list is easy to look at but hard to actually implement.

Why?

Because this “food” is convenient, tastes amazing and is everywhere we turn. Our society celebrates it and consumes it without giving it a second thought.

If you are looking to lose a significant amount of weight, we are now opening up our next 12 week session of Killer Kurves, our most effective and comprehensive lifestyle program that teaches you the steps it takes to tweak your habits to those of more healthy ones.

If you have a BMI of 30 or greater and are ready to make a change, then Killer Kurves (K2) could be the right fit.

Click this link to learn more and watch a short video and then fill out the contact form and one of us will contact you. -> www.madisonbootcamps.com/killer-kurves

If you have a BMI less than 30 and are looking to lose weight, we have an amazing program for you too. Just reply to this email and we can chat more about your options.

Keep moving,

Dustin Maher and TC Team

PS Our 12 week K2 program is only offered 4 times a year and most of the time slots sell out quickly, so check out the link now and get your spot reserved. www.madisonbootcamps.com/killer-kurves

My Best Advice On How To Make A Transformation

By | Behavior Change, Health, Killer Kurves, Lifestyle, Mindset, Nutrition, Strength, Transformation Center, Transformations

We have a new Killer Kurves session starting this week and I just shared with them my best advice on how to make the most of the next 12 weeks.

I wanted to share it with you too because I think the messages are applicable to whatever journey you are on. So here it is:

I have been thinking a lot about the 12 week journey you are about to embark on and I am so excited for you and what is going to happen, even though you probably have no idea.

In Steve Job’s famous interview he says (paraphrase), “It is impossible to connect the dots when at the present time, it is only when looking back can you see the path taken.”

K2 will be a dot that will send you in a path towards more of everything you want in life.

People join because they want to lose weight, but they stay because of the strength, confidence, and friendships they form.

That is why 85-90% of those who complete our first 12 week session continue on as an alumni.

My advice to you as a trainer for 15 years and 7 years into the Killer Kurves program is as follows…

-Believe and trust in the process. There is no challenge or barrier that someone else in our program hasn’t overcome before.

-You are not weird, messed up or more broken than anyone else. As humans we all have major challenges, short-comings, and flaws. We are all different but the same.

-Show up. Make attending your sessions as high of a priority as a doctors appointment. Make it a non-negotiable to the best of your ability.

-Open up. You might feel guilt or shame for things that have happened in your past. Again, we all have stuff in our lives. The more you can open up and share, the quicker the transformation.

-Keep an open mind. Don’t tell yourself you aren’t a runner, don’t like vegetables, or can’t do pushups. These thoughts place limiting beliefs that manifest themselves into truths. Stop them now and replace them with empowering, supportive thoughts.

-Embrace others. If you don’t have a supportive environment at home, work, or other places, that makes things hard. So it’s even more important to connect and build relationships within your K2 groups. They can help you overcome a lot of negative influences in your life.

-Enjoy the journey. It’s not a race. A race has a start and a finish. You are on a journey that will continue for the rest of your life. While short-term goals are great, don’t forget the long-term focus.

-Don’t underestimate the power of small changes…. Increasing your water, increasing your vegetables, reducing sugar, getting an extra 30 minutes of sleep. These play HUGE roles in the way you feel.

-Pursue progress, not perfection. The more “perfect” you try to be, the more stress it will cause and the more likely it is that you will give up all together. Make it a goal to be trending towards being fitter, stronger, and healthier each week. Again small changes throughout the day yield huge results long term. You will have bad days, weekends, and even maybe a bad week or two, but get right back on track and don’t feel guilty.

-Always keep improving. This especially goes for alumni. Even if you have reached your ideal/goal weight you shouldn’t just now coast. Set other goals—it might be a strength goal, an event goal, or an endurance goal.

-Have fun. You might like to exercise or maybe you have hated it your entire life. Either way exercise can be fun, and doing it with others makes it even better.

-Finally don’t take yourself too seriously… because nobody is watching and we ALL have these moments. Maybe you will trip over your own feet in warm up, or pass some gas during Russian twists, or roll off the ball during back extensions. Just laugh it off and continue on.

I could say a lot more but this is enough for now.

I am so proud of you for taking this step. In the 7 years of this program I have never heard one person say, “I regret joining K2.” They only regret not starting earlier.

If there is anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate to ask. You may not see me physically during all your workouts, but I keep in close contact with the trainers to make sure we are supporting you the best possible way.

If you find yourself ready to make a change, contact us ASAP.

Visit https://madisonbootcamps.com/killer-kurves/ to learn more.

How to Stop Emotional and Behavioral Sabotage with these 10 Mindset Habits

By | Behavior Change, Food For Thought, Health, Killer Kurves, Lifestyle, Mindset

Thinking of making a TRANSFORMATION for LIFE? You know you want to change and you know it’s going to take real commitment on your part to do it.

Are you in the right MINDSET to get you to your goals and keep you there for life? Here are my TOP 10 MINDSET HABITS to inspire and keep you on the road to success even when life gets difficult. It is often the behavioral and emotional sabotaging we do to ourselves that takes us off course.

Speaking of transformation for life… this week I announced the opening of our next 12 week Killer Kurves weight loss and lifestyle program. If you have 40-200 lbs to lose, this could be the program you are looking for.

Click here to learn more and apply ->-> http://madisonbootcamps.com/killer-kurves/

Habit #1 – I fully forgive myself and others.

In order to be successful at major lifestyle changes, you must forgive yourself & others in order to move forward, focused on your best possible future. Forgiveness is powerful; it will feel like removing a heavy weight from your heart. Without all that pain, shame or fear you have been holding onto, you will be so much lighter, ready to take action, ready to make real lifestyle changes and open up that space for optimism and determination to keep moving forward toward your best life.

Habit into Action

“Adopt a mantra that you say to yourself the moment that a guilty memory or feeling arises. The following phrases are particularly effective: “I’m not that person anymore;” or “My attention belongs in the present;” or “I am not here to suffer anymore.” Choose the appropriate phrase and repeat it, without fail, every time you feel guilty. In this way, you are not only telling yourself the truth, for you aren’t the person anymore who committed a past misdeed, but you are also giving your brain a new, more positive input. This will help to wean it off the old wiring that keeps messaging guilt long after guilt is deserved.” – A suggestion from Deepak Chopra, The Huffington Post

Habit #2 – Exercise is a gift, not a punishment.

If you are serious about a physical transformation, you must change your mind about exercise. Exercise is a gift you must give yourself, in some way, every day. Moving your body can no longer be a punishment for poor eating choices. It is a true gift to your heart, mind, muscles and more that will keep “giving” the rest of your long life. Will it still be hard, physically? Yes, it should be if you are doing it right. Will it be so much easier when you have the right attitude about it? Yes, definitely. You will push yourself, lovingly, into workouts you never knew you could do.

Habit into Action

Make exercise an enjoyable experience. Work out with friends. Don’t know anyone in class? Introduce yourself and strike up a conversation with a friendly face. Do the exercises that challenge you, but bring you energy, not drain you of it. Buy new shoes and a workout outfit. Set your alarm with some soothing or inspiring music to get up early and get your workout in right away, before you can make any excuses to not do it.

Habit #3 – Food is meant to serve my body.

Your nutrition will affect every aspect of your life and will improve your chances at any type of transformation. To be successful for life, you must change your mind about food. When you decide to view food as an energy source to serve your body, your choices will reflect your physical needs: slow-burning carbs for extended energy, muscle-building proteins for increased strength, healthy fats to keep you satisfied, vitamin and mineral rich foods to support a strong immune system and healthy body functions. You will no longer choose artificial and convenient foods. You will no longer reach for food to soothe a feeling other than hunger.

Habit in Action

When you eat, ask yourself the following questions. “How will this food serve my body?” “How will it give me energy?” “Will it make me stronger?” “Will it make my body function improve?” and “Am I actually hungry or am I bored or trying to avoid some feelings?” If you aren’t sure of the answer, Google it. There is so much nutritional information at our finger-tips, it is much easier to make better choices.

Habit #4 – I will no longer compare myself to others.

Any transformation will come with doubts. Maybe you’ve lived a certain way for more than 30 years. The best way to quiet those doubts is to stay focused on moving forward. You must keep your eyes on your own paper, stay in your lane and decide how YOU will measure YOUR success. You can no longer use others as a ruler to judge by.

Everyone is doing their best, all the time, including you. Your best can only be appreciated when you judge it against your best, yesterday. Our bodies, our lives, our relationships are all different and can’t be compared or judged as successful or not, since we don’t know all the facts about everyone else’s situations. You do know the facts of your own and you can take full responsibility for the actions and the feelings you have about their outcomes.

Habit in Action

If you wear a wristwatch or bracelet (if you don’t, put a rubber band on your wrist or ask for a Fit Moms For Life bracelet), any time you find yourself comparing, feeling inferior, feeling superior or being judgmental of yourself or others, switch the band to the other wrist. You might be surprised how often you switch.

Habit #5 – Stop compiling problems

Successful people have problems too. They just have a great skill of tackling problems or obstacles one at a time. It is easy to get overwhelmed and not address easily solved problems, because we’ve added them up with all the rest into something that seems insurmountable. Successful people look at problems separately, objectively, and they consider them challenges, not problems. Each hurdle can then be added to your “proud” list once you have solved it.

Habit into Action

Ask a trusted friend or partner to listen to a single obstacle or problem that has been on your mind. Don’t have someone to talk to? Ask a friend in your workout group or your trainer. You don’t have to ask for their opinion on what you should do, but you will find that as you are explaining the problem out loud, alone (meaning without all the other problems you have swimming around in your head) and without emotions, you will have made that problem seem to be less of a problem, more of a challenge and certainly manageable all on your own. It will be a lightbulb moment – try it.

Habit #6– Speak and think only in truths.

On the transformation journey you must decide you will no longer generalize and you will speak and think only in truths. How often do you hear yourself say, “I always fail” or “I never get it right”? Are those statements REALLY true? No, you don’t always fail. You have successful moments all the time, every day. You can no longer generalize about yourself or others. If you are only speaking in truths, it might sound more like … “I didn’t lose all the weight I wanted to, but I did lose inches off my waist and made several new friends.”

Habit into Action

Be mindful and totally aware of generalizations when you speak and think today. Focus on it all day. Any time you think or speak a generalization, quickly write it down in your phone or on a notepad. At the end of the day, take those generalizations to a friend or family member and ask them if they are true about you or your situation. If you don’t have anyone to chat with, ask yourself and be totally honest. Are those generalizations fully TRUTHS? I bet not. It will really improve your attitude and enthusiasm.

Habit #7 – Busy is not better.

Successful people have learned that busy is NOT better. Our culture tells us to judge our lives by the quantity of things we can accomplish in one day. To what end? We are a sick, stressed out, malnourished, overweight population that continues to get sicker. Reject that thinking and judge your life by the quality of your time. Create space around your activities to make memories and relish in the small pleasures.

Habit into Action

Sit down and write down your three most time-demanding activities and decide what needs to go or can be decreased. Do you need to cut down on your hours at the office or in the car carting kids around? Would the kids be okay if they only played one sport and one instrument? Could you reduce your social commitments for FREE time, just for you and your family to enjoy the fun of daily life? Boundaries can and need to be set in a positive way to protect this precious time. Your life needs to be manageable and you need to create space for self-care now—there is no time like the present to take action.

Habit #8 – Expect more of myself and others.

Visualize yourself transformed. You know what you want and in order to get there, you must raise the bar for yourself and others. When you make commitments to yourself and others, you hold them, even if it’s not “comfortable”. Kick “comfortable” to the door and continue to challenge yourself in all kinds of ways. Be brave. Take responsibility for how you treat yourself, others, and how others treat you. Set an achievable short-term goal today. As you do, you will inspire others and you will begin to expect more from them too. Make this a monthly habit.

Habit into Action

Work some accountability into your transformation. If you want to get more serious about nutrition, try food journaling or pre-packaging your week of meals/snacks. Sign up for an achievable exercise challenge or be vulnerable to enough to say you’re sorry or ask for an apology from someone concerning an incident you might be feeling bad about. Sign up for a seminar or class that will help you learn more about your specific goals.

Habit #9– Reduce screen time.

Find a way to reduce your screen time. It’s NOT just our kids who are addicted. Studies show that our sedentary lifestyle is as dangerous as smoking.

Habit into Action

Instead of watching a family flick on Friday night, head out and take the dog for a walk. In the winter, you could shovel the neighbor’s drive or bundle up and go ice-skating or sledding. In the nicer weather, enjoy a fire pit in your back yard or explore a new park. Get out a board game or take a drive to a neighboring downtown to check it out.

Do NOT take your phone, iPAD, computer or TV into your bedroom. Facebook ISN’T THAT interesting and is not worthy of risking your health. Up late surfing for deals? No more – shop during the day and GO TO BED!

Habit #10 – If I need help, I can ask for it.

This transformation is a big deal to you. Those who love you most will understand and be there for you. All you have to do is ask for help if you need it. These are real lifestyle changes that are difficult to start and even more difficult to maintain. Reach out to family or friends who have been successful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Ask them to support you in your efforts. If you don’t have anyone in your circle to ask, you will have to find a mentor, or coach, a stranger in class for help. People are more willing to help you than you think. Just have the courage to ask.

Habit in Action

Ask your partner to join you in your new pursuits. Ask your partner and kids to support your choices, join in the fun of making new healthy habits and be okay with getting rid of the old. Ask a friend to watch the kids while you take an hour to exercise/cook/or learn a new skill. Ask a trainer how to modify an exercise you don’t feel comfortable doing yet. Ask a teacher for extra help or a respected mentor to grab lunch and give you their best advice.

These types of habits are what we focus on and discuss in all our programs at the Transformation Center. So if you are already part of our community, continue to dive deep into these areas. If you aren’t yet, what are you waiting for?

She Regretted Quitting

By | Food For Thought, Health, Lifestyle, Transformation Center

The other day I received an email that came through the contact form on our website.

It was from an awesome woman who had done a 21 day challenge with us a little over a year ago.

She loved it, but thought the membership price was too high.  So for the past 18 months she tried to find something cheaper that got her the results and experience she had in the few short weeks she was with us.

She couldn’t find it, and said she is at her heaviest now and regrets ever stopping.  She realized that the ultra-low-cost fitness options out there just didn’t work for her, and that our membership rates were totally worth being fitter, leaner, and surrounded by a community of like-minded people.

So she came back and committed to 2019!

The $10/month Planet Fitness, $50/month YMCA, or the $1000/month personal trainer may very well be a better fit for you than what we offer at the Transformation Center.

It depends on many factors and when I meet with someone and it becomes clear that we aren’t the best fit for them, I will always refer them somewhere else.

At our current membership rates of $150-$250/month (depending on the program), we are able to provide much more personal attention, customization, accountability, and support than most other options out there, except for one-on-one personal training. But we are about 20% of the cost of one-on-one personal training.

The crazy thing is we haven’t really raised our rates in 12 years.  Even when we were just working out at the park years ago, it was $149-$199/month for the large group bootcamp and $390/month for small group training.  So, despite our expenses skyrocketing, we have been able to keep rates unchanged or reduced.

Our rates allow us to pay our trainers and staff 50%-100% more than most other fitness places, which is one of the reasons why we have the best staff around and turnover is so low.  Our trainers can make careers out of it, instead of it being just a hobby.

I just felt like sharing this to hopefully help you in 2019 to figure out what is the best fitness option for you.  There has never been a time in history when we’ve had more fitness options than we do now and it can be overwhelming to figure out what is best.

If you aren’t completely satisfied with your fitness, health, energy, etc. and are looking to get the guidance of professionals, in an environment of awesome people all striving to do the same, then I would encourage you to CONTACT US.