Tag

motivation

Meet My Daughter Maple and a Lesson I Learned That Might Help You

By | Fabulous Over 50, Health, Killer Kurves, Lifestyle, Mindset

I am writing this 21 hours after my wife Tessa gave birth to a girl, who we named Maple.

Tessa was in bed, and at 10 pm her water broke. We called her dad to come over to spend the night with our 19 month old son Bo. Once he arrived we headed off to the hospital and Maple was born at 11:30 pm, only 3.5 minutes from the time Tessa started pushing.

The experience of the first day with a new baby is so much different the second time around. There is a familiarity.

Maybe you can relate to taking home baby #1 and leaving the hospital asking yourself the question, “What am I supposed to do–they can’t possibly be just letting me take this human home and expect me to keep him/her alive?”

Everything is new, it can be uncomfortable, scary. After Bo was born, we lacked confidence in our own ability and questioned whether we were doing things the “right” way.

We wished we could have spent a few more nights in the hospital under the expert guidance of the nurses and doctors, but nope, there we were bringing a human back home.

Fast forward to today and it is so different. Changing a black tar diaper didn’t phase me, cleaning up puke twice didn’t even make my blood pressure rise, and swaddling/holding Maple felt so natural.

What changed?

Experience.

I have spent the past 19 months immersed in being a dad.

So how can this help you?

At the Transformation Center we mostly work with people who know they need to work out and become healthier but they are scared for one reason or another.

The fear most likely comes from the unknown and not knowing what to expect or how they are going to do.

The magic happens when someone joins DESPITE the fear, DESPITE the scary unknowns and puts his/her trust in our expert trainers, and the programs and systems that we have created.

There is no other substitute for just jumping in and doing it.

Tessa and I took dozens of hours of hands-on baby classes, read books, listened to hours of podcasts on parenting, and talked with so many friends, but until we actually brought that baby home, very little of it mattered.

We learn as we go.

Action builds consistency.

Consistency builds familiarity.

Familiarity builds confidence.

Confidence gets results and the positive feelings associated with it.

That is why those who never take that first step, who never get past the contemplation stage to taking action, are the ones who are guaranteed to fail.

Those who tell themselves: I will start tomorrow. Next week my schedule will get better. I will be more motivated next month. I am going to wait until I retire to start taking my health seriously.

These are just stories we tell ourselves that keep us away from the results in our life that we want and deserve.

The beauty of having a baby is that nobody is truly ready for that responsibility. But once we bring that baby home we have no choice. We figure it out, and it all works out.

I wish we could have Maple home already. There is a confidence that comes with familiarity and I want that for you when it comes to your health!

Keep moving,

Dustin Maher

PS We have our next Killer Kurves and Fit over 50 sessions starting soon. Contact us if you are done putting off this area of your life and ready to take action. I look forward to hearing from you.

What’s Possible in Just 5 Months???

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

People sometime ask how I can work so hard, be so persistent, and be so passionate about what we do.

Simple… every bone in my body knows what we do at the TC matters and makes massive personal transformation.

At this point it’s not about me anymore but rather our incredible staff of 20 at the TC and all the courageous clients who play full out.

Below is the story of one of those clients, Swanson, who has had an amazing transformation inside and out over the past 5 months in Sweat Fit and Killer Kurves.

Check it out here –> https://madisonbootcamps.com/killer-kurves/

Take it away, Swanson!

“It is now towards of the end of the last week of my K2 session. I worked with Mary and Brent in K2 on Mon/Wed nights. They are super amazing, fun, supportive and encouraging. Thank you both so much for all you do! Love you guys and love my Mon/Wed night people! You guys rock!

It has been a very insightful, fun, challenging and exciting journey over the past 12 weeks. I first joined the TC in Feb 2019 and started with Sweat Fit for two months and lost 25lbs. Then finally I was able to transfer to K2 in April 2019 when it opened again. Upon finishing K2, I’ve lost 30lb additionally. In total since Feb, I’ve lost a total of 55lbs over the course of 5 months.

                                                                     

Although Sweat Fit and K2 have truly been life changing for me, K2 is a little special to me because it really opens you up to face your vulnerabilities. Every week at the end the work outs, we have meditations and group discussions on the weekly readings from the K2 journal guide. I felt that’s where it really helped me and where I really grew. It really opened my mind to really reflect on things and that’s what motivated me to work harder not only in the gym but outside of gym—the daily choices I make.

I followed the K2 journal guide. I used the recipes and learned to control my portion size. I drank lots of water and planned my daily meals/snacks. I read labels when buying foods. My only sweets are fruits. I’ve learned to work with my setbacks and always start right back again. I give myself 1 hr a day to be active/workout for self-care. I made sure I always showed up to class, took what I learned from the weekly lessons/discussions and apply them where it’s needed. The more often and consistent you continue healthy habits you learn, the easier it will get. I’ve come to a point where I don’t have to think about what I’m doing or forcing myself to do something anymore. It is now a routine and I enjoy it.

Through K2, it has just helped me grown so much not just physically stronger but mentally as well. I’ve gained so much knowledge, courage, self-love, strength and endless support through this program. It has truly been an enlightening journey. Looking back I can still remember how I felt when I first thought about joining. I was nervous, afraid and self-doubting, but I knew I wanted to lose weight and even more I wanted to be healthy. I knew I had to take that first step and start taking a chance on me. I am so glad now that I did. You will never regret loving and taking care of yourself. You also will never really know your true capabilities and strength until you try. You may be surprise at all things you can do that you thought you couldn’t.”

Swanson Savaan Thao

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

Here were some questions and answers I asked after her first two months in Sweat Fit before starting Killer Kurves.

1. How long have you been coming to the TC?

I first joined the TC in February 2019 and have been coming in for 2 months now.

2. What has been your experience so far and specific results you have achieved?

My experience so far at the TC have been great and challenging. I haven’t exercised for many years and being overweight at 220lbs and 5 feet tall, coming in on my first day to sweat fit was nerve wrecking. However, the trainers and everyone were so friendly, helpful and encouraging that I never once felt out of place. Day 1 and the first few weeks were the hardest. I remember how hard it was just to do jumping jacks or a push up. However, week after week, I slowly started to feel stronger, able to do more of the exercises and noticed an increase of flexibility. Within these 2 months along with healthy diet changes, I’ve lost a total 25lbs.

3. What were the biggest nutritional changes you have made to lose the 20 lbs?

The biggest changes I’ve made with my diet was cutting completely off junk food/processed foods, soda, sweets, and eating out. I switched my regular carbs to all whole grain carbs such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole grain bread. I’ve also incorporated healthier fats like avocado, nuts, chia seeds, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil into my diet. When I’m craving for sweets, I eat fruits. If there are days, I’m craving for something, I just make a healthier version and keep the portion small. I watch my carbs intake, eat moderate protein and increased my veggies along with drinking lots of water daily. I’m also using MyFitnessPal app to help journal my foods and calorie intake. It helps keep me on track.

4. What are you most excited about for the next few months?

I never expected to lose weight nor enjoy exercising so I’m excited and curious to see how I will feel in the next few months continuing with Killer Kurves. I’m excited to learn and grow at the TC to meet a stronger and healthier me.

5. Anything else you would like to share?

The unknown and changes can be scary because it is intimidating and scary. I remember a quote that resonate with me, in taking my first step to take care of my health “If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” Don’t be afraid of failing before trying or afraid to fail. Take that first step, keep going and keep trying, no matter your pace, with time, you will eventually get to where you want to be.

~Swanson Thao

My Top 10 Mindset Shifts for True Transformation

By | Behavior Change, Food For Thought, Health, Mindset

Mindset is so important to success that I decided to do a bonus post this week. 😉 Click here if you missed the last post on mindset. And here is where you can find the first post of next week’s series on fitness.

This is a long one, but easy to skim if you want to see what I view as 10 key beliefs/mindset shifts that can help to 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.

Belief #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.

Belief 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

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

If you are serious about a physical transformationyou 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.

Belief 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.

Belief #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.

Belief into 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.

Belief #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.

Belief into Action

If you wear a wristwatch or bracelet (if you don’t, put a rubber band on your wrist), 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.

Belief #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.

Belief 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.

Belief #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.”

Belief 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.

Belief #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.

Belief 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.

Belief #8 – Expect more of myself and others.

Visualize yourself transformedYou 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.

Belief 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.

Belief #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.

Belief 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!

Belief #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.

Belief into 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?

Two Habit Hacks for When Change Feels Hard

By | Behavior Change, Food For Thought, Health, Mindset

 

 

 

 

 

In your third and final installment of the Mindset portion of our Transform You 2020 series, I’m sharing a couple of habit hacks that may make it easier to “fake it ‘till you make it”… to start getting those small wins so that you can shift your identity over time.

(Click here if you missed our second mindset post, about identity…)

2 Minute Rule

The first hack is to start small, with the 2 minute rule.

Any time you are trying to start up a new habit, keep it simple and small. Commit to just 2 minutes per day of whatever it is you are trying to do.

This may not work for every habit, but, for example, if you want to become someone who regularly eats healthy, perhaps you commit to just 2 minutes of meal planning per day.

If you want to become someone who exercises more, maybe it can start with just 2 minutes of core work per day.

Thinking about the person you want to become, what is one simple thing that you can do each day that could be a small win for you, that will start reinforcing that new identity?

When we start with something small that takes just 2 minutes, the task doesn’t feel so huge so we’re more likely to stick with it each day. But over time, as that small task gets ingrained, we often start to naturally expand it and do more, without having to think too much about it.

Habit Stacking

Another great hack is the idea of habit stacking.

We are definitely creatures of routine, so if you can tie whatever it is you want to start doing with something that you already do, you may find it much easier to succeed.

For example, maybe you need to stretch your calves each day to fend off plantar fasciitis. So every time that you brush your teeth, you do a standing calf stretch. By associating it with brushing your teeth, something you already do each day, you make it much easier to remember to do those stretches.

If you want to be someone who eats better, perhaps you can incorporate prepping your lunch for the next day into your wind-down/bedtime routine.

Thinking about the key habit that you want to start, is there anything that you can tie it to–something that you already do each and every day?

Moving forward from here…

A few final thoughts as we wrap up this week’s focus on Mindset.

If you find yourself stuck (and you will at some point!) take a step back and try something new. Maybe come up with 5 different ways to handle whatever it is differently. People often get stuck because they keep trying the same thing expecting different results.

Also, be honest about your capacity at your current stage in life. Sometimes people get stuck because they try to take on/change too much at a time when maybe they have a demanding job or young kids at home, or they are caring for a sick parent.

I’m not saying do nothing at times like these–in times of stress, self-care is more important than ever. But it’s key to scale it to what is doable in the context of your life. So don’t try to change everything when you are also dealing with many stressors that you cannot control. Ask yourself what is your capacity right now, so that you don’t set yourself up for failure.

Finally, make sure that you are aiming for progress, not perfection. So many people never start because they are waiting for the “perfect time”. Or they start but don’t stick with it because they are not able to meet their goals. Remember that progress is productive. 😉

I hope that this has given you some food for thought. Mindset is perhaps the single most important key to our overall progress in most things in life.

The great thing is that our brains are always evolving. We can improve our mindset and change our beliefs about ourselves and our situation with a little conscious effort. And that can lead to some amazing results.

Stay tuned as we focus on fitness next week–an area where my thoughts have evolved more than any other. 😉

And click here for a bonus post on my top 10 mindset shifts for true transformation.

 

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.

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?

This Doesn’t Make Sense

By | Behavior Change, Health, Lifestyle

I have been having some great conversations with clients over the past few days, and many have come back after some inconsistency.

For example, one awesome woman in our Fit over 50 program has been taking care of her aging mom every evening and hasn’t been coming very consistently, like she had for the past year or two.  She was here today and said she was reminded of just how much she liked it and good you feel when you are done with the workout.

She also said how hard it is to come back once you haven’t been in the groove, and how easy it is to come when you are in the groove.

I thought about that and it is so true in my own life.  Let me share a real life personal example.

I am known to share most everything publicly, and I feed off that and use it as motivation and accountability.  Well, last October I did something I don’t normally do and kept a secret, my own personal project.

I hired a running coach with the goal to become a far better runner than I currently was.  So my coach and I devised a plan to run 50-60 miles a week, something that seemed outrageous to me at first, even compared to training for Ironman the past 3 years.  I spent the first 5 weeks building from 42 miles up to 50 and then I have stayed around the 50-60 mile mark ever since.

I have had zero sickness and only a couple days of some achilles soreness.

In case you are wondering, that is around 8 miles M/T/W/Th/F and then 12 on Saturday and 0-6 on Sunday.

Only about 4 people knew about this until a week ago, when I shared it in a newsletter.

I have been getting asked if it has been hard to run basically 8 miles every day.

My answer has even surprised me… no

It’s not because I am some superstar or have any special powers.

It is because I have spent the past 4 months doing it every single day.  I have only missed a few days in the past 120 days.

In other words, the more frequently I run, the easier it becomes to just do it.  I don’t get sore, I don’t get especially tired (unless it is interval day), and I don’t really have to give myself a pep talk.  It’s just like brushing my teeth or taking a shower. It has become who I am, and I will always find the time to do things that align with who I am.

It was much harder to run 3x/week around 5-7 miles each time, like I have for the past few years, because it wasn’t as consistent.

Now there is something that, for me, is going to require a lot of motivation and pep talk to accomplish…

Swimming.

It’s been 5 months since I got into a pool or a lake and I am about to start back up swimming in a few weeks.

What is my point to all this?

I am starting to believe that the thesis of one of the most popular fitness books of all time, Younger Next Year, is correct for every single one of us.  The authors say that you should exercise every day like it is your job, the most important job you have. They were referring to a person 50 and older, but I think it can and does apply to all of us.

Not only will this keep you healthier, it will make it easier to keep as a routine.

Yes, it is a bit paradoxical, but the more frequently you exercise (or do anything for that matter), the easier it becomes.  

Said another way…

The less frequently you exercise, the harder it will be to be consistent.

Without making this any more lengthy, I am not saying you should work out 5-7 days a week at maximum intensity.  That is a recipe for overuse injury.

Find ways to sweat most days of the week and just see how much better you feel.

Do you agree or disagree?

Keep moving,

Dustin

PS Now this concept could be taken too far and if you are working out many hours each day, it can lead to burnout and overtraining, which then makes it harder to want to train.  I am talking about consistency, but varied intensity and duration levels.

PPS Does the concept of exercising or moving most days of the week overwhelm you?  The good news is that you don’t have to start with that. Just start with a couple days a week and build up to it.  Reply to this email if you want help doing that.

Single mom ready to end it all, chooses life

By | 21 Day Challenge, Challenge, Health, Killer Kurves, Lifestyle, Mindset, Moms, Mothers, Nutrition, Transformation Center

I knew Onica was a special person the day I met her. I only had about 20 minutes to get to know her, but I could see deep hurt within her and yet I also sensed she was a strong, determined woman that was ready to give it her all.

Fast forward about two months and I was sitting at the Transformation Center going through my e-mail when I received the testimonial you are about to read. The crazy thing about reading this e-mail that night was that Onica was standing about 15 feet in front of me, waiting for her Killer Kurves class to start. After you read her heartfelt story, click here to learn more about how Killer Kurves can help you or a loved one. Even if you don’t live near Madison, the video alone is worth 5 minutes to watch. ->-> Click here to watch the video

Take it away Onica….!

My name is Onica and I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I have gained and lost and lost and gained more times than I care to count. In high chool my diet of choice was Anorexia, I would eat nothing all day and then have just enough dinner so that my parents wouldn’t notice something was off. I kept the weight off until I was 25 and went from jobs where I stood all day and rarely ate breakfast or lunch to a desk job where it seemed like someone wanted to take everyone out to lunch daily. The pounds piled on quickly after that. I had my son at 26 and never lost the baby weight. Two years later I had my daughter and 6 weeks after she was born I joined a weight loss program. I did great and was 7 pounds from my goal when self destruction kicked in. We had recently moved an hour away from our hometown and I knew no one, I was a stay at home mom and it was winter. I learned that I love to bake and more than that I loved to eat what I baked. Again, the pounds piled on, I was more than I had ever weighed, even when I was pregnant.

Fast forward 2 more years, I was now a divorced, single mom trying to make ends meet. It wasn’t easy to say the least. Every small bump in my life made me feel like I was sinking deeper and deeper into a pit that I was never going to be able to claw my way out of. I felt that every single aspect of my life was just too much for me to handle, that nothing I did was good enough, or could possibly be worth anything to anyone, that my kids would be better off if I weren’t around. What kind of a role model was I for them? Wouldn’t it just be better for them if they didn’t grow up with a mom like me, someone who never had any time or energy for them, whose house wasn’t spic and span and who was fat? I had a plan to end it all, I didn’t have a time frame, but I had a plan. It would have appeared to have been an accident so that my ex would still get the life insurance to use for raising the kids and above all no one else would be injured and my kids wouldn’t be the ones to find me. I had a plan.

Then on September 5th an email came into my inbox from Dustin. It was about a 21 day clean eating challenge. My sister told me that she and her husband were going to take the challenge and that I should do it with them. I decided to go for it. Part of that was to meet with Dustin in person to discuss your weight loss challenges and goals etc. That day changed my life, more accurately, that day saved my life. After I gave a short run down on my weight history Dustin told me about his Killer Kurves program, I didn’t think there was any way I could make it work for me financially or with my schedule so I tried to just forget about it. However it seemed that nothing would make the thought of this program leave my head. It sounded so perfect for me. After several days of not being able to stop thinking about it I rearranged my schedule with my kids, worked out a financial plan and I signed up. I can honestly say that signing up for K2 was the best decision I have ever made for myself.

On our first night I was nervous but excited. Everyone there seemed to be in the same boat. The trainers were very friendly and accommodating to everyone’s fitness level and any physical limitations we had. The people were all super friendly and no one was judging anyone else. As the weeks have gone on we have formed a bond with each other, the support and encouragement is like nothing else I have ever experienced. We have turned into a family of sorts and I love it, I can’t imagine my life without K2 now.

One of the things that I have learned to do is to view food as fuel for my body and not a hobby or way to relieve stress. I won’t put a certain brand of gasoline in my car because it gets terrible gas mileage with it so why did I continue to put food in my body that was terrible for my health and energy? It has really changed the way I look at eating.

We are currently starting our 9th week of the 12 week program and I have lost 29.2 pounds and 14 inches. My self esteem is on the way back up and the pride in myself that I feel is amazing! The little things no longer throw me to the bottom of the pit and I am smiling more than I have in years. I’m not where I want to be yet but I am a whole lot closer and more importantly I now have the support, knowledge, and confidence in myself to keep going towards that goal and not to just give up because of a setback or hard day.

If there is anyone out there that is on the fence about joining Killer Kurves, I say do whatever it takes to make it happen! You will not be disappointed. I know I’m not. Your life will never be the same again.

Onica

Wow! When I first read her story I was so moved, I got teary eyed. Since she was also at the TC that night, I went over to her and gave her a big, long hug. I had no idea of her struggles or how Killer Kurves has given her a new lease on life. Her physical and emotional transformation is an inspiration!

Onica, I am beyond excited to see you continue to progress and am excited for the boundless opportunities life has in store for you. Thank you for courageously sharing your story.

Dustin

PS If you are ready to start your own journey of transformation, or just want to learn more, reply to this email or fill out the contact form here: https://madisonbootcamps.com/killer-kurves/ and I or one of my team members will get back to you!

Are you Desperate, Embarrassed, Fed Up, Frustrated, Overwhelmed, or Feel Like You Want to Give Up Trying?

By | Behavior Change, Health, Lifestyle, Mindset, Nutrition, Uncategorized

We would probably describe the above emotions as “negative” emotions and in one way I would agree.

These feelings suck and are what we don’t want to feel.

But…

I think these emotions can also be the best thing to ever happen to a person.

Why?

It is through this pain that we can decide right then and there that we are done living in the state we are living in and are ready to make a change.

Not just “try” but actually commit and “do.”

Now in the fitness world, many unfortunately prey on the desperation of people and offer late night infomercials, pills or creams that are guaranteed to melt fat away, or some prepackaged meals that sound like they will solve all their problems. But these “solutions” are pretty much BS or solve only 5% of the problem.

That is why I am excited when someone comes to me “desperate” because I know they have what it takes–they are ready–to create a life-changing transformation.

A transformation their friends, family, and coworkers can’t stop talking about.

I know what we offer at the Transformation Center is the real deal. It is 100% of the puzzle, not just 5%, as long as someone is ready to make the change.

If you have been following my journey over the past 13 years, you will find that I have hardly changed my strategies and beliefs in terms of how I help people get in shape.

In other words, I haven’t fallen for all the trends, gimmicks and fads.

As my friend Jamie Eason says, “the secret is there are no real secrets.”

It has and always will come down to the following formula for just about everyone.

  1. Mindset: Believe that you need to take care of yourself, if you are going to be able to be there for others. Believe that success is more than possible, no matter how many times you have failed before. Believe that you are worth the effort.
  2. Nutrition: Eat real food. The % of macros or even the number of calories to a certain degree is less important than just eating real food most of the time.
  3. Fitness: Exercise most days of the week with 2-3 days of strength training, a couple sessions of interval cardio and the rest steady state cardio. Move more throughout the day, every day. Doesn’t have to be intense all the time, but aim for less sitting and more moving.
  4. Community: Surround yourself with people who are fitter than you, who have already established the habits you wish to adopt. If you don’t have this, it makes it much more challenging to have lasting change.

There you have it. The not so secret secrets.

Executing this is, of course, the more challenging part and is what we strive to do at the Transformation Center and in our online program, Fit Moms for Life.

So remember, desperation isn’t bad, it can be the flammable ingredient to igniting your success.

Maybe you aren’t desperate yet but don’t want to get to that point before you take action. Desperation isn’t a requirement.

If this message has spoken to you, the next step I would like you to do is to schedule a free 20 min session with me where we dive deep into your goals and challenges and create a plan.

Cathy loses husband and purpose but finds it at the TC and drops 40 lbs

By | Fabulous Over 50, Fit and Fabulous Over 55, Health, Transformation Center

I pinch myself every day to have the opportunity to meet and hang around incredible humans who overcome so many obstacles.

I hope you will be inspired by Cathy’s story.

The one thing I want to point out from her story is that when she started, she could barely get to the ground or back up without help, but because we have incredible trainers here we are able to meet someone where they are and take them to where they want to be.

Here is Cathy in her own words:

January 2018 I was lost in my life. I lost my husband Mike to brain cancer June 23, 2017. Due to the stress over Mike’s illness and death I had gained all the weight that had taken me a year and a half to lose. I had knee surgery in December I needed to find a purpose in my life.  End of February I joined the Transformation Center and the 1 pm Fit over 50 small group personal training session.

I will not forget that first day when Dustin was there to help me get to the floor and show me how to get up. I still can’t believe how bad I really was that day. I could have given up but there was something about being there that helped me keep going.

I set a goal to be under 200 for my 60th birthday.  I missed my first goal by a week, but I did it. My next goal is to ride my bike in The Ride (to raise money for the UW Carbone Cancer Research Center) in honor of my husband Mike. The Ride is coming up this Sunday. I will do my best. A year ago I was 40 pounds heavier than I am today.

My final goal is to keep working out and to keep dropping weight and getting stronger, both physically and mentally.  I enjoy working out at the Transformation Center.

Erin has worked with me to get me to where I am today. He worked around my injuries and surgeries.  I get stronger every day and I am working towards getting strong enough to join the Killer Kurves group to prove to myself I can do it. I have 40 more pounds to hit my final weight goal but more importantly is for me to get stronger, and I know with the help of everyone at the Transformation Center I will meet that goal.

I gained 7 lbs…

By | Behavior Change, Lifestyle, Mindset

I shared this with one of my Fit over 50 small groups a week ago and they said they really appreciated me sharing so I thought I would share it with you.

Ironman for me was Sept 9th and since then I haven’t been exercising very consistently.

I have only done 5-6 runs of 4-6 miles, about 120 miles of biking, and a couple sessions of lifting and core.  Nothing much.

Part of it was planned to give my body some recovery from 8 months of averaging 15 hours a week of exercise (peaking the last three months closer to 20 hours a week), and part of it was that I went into full work mode, putting in big hours at the Transformation Center.

But those weeks turned to a month, and I was struggling to find myself again and figure out a consistent workout routine.

I gained about 7 lbs, lost some additional muscle. I felt flabby and just blah.

Each day that I didn’t work out became more frustrating, the guilt built up and it was even harder to start the following day.

I filled my days with non-productive things to fill the space that working out took up and it was a vicious cycle.

Can you relate?

I am happy to report I broke this cycle a week ago and logged 42 miles of running last week with 44 miles planned this week.

So what changed?

Here are a few thoughts, and things I did. I hope you can apply the principles into your own life.

-I said enough was enough. I was tired of feeling tired and stressed. I knew from past experience, exercise was one of the best things I could do for myself and for my family.

-I recommitted to my WHY.  I still want to work towards qualifying for the Ironman World Championships and in order to do that I need to improve my run massively.  This in itself is highly motivating for me.

-I hired a running-specific coach for the next 5 months to help guide me.

-I created a plan.  I am going to focus on my running this winter 5-6 days per week (along with strength and core) to work on my weakness, and I asked my coach for a specific run training plan.

-I made it as easy and convenient as possible.  My coach wants me to run on soft surfaces as much as possible to decrease the chance of injury.  Many of the go-to places aren’t close to my house, so I have been searching for the best running places that are close to where I live.

-I found running partners.  I am still in the process of figuring out the best fit, but I ran with 6 different people last week to figure out who and what times will work best for my life.

-I got  the right gear.  I will be spending quite a bit of time running this winter.  The last couple winters I got all the cold gear I will need, but I want to listen to church sermons when I run to strengthen that part of my life, so I needed headphones and a way to hold my phone.  I posted on FB asking for recommendations, and within 1 hour I had purchased what I needed to make my runs more enjoyable.

-I discussed the plan with Tessa to make sure she understands my why and will support me in it, by watching my son Bo when necessary.

-I listen to a running related podcast, video, book, or article each day to keep my mind fueled for this goal.

-I am enjoying the journey.  At first my mindset was that I have 5 months of “off season training” before I get to the fun stuff of training specifically for my triathlon races.  Almost like this was a means to an end or that the next 5 months would be torture but a necessary evil to reach the results I want come next summer. Instead, I am taking each day as it comes as it’s own wonderful experience.  I have been appreciating the little things like the colorful leaves under my feet or the cold biting winds that keep my body from overheating. I am trying to enjoy the journey since running isn’t something that comes naturally or that I love (I am starting to like it more though).

-Lastly, I have developed a strong visual belief in a positive future outcome.  The feeling of getting faster, and placing higher up in the races is very motivating for me and keeps me going.

Each person is motivated by different things, and there is no right or wrong when it comes to this as long as it works for you.