Over 110 kids will be competing in the FMU Youth Ninja Championships this Friday, September 15, at FMU Fitness in Avon, Oh.
All age divisions from 5-12 years old are sold out, with a waiting list building in hopes that some slots will open up.
The championships consists of three stages that all competitors complete. The first stage is just about finishing. The second stage gets a little bit harder. And then the top five fastest times from stage two for boys and girls in each age group, move on to compete in stage three for a top 3 award.
Best of all, the entire event’s proceeds benefit FMU’s sister charity organization Smiles For Sophie Forever, a non-profit that directly supports children and families affected by pediatric cancer.
The event is hosted by Season 9 Cleveland American Ninja Warrior competitor Paul “Theo” Theodore. Known as Coach Theo in the community, Coach Theo fell on the razor’s edge at the downtown Cleveland course, nixing his chances of moving on to the city finals.
“Either way, opportunities like this are just another chance for me to bring back a learning experience for all of my kids. This time, I came back wanting them to see that falling in the water is ok. And then I got inspired by the whole experience to make our Ninja Tournament better than ever.”
This will be FMU’s fifth ninja championships. And on Friday they are doing something they’ve never done before—setting up the entire course outside on the front lawn, in a linear set up, just like the show’s.
“It’s big. It’s going to take a lot of work. But to give our kids this type of experience is priceless and makes it all worth it. Lots of people from this community will rise up to the occasion to make it happen.”
If you find yourself driving down Jaycox Rd. in Avon on Friday night from 4-10 pm, honk when you see the youth ninjas competing! Or better yet, stop over, make a small donation to Smiles For Sophie Forever, and watch the competitors in action.
FMU Fitness is a Christian-based youth and adult fitness training facility that offers athletic group training programs for all ages. You can find more information at FMUFitness.com
Dr. Suess was a genius. He decided that when he couldn’t rhyme words, he would make up his own. Did you ever read his book, “There’s a Wocket In My Pocket?” It sounds like something I made up as a kid.
“Did you ever have a feeling there’s a zamp in the lamp? Or a nink in the sink? Or a woset in the closet? Sometimes I am quite certain there’s a jurtain in the curtain.” 
Come on, I know I made up that word jurtain. Too bad he developed this lyrical concept before anyone else did. It propelled his work in children’s literature to world renowned popularity. His books continue to sell in the millions each year and have earned him the status of being a regular household name.
If you’re a parent, you probably have plenty of Dr. Suess books in your children’s library. And after reading these catchy books to your children, you often become a rhymer yourself.
Years ago after reading Cat in the Hat, Wocket In My Pocket, and other Dr. Suess books to my one year old son, a divine rhyme popped into my head. It hasn’t left since.
If not me then who?
Why not me? Why not you?
Whose am I? Whose are you?
Three lines. So simple. But on the brink of a major transformation in my life at that time, God wanted me to reflect on them. Here’s how I broke them down.
If not me then who? Think about it. Somebody has to do it. You can’t wait around. If there’s a need, fill it. Don’t talk, walk. Be solution focused. Start creating.
Why not me? Why not you? What do you have that I don’t have? If you can do it, I can do it. If I can do it, you can do it. Who’s it gonna be?
Whose am I? Whose are you? I know where my identity lies. I know whose I am. With God on my side, anything is possible. If you think you can do it without him, watch what I can do with him.
Are you in a position right now where you really want to do something but haven’t yet? Are you feeling the call? Are you contemplating taking a leap? Maybe an opportunity has come your way, or maybe you found a way to create an opportunity. Are you second guessing yourself?
I get it. We’ve been there. Let me take you back to the early days of FMU. My wife Amber and I had the vision, but we didn’t have the right. We had no money, no business degrees, no experience or certifications. The economy was bad. People were losing their jobs. With a four month old child and my wife not working, I was leaving mine. On top of all of this, we didn’t have the confidence to believe we could do what God was calling us to.
Growing up poor, without much, without exposure to opportunities and certain experiences, we developed that not me mindset. “Well that’s for them, not me.” “He can do that, not me.” “Someone else is probably better suited for it, not me.”
We really had to break that conditioned mentality. We did so by coming to terms with the fact that if something is in God’s design for us, then we have to go for it regardless of how we feel. After all, if not us then who?
At that time I also remember two distinctive things happened:
Number 1: It seemed like God was revealing other business owners to me and I started noticing that some of them were really weird. No seriously, not trying to be funny, but I am. God was pointing out that there were some interesting people making it big, with no social skills and some not even with God by their side. They were making things happen. The message rang in my ears, “If they could do it, we could do it.” After all, why not me? Why not you?
Number 2: We said to ourselves, if we really believe what we say we believe—that God is good and he will use everything in our life for His glory and our good just as He promised, and that we can trust Him with the details of our life—then we had to put our faith to the test and show it. We knew we were writing a story for our children. If we were going to tell them to live out their faith throughout their lifetime, then our words would only hold power if we did the same. We had to die to ourselves. After all, whose are we?
When You Know Whose You Are You Become Dangerous.
It hasn’t always been easy since we took that leap. But we knew following Jesus wasn’t supposed to be safe. All the tests we’ve faced over the years have turned into life-changing testimonies and faith builders for ourselves and others. We’re truly blessed and grateful we decided to be dangerous.
When You Know Whose You Are You Go All In.
Everything becomes about what God wants for your life. It’s no longer about you or your desires, your comfort, or your recognition. You don’t worry about the finances. You don’t over analyze the what-ifs. Whatever God says, goes. All the chips on the table. You go all in.
When You Know Whose You Are You Don’t Care What Others Think.
“Your decision about whose you are changes everything. If you choose to follow Jesus, you are no longer your own. You are not living to please yourself or other people. Instead, Jesus is the only authority and only audience for every life decision you make.”  You no longer care about what others think.
When You Know Whose You Are You Find Who You Are.
Maybe you’re not with me on this yet. Maybe you’re still new to this God thing and still trying to find yourself. Find God, then you’ll find yourself. Finding whose you are will help you discover who you are. In case you need to know, here’s what God says about who you are :
“Dearly loved.” (Colossians 3:12)
Forgiven. (Romans 4:7)
Chosen. (John 15:19)
“A royal priesthood. (1 Peter 2:9)
The apple of God’s eye. (Psalm 17:8)
“The light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)
Heirs with Jesus. (Romans 8:17)
Friends. (John 15:14)
What else can make you feel more secure? Knowing who you are in whose you are satisfies that ultimate sense of belonging. You won’t seek it elsewhere. You won’t care if you fit in or if what you do is popular or not. You won’t seek the crowd’s approval. No stage fright. The pressure is off. You’re not the main character. Jesus takes front and center stage. There’s only one Son, no co-star. You’re performing for an audience of One and God’s rating is the only one that matters.
So stop holding back.
There’s no pressure, only motivation. When in doubt, let God wipe it out and just do what Amber and I do. We rarely know where we’re going. So when God’s story doesn’t make sense, we just pull a Dr. Seuss on life and put our own rhyme on things.
When the fear is near we overcome it with a jear.
Or when results are at stake we just smash it with a crake.
And when people are jeoples we just focus on the reoples.
When it’s time for next steps we just prep with the leps and move forward with the meps.
The point is, you will never know for certain if there’s a jurtain behind that curtain. You just need to remind yourself daily whose you are and let God overturn those doubts. He doesn’t choose the equipped, he equips the chosen. Whatever your vision, whatever your dream, whatever your goal, if God is calling you to do something, then you have to go for it no matter what and trust that it will work out the way it’s supposed to. And it’s not about you doing God a favor for following, it’s about God doing you one by inviting you.
I have a feeling that if you’re reading this right now then you’re only one decision away from living a totally different life. What’s it going to be? Or better yet, who’s it gonna be?
If not you then who?
Why not me? Why not you?
Whose am I? Whose are you?
It’s not about us, but it starts with you.
Now get out there and live like you know whose you are today. And it may just be an absolute game-changer for you and everyone in your life.
: Dr. Seuss, Wocket In My Pocket.
: Lead Like Jesus, Page 25.
: Lead Like Jesus, Page 26.
If a big idea hits me, I usually act on it quickly. I know that if I don’t, in a few weeks it will fade either because another big idea will come, or because the nature of our busy schedule will take over.
For example, we are videotaping our first follow along workout in a few days. The idea just came to me last week. Within a week I connected with my friend and tech partner, my FMU Fit business partner, and eight athletes from the gym and got them all scheduled and ready to go.
I’ve learned many times in my life just to Be Ready, Even If You’re Not. Be Ready, Even If The Opportunities Aren’t There Yet. Be Ready, Because One Day They Will Be.
Truth be told, we’ve been talking about doing this for over three years now. We already had a plan to do a follow along workout a long time ago. It just so happens that I created a workout last week that really sparked me to say, “Ok, this is the one we need to capture. Let’s do this already.”
Just because the opportunity isn’t there yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be ready for it. Sometimes it will come quickly! Don’t you want to be on your toes and ready to go for when it does?
Often when a vision comes to you and you decide to act on it, there will be an interim period, or down time, where nothing is really happening. You hit a stand still. You developed the blueprint, you came up with a marketing plan, you told people about it, but now what? You’re ready to step out, but how? Should you really do this? Is this what God wants for your life? Maybe you don’t have the space. Maybe you have the concept but not the clients. Or maybe you have the design but not the funds.
You may have steps one through three complete but now you’re waiting for step four. Where is it?
Or maybe you barely got step one done and you’re already frustrated because you want to accelerate to step ten! Hold up, stay focused on the bigger picture. God has plans.
In the meantime, there is always something you can be doing. You can do your homework. You can research. You can find someone else in the industry and follow what they are doing. You can meet with someone and pick their brain. You can and most certainly should keep praying about it. And you need to at least dabble in and try some things. Fail faster like we always tell our athletes at the gym.
Reaching your vision doesn’t happen overnight. When a big idea hits you, you can’t always act on it in a week and get the cameras rolling and athletes working out on the set. Most of the time, it will take some prep work and it will happen on God’s time. But even if the opportunities aren’t there yet, be ready for when they are.
Let’s look at something God says in the bible that relates to this.
Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
This is a very popular scripture with a powerful punch. The verse is deeper than we think though. Jeremiah was going through a difficult time trying to serve his people, the Jews, and the Lord. God was prepping him because he was about to put Jeremiah through an even longer time of difficulty—about seventy years before he would free the Jews from exile back to their promised land, Israel. God was saying, look Jeremiah, the work you’re about to do for me will stink right now. But trust me, some day it will have a major impact on all the people you serve. I know these aren’t the ideal plans for you right now. But stay focused on the bigger picture! Just be ready. I have plans. God was instilling in him hope for the future. Isn’t it something we all need to be reminded of daily?
Regardless of the back story, let’s focus on that first part, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord.
God has plans.
We all know this. Most of the time, we don’t know what those plans are. It can be confusing, scary, and stress us out.
I’m sure there were many times Jeremiah asked, really God, how much longer?
I’m sure there were many times he cried as he waited. (Actually he did. He was known as the weeping prophet).
I’m sure he had a hard time finding contentment in his current situation.
As you strive to make your vision become a reality, you may do the same.
God doesn’t tell Jeremiah it will be easy. He doesn’t assure us that either.
He just assures us to be ready, even if we’re not, because He has plans.
I’m wondering what your prayers look like. Do you ask God to make things happen? Or do you ask him for the opportunities to make things happen? And are you ready for when He places the call on your heart and gives you the opportunity to make things happen?
“One of the exciting things about being a believer is watching God unveil his plan for our lives. On one hand we have no idea what he desires to do through us. At the same time we are called to make ourselves available. Envisioning the future and planning for it are parts of the availability process.” (Andy Stanley, Visioneering)
God is going to do His part. In the meantime, you need to do yours. This way, when He tells you it’s time to get that video shoot done, you’ll be ready to rise to the occasion, recruit your friends and video crew, and make it happen in a matter of days. You’ll still give him all the credit. But imagine the confidence and contentment you’ll feel when you know that you at least did your part.
And guess what? Be ready. Because you’ll need to do it again.
Why aren’t you getting things done already?
Why do you keep saying you’re going to do something but you don’t?
Why haven’t you wrote that book yet?
Why haven’t you switched careers yet?
Why do you keep saying you’re going to get in shape but you haven’t?
Why do you keep complaining about your faults but haven’t changed them?
Why do you keep waiting for God to hand you things but you refuse to do your part?
I’m going to tell you the three reasons why in a second.
Maybe no one has told you like it is.
Maybe people keep telling you what you want to hear.
Maybe people don’t want to hurt your feelings.
Maybe you refuse to listen.
Maybe you know but you don’t want to admit it.
Because if you do, then something has to change.
And change is hard. It’s more comfortable staying like you are.
Your defenses pop up.
Your ego needs protected.
But can I have permission to tell you how it is?
Can I have permission to speak the truth in love to you right now?
Can I be the one that stops sugar coating things and keeps it real with you?
Can I tell you to stop playing games and just go already?
I love you too much to allow you to keep going like this.
I care about you too much to tell you what you want to hear.
I want too bad for you to chase what’s good for you.
Can you trust me that I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t believe it…
If I didn’t do it…
If I didn’t know you needed it.
I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m not really concerned about much more other than this:
How’s your family? Are your relationships strong and prospering?
How’s your faith? Are you living it out?
How’s your health? Are you making it a priority?
How’s your life? Is it where you want it to be?
If you’re not doing things that are positively influencing these areas in the right direction, then you need to stop everything else until you get them right.
Stop making excuses.
Stop wasting time.
Stop just dreaming, visualize.
Stop just preaching, practice.
Stop just praying, prepare and perform.
When you want to get things done it takes full focus and concentration on the task at hand. You need to ask yourself:
How bad do you want it?
Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get there?
Some things will have to fall temporarily to the wayside. It’s impossible to do everything at once.
Sometimes you need to say the heck with everything else and get after it.
Nothing is getting in the way.
Your family will understand.
Your friends will.
And if they don’t, too bad.
There’s a lot of things it will come down to:
Awareness: do you even realize what’s going on and what needs changed?
Acceptance: do you acknowledge and take responsibility for what you can control?
Awaken: are you ready to arise and take action?
Remember Og Mandino’s four main principles:
Count Your Blessings.
Proclaim Your Rarity.
Go The Extra Mile.
Utilize the Power of Choice.
There’s not many things in life you can control but for those that you can, the power is in your hands. Make the right choices.
You choose to live or exist.
You choose to stand on the sidelines or get in the game.
You choose to make things happen or to watch things happen.
You choose to act or react.
I feel like you should know this by now. Haven’t you heard it before? I know it bears repeating. We all need reminders. Like a gust of wind, motivation can leave just as fast as it comes in. You need to be exposed to it constantly.
You need to read great books.
Write great thoughts.
Watch great acts.
Hang with great people.
And the truth of the matter is, it isn’t going to happen from anyone or anything else. The power doesn’t come from within. It comes from the power of God—from the spirit that dwells inside you.
People keep waiting around for the secret to life. You want to know what the secret to life is—the secret is there is no secret.
The secret is right in front of you but you still keep looking elsewhere to find it.
The secret is to stop making things so complicated.
The secret is to start asking the right questions.
Instead of why hasn’t it happened yet, ask how you can make it happen?
Instead of why haven’t I received more yet, ask how you can give more?
Instead of what can God do for me, ask what you can do for God?
Jesus says ask and you shall receive. “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Matt 7:7 NLT)
Some of you knock but you just stand there. The door opens and you barely peek your head in. You don’t even enter.
Biblical Truth is the secret and you keep running away from it.
God gave you life.
He put his one and only Son on this earth to die for you so you can get a second chance.
When you believe this, your job is not to only accept Jesus in your heart as your Lord (master) and Savior, but to then follow his standards and live the Way He wants you to.
To love God.
To love His people.
To make disciples of all nations.
Not to judge but to accept.
Not to condemn but to forgive.
Not to be served but to serve.
It doesn’t matter what title you retain, you are a Christ follower first and before all else. No matter what role you play, what setting you play it in, and with whatever characters you’re playing with, you must stick to the script—the Word of God.
What’s it going to take to get you going already?
You can’t just keep dreaming. Dreams will get you a good night’s sleep but eventually you have to wake up and do something.
While you stand back wishing and wanting, the person next to you is going to get up and do it. They don’t have anything you don’t have.
No special opportunities.
No special connections.
No special grit or will power.
Just a dedicated desire to get up and start moving.
Who said you can’t?
Who said you’re inadequate?
Who told you that you don’t have what it takes?
Was it someone else?
Or is it just in your head?
Believe it no more.
There are typically three reasons why you’re not getting the results you want. Either you’re lying, or you’re relying on will power alone, or you’re not using your time wisely.
Reason 1: You’re Lying.
You really are. You know how many times I hear people say, “I’m doing everything that I can.” No, you’re not. If you were then things would be working. You’re not doing everything right. I can say this because I’m guilty too. We all fall victim to this lie.
In all fairness, you may just not know any better. We have a training principle in the fitness world to meet people where they’re at. Not everyone has the same knowledge, perspective, and experiences. One might truly think that eating fast-food five times a week is healthy, compared to cutting back from eating it twice a day.
The point is before you think you’re out of options, recognize that you’re not, and admit that you’re not telling the whole truth. I always say you can lie to me but you can’t lie to yourself. We are never doing everything right. There’s always another way. To keep the power of responsibility in your hands, until you’re absolutely, positively doing everything right, don’t say that you are.
Reason 2: You Keep Relying On Will Power Alone.
Will power is not enough. It’s finite, not infinite. You only have so much of it and it only occurs at certain times. Extremely healthy people don’t have any more discipline or will power than you have. They just know how to channel it. They can’t push food away from the table if it’s sitting in front of their face, they know not to buy it in the first place. They follow an important nutrition principle, that if it’s not in your house then you can’t eat it.
The more you rely on will power the more energy you use. The more energy you use the more you’ll cave into those cravings and temptations in life. Think about what happens when you keep telling yourself…
I gotta be stronger.
That’s extremely exhausting and taxing. Add that to all the other stressors of the day and by night, you’re throwing in the towel and giving up. Bye bye diet. Bye bye project. Bye bye goals. Looks like I’ll just have to start tomorrow.
You have to shape your path.
Filter the noise.
Reduce your chaos.
Change your environment.
You have to find your energy blocks.
We all have certain times of the day when we have more energy, clarity, and focus. You have to find yours and use them to your advantage. Some of you are morning people, others are better at night.
When you use your energy blocks to apply your focused intensity, you can get more done in two hours then if you fight the fight and try to do things sporadically throughout the day. Life isn’t most productive when you spend a lot of time doing minor things that occupy your time. You’ll find more peace, balance, and success when you spend a little bit of structured time completing those major things that push you forward in life.
Use your energy blocks to:
Prepare for great things.
Practice personal development and growth.
Persevere over obstacles.
And channel your will power to reap more from what you sew so that your habits can start leading to your destiny.
Reason 3: You’re Not Using Your Time Wisely
Let’s go back to telling the truth, admitting your shortcomings, and accepting responsibility.
You do have some extra time. Maybe not a lot, but you do. It’s how you choose to use it. Unless you’re a mother of a newborn or a single working parent, you do have time.
You said you don’t have time to workout yet you watched three hours of your favorite television shows.
You said you don’t have time to read but you have plenty of time to escape into your social media.
It’s better to accept responsibility and be honest and say “I do have time, I choose to devote it to other things right now.” Change doesn’t happen until you acknowledge this.
Time management is about prioritizing what’s most important to you.
If faith is, then why isn’t it on your schedule?
If family is, then why do you get everything else done but let them be an afterthought?
If exercise is, then why do you let other things get in the way?
Don’t take on more than you’re capable of.
Be wary of doing too much.
You’re not going to run your first marathon, start a new lifting program, and totally revamp your nutrition to a strict vegetarian diet all at once. It’s too much at one time. Try it, and in six weeks two out of three attempts, if not all three, will have ended.
Be realistic and practical with yourself.
Will power is not infinite.
Energy is not limitless.
Time is not endless.
Change doesn’t happen overnight.
Focused Intensity over Time, Plus God, equals Unstoppable Momentum (Dave Ramsey).
It’s finding those energy blocks, investing relentless and intense focus during those energy blocks, and staying consistent with those relentless and intense energy blocks over time, with God on your side, that produces unstoppable results.
My first book took over three years to complete. There was so much going on with the growth of our new business and our new family that I could only get to it in small waves. Finally it got to the point where I just knew I had to get it done. For thirty days straight I would wake up for our second newborn’s 1am feeding, give her a bottle, then hit the notepad as soon as I laid her back down to sleep. I would stay up and write my last few chapters until 4:30am when it was time to then hit the gym for my first class.
I don’t advocate losing sleep. Sleep is so essential to your vitality and the power of it is super underestimated. But there are phases and intervals in your life where the magnitude of a task is so profound, that you may have to put yourself on temporary overload to tackle the feat and attack with convincing authority to get it done.
At times it may seem like a magnificent obsession.
A burning desire.
A compulsive fixation that doesn’t go away.
That’s when it’s time to hunker down and dive in deep.
Don’t worry. Listen to what Jesus says, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28)
The next time you look at your schedule and think you don’t have time, shift your mental language. You do have time. How will you decide to use it?
Align your actions with your goals, your behaviors with your words, and your footsteps with your vision. Then you’ll begin using the hours and minutes God has granted you most effectively.
Where do we go from here?
The challenge of being a motivator is you want everybody to have the same passion for change and to experience the same fruit from going out on the limb.
There’s a high rate of burnout and turnover in the motivating professions because amateurs get into the field with intentions of changing the world, only to find out that most of the world doesn’t want to be changed.
Only a select few are on a true quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of fulfillment over happiness, for significance over status, and for meaning over materialism.
All seek the answer to the universal human question, what’s my purpose in life?
But not too many do something about it.
Today has to be different.
You have to be different.
After all, you are one of God’s greatest miracles. He knows every follicle on your head and every square inch of skin that covers the intricate molecular system of your body that he miraculously designed and created.
No one has ever been, is, or will be just like you.
Implanted in you are unique God-given talents, gifts, and abilities to share with the world. Now go share them. To not will be a great disservice to others.
If you truly are grateful for this life then show it. Every day that you don’t is another day you’re taking for granted.
You woke up today.
You are alive.
You are breathing.
This simple fact alone deserves a toast and celebration.
If you don’t get on your feet and start doing something different with your life right now then you can’t feel bad for yourself anymore.
The world isn’t going to either.
If you don’t start doing exactly what God tells you to do, by following the call and mission he’s placed on your heart, then a piece of you slowly begins to die every day.
I don’t know what other reason you need to go already other than this, Because God Said So.
As a parent you expect your children to listen to your instructions and advice simply because you said so.
No questions asked.
No explanations needed.
Now just like you tell them to do, will you do the same and obey your Heavenly Father’s commands?
You’re good at giving advice, will you take it now?
Simply Because. He. Said. So.
Get out your calendars.
Schedule in your priorities.
Write down your goals of the year, month, week, and day.
Create your action plan.
Sign up for something.
Stick to it.
Don’t let anyone or anything interfere.
Put your hands to the plow and never look back. (Luke 9:62)
When you start to fade,
When you start to forget,
When you feel like giving up,
Remember there’s a God up there who loves you no matter what.
There’s no mistake he can’t handle.
There’s no pressure coming from Him.
He loves you just because.
He doesn’t rate you on your performance or love you anymore because of your good works, or love you any less because of your failures.
You’re never too old.
Or too far gone.
And it’s never too late.
God put His one and only son on the cross, to get scourged, tortured, and mocked, for you.
The least you can do is commit the flash of time on earth that we call life, to him.
Because at the end of the day when you walk through the gates of heaven,
And all the pain and suffering and even earthly satisfactions come to an end,
All that matters is that you sit at the right hand of God,
And you witness his arms spread wide open ready to receive you,
And you hear the whisper of His voice proclaim,
“Well done child. Well done. It wasn’t about you. And you lived like that.”
Coach Theo’s 2017 Blessing
From this day forth may you head out into the world and:
And repeat this every day for as long as you shall live.
For our Athlete Shred You Up, the week 4 step 4 challenge is to EAT WHOLE FOODS.
Week 1: Give yourself 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. Bonus points for going 14 hours 4 times a week.
Week 2: Drink a glass of hot green tea daily before lunch time.
Week 3: Drink a green smoothie daily, mixed with fruits and veggies.
By now if you are following the plan, you should have noticed that we haven’t told you to take anything OUT of your diet. We have only told you what you should put IN. If you are following these steps there’s pretty much no doubt that you’re already seeing some type of changes, whether they be a change in weight loss, fat-loss, energy levels, appetite control, enhanced sleep, etc.
This week we will now start talking about WHAT YOU SHOULD BE EATING. You should first know, if you haven’t already heard me say this, I don’t like talking about nutrition anymore. EveryBODY is different. So it’s really hard to give general advice when there are so many things to consider. The typical answer to a nutrition question is, “it depends.” You can check out a really good article we wrote last year about some simple nutrition principles here: QUIT MAKING NUTRITION SO DIFFICULT ALREADY.
The second thing you should know is that we would never be the type of people that act like we eat perfect all the time. We don’t, and we are very upfront and comfortable with admitting that. The message that we do preach and practice though is to eat healthy MOST of the time. If you eat healthy most of the time, the little amounts of bad food that you mix in are not going to hurt at all.
With those two things being said, the main nutrition principle that we are comfortable with promoting is to EAT WHOLE FOODS. Dieting fads come and go. Crazy nutrition concepts get thrown at you all the time. None of them are going to work unless you get this underlying principle under control and let it be the base of all your lifelong nutrition habits.
Whole foods are foods that come from the earth, that ideally have been unaltered by man and manufacturing, and have been either not processed or refined at all, or as little as possible and are free from additives or other artificial substances.
When you think of whole foods think of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. Think of real food. Think of single ingredient foods or foods with ingredients that are real food. Think of NON-GMO (non-genetically modified organisms) food. Think of organic. Think of foods that didn’t take long to get from the field or farm to your table.
It’s not necessarily easy to find the discipline to eat whole foods. But it should be easy to figure out what constitutes what a whole food is. A simple example we give to our kids is to imagine if the food grew from the ground or from a tree. “You’re not going to find a twinkie tree or a ho-ho bush outside now will ya?”
So before you start stressing about counting calories. Before you begin researching what supplements to take. Before you start obsessing about what food groups you should eliminate. Just ask yourself, ARE YOU EVEN EATING REAL FOOD YET? Is it food that will make your insides happy? Is it God-made or man-made? Does it make up most of your diet, meaning about 80-90%?
Fast-food doesn’t fall under this category. Neither does pizza or pop or most desserts and snacky foods. If it’s in a box or package with a lot of ingredients it probably doesn’t count either. Does it mean you can never eat this stuff again? Absolutely not. It just can’t be a regular staple of your diet. There is no grey area when it comes to this topic. This is a black and white subject of optimal health and well-being.
Whole foods have to make up the majority of what you ingest into your body. Everything else has to be considered “sometimes” foods or beverages.
When you’re having a hard time learning what to eat, this should be an easy concept that will help guide the food choices you make about what should be going into your body.
Food is either medicine or poison. Whole foods are medicine. Processed foods are poison. “Every 28 days your skin replaces itself. Five months for you liver and ten years for your bones. Your body creates new cells from the foods you eat. You have a choice in what you’re made of!” (LiveLoveFruit.com)
There aren’t many things you can control in life. But one of the only things you have complete control over is what you put into your mouth. Show your body the utmost respect and eat mostly whole foods today. And it may just be an absolute game-changer for you and everyone in your life.
If you can’t do it for yourself. Do it for God’s sake.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own..” (1 Cor 6:19)
You’re never too old and it’s never too late
#ParentAthletes #FallIntoGreatness #Comeback
“The classic comeback story contains one of two twists. It’s either about an underdog who falters and then succeeds beyond his dreams, or it’s about a champion who falls, fights hard, and makes a big return.” (Louie Giglio, The Comeback)
You know what one of the biggest myths of childhood is? The lie that just because you get older means you have to gain weight and get out of shape. Remember being a kid and thinking that this was just a result of aging? Adults implied that this is just what happened after you hit a certain age. How many times did you hear them say, “yea, wait til u get older.” “I used to be thin too when I was younger too.” “That’s when I didn’t have my beer gut yet.” “I looked totally different on my wedding day.”
The common attitude is that it just happens and it’s out of our control.
Getting older does make it harder to stay lean and trim, but maybe it’s because you also didn’t change your ways! I used to eat a lot more too when I was eighteen years old and somehow could still stay trim. As we get older we can’t eat as much nor can we eat the same.
So why is it too hard to get your old self back now? I get it. You have kids. A career. Life is so much more demanding. You’re right, it’s going to be much harder now. Accept and expect it. The truth is it can be done. I see working parents do it all the time.
Just start with what you can do.
1. Can you at least control what you eat?
We know this is the biggest step to physical change anyways. It doesn’t matter how hard and how much you workout. If you don’t change your eating habits your results will only go so far anyways. When our clients experience a major transformation, their number one reason is attributed to their dietary changes. So can you at least start here? Make small changes to what you put into your body and the positive benefits will begin to add up.
2. Then, can you start to engage in more physical activity?
Please stop thinking it needs to be a crazy DVD workout that you commit to every day of week. Fitness does not have to be all or nothing. I work with parent athletes who get great results and have even enhanced their performance in less time and with more efficient workouts. Any increased physical activity is better than no physical activity. You would be surprised with what even a 30 min walk a couple days a week will do.
3. And then before anything, can you stop making excuses?
Are you being completely honest with yourself? Is this the lifestyle you truly want to continue to live? What’s the real reason you’re not changing yet?
My challenge to husbands is this, you should want to look good for your wives. I always love when an overweight guy complains that his wife used to be hott. Well what happened to you broskie?
My challenge to wives is this, you deserve to get your body back. It’s not fair
that you had to go through labor and we didn’t. So yes we’ll provide the time, encouragement, and resources to get your sexy back.
My challenge to all of us is this, it’s not a choice but an obligation to take care of our bodies. God gave us this gift and just like any gift, we show appreciation by taking care of it. We don’t have to do it to earn Gods love; we should want to do it because God loves us.
SOME GREAT NEWS FOR YOU
To make your life easier we’ll be launching our new FMU FIT ONLINE program featuring done for you workouts that you can do anywhere. You’ll be able to follow virtually exactly what we do at our FMU training facility with hundreds of clients on a weekly basis. You won’t have to think anymore. You won’t have to stress about being misguided. We will provide you with safe, effective content, that will get your great results in a time efficient manner. And what makes this program even better, we’ll be giving you the and then some tips and motivation about taking your FAITH even further, something we believe is what truly changes you inside and out. Stay tuned for FMU FIT ONLINE to launch in the fall of 2016.
“…at some point everybody needs a fresh start, a change of direction, a spiritual turnaround. So what about you?” (Giglio, The Comeback)
You’re never too old and it’s never too late. Get ready to make your comeback today. And it may just be an absolutely game changer for you and everyone in your life.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this: (Psalm 37:3-5, NIV)
Hands down the number one reason why I truly believe that I ran my fastest 5k three weeks ago at Smiles For Sophie Forever was because of THIS.
But first I need say something.
The purpose of this article is not to over simplify my secret to a fastest 5k. There are many variables that contribute to optimal performance. Many times it just comes down to being a really good day. But the purpose of this article is to drill home a really important point about something that so many people often neglect, and underestimate big time. And it’s THIS.
But first you need to hear this story.
Back in February, we were sitting in my living room with our two friends Mark and Natalie, both elite runners. We discussed how to break my goal of an 18:15 5k (the fastest I ever ran since my high school wrestling days at 119lbs was 18:30). Was it possible? What did I need to do to do it? Could it be done in less than 12 weeks with a new training protocol? The general consensus seemed to be that it was possible, but it would be really tough to pull it off.
So I put myself to the test. You can get my actual running plan for FREE right here: #4WeeksOutPlan. My focus was to hit at least three runs each week which consisted of a short sprint day, a tempo day, and a long recovery day. Bonus was to hit another 24-30 minute slow run on a fourth day each week. Why 24 minutes? Because I’m a parent athlete and when you have kids, you can never predict the amount of time you’ll be able to squeeze in for a workout. 24 minutes just happens to be the minimum time that makes me feel complete. I would say that most weeks I was able to hit that fourth bonus run after one of our FMU workouts. *It’s important to know that outside of running workouts, I hit two bodyweight strength and conditioning workouts each week, two lifting workouts each week, and one athletic non-traditional workout each week.
Here are some other training concepts I had to practice:
- S.P.D. (Small performances daily). Hit a good volume of workload during my daily workouts but nothing crazy and over the top.
- STAY FRESH. If I don’t feel like it’s my day to do something, don’t do it. If the body says rest, we rest.
- DON’T OVER-EXERT DURING WORKOUTS. High one day, low the next. It’s one thing to keep up a challenging intensity, it’s another thing to go full throttle. I rarely go 100% anymore.
And then on top of these simple training rules, I did some other things for my pre-game ritual. In all transparency, here’s what I did for Smiles For Sophie:
- Drank a glass of red wine the night before.
- Drank a protein shake the night before.
- The morning of the race, I had a protein shake 90 minutes before the race and a handful of blueberries.
- I also had a teaspoon of beet root powder.
- I rolled out my feet and legs with a lacrosse ball and foam roller.
- I jogged for four minutes before the race to prime my heart and muscles. I tried to do more, I usually prefer eight, but then I got called over to run the group warm-up.
- I used mapmyrun during the race. This helped me break up the race into 3 minute intervals.
- Something that I usually don’t do is listen to music. But for some reason at SFSF, I put my Christian hip-hop and rock playlist on.
Could it have been a combination of all these things that helped me PR? Absolutely. But there was something else that was so different than ever before, and it was THIS.
Before I tell you I also have to tell you something extra special that happened right before the race. We did a massive group prayer before the start line. That was the first time we prayed at SFSF after the warmup. Before we gathered Emily just subtly asked, “are you going to pray?” I was like “sweet, let’s do it.” A minute before I told her I didn’t even feel up to par to run. Body felt tired. Legs felt tight. Same mind games mess me up just like everyone else. But when I prayed something obviously happened. Where three or more gather God tells you He is there. People joined hands—kids with other kids they didn’t even know. Heads bowed. And we opened up the flood gates for the Holy Spirit and immediately you could feel it in the air.
So that was definitely what I would say is the main external force that made me run faster than ever. God was ripping through my veins in full force.
But besides that, the main thing that I changed, the main contributing factor, the main component that I harnessed and buckled down to fix over the last few months to help me reach peak performance was…
Yes. After all my analyzing and processing of my fastest 5k experience, I firmly believe sleep made the biggest difference.
In March I made a major life change. I said I had to start getting adequate, quality, and plenty of sleep and rest! It’s not that I don’t go to bed early. It’s not that I don’t like to sleep. We have two kids though! And when you wake up at 4:30am most days, it’s really hard to get a desired 8 hours each night. I haven’t been at 100% since we had our first son six years ago. But luckily I brought in some awesome coaches to take some of the training load off my plate and I started sleeping again.
And that’s why if I had to switch the Apostle Paul’s words about love from 1 Corinthians 13:13 to a play on about running, it would be this: “Three things will help you run fast forever–training, nutrition, and sleep–and the greatest of these is sleep.”
That is all.
I made you read all that just to emphasize this one main point.
If you want to get serious about your results, with whatever you can do in your control, sleep more. Who knows. It may just be an absolute game-changer for you and everyone in your life.
Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors as this was typed quickly on my tablet with no desire to edit.