It started this Monday morning, right on cue: one of our 6W2S groups had a third of the numbers it usually does. Welcome to winter!
It's fascinating to think that a large percentage of people are prepared to let 9 months of hard work go down the drain by taking a 3 month break when the weather cools down.
There's no doubt it's chilly outside I'm out there every morning, so I feel it, but let's be real. That cold lasts 5 minutes. Yep, once you've spent 5 minutes warming up, you'll actually start to embrace that little bit of coldness. There's just five minutes of discomfort to get through first.
Do you know what's more uncomfortable? Those jeans you're wearing that are getting tighter and tighter because you're not prepared to brave the cold for 5 minutes.
There's no doubt it's easy to stay in a warm, comfortable bed. It feels good. But do you know what doesn't feel good? When that muscle definition, abs and toned legs you once had disappears because you didn't stick to your routine.
There's no doubt it's darker outside during the winter. But guess what? It's nowhere near as dark as the headspace and lack of productivity that comes with not doing exercise.
Yes, as humans, we're designed to sleep a little more in winter. And without the sun, we do feel a little more tired. But that level of tiredness doesn't even compare to the lack of energy and vitality you'll be missing out on if you don't exercise.
Here's the thing. It's harder in winter. We know that. It's a battle to get out of bed and exercise every morning we know that. There's that voice inside your head telling you to sleep in. You reason with yourself, justify it and then hit the snooze button. You're not the only one!
But I want you to think about this. If, for the next 3 months, you can stay ON TRACK, maintain the awesome habits you've created over the warmer months and brave the cold, you're going to be in a MUCH BETTER situation when we come out the other side in August.
So here are your options:
1) Throw in the towel and 'take a break' from training. Sleep in. Feel unmotivated. Feel sloppy and untoned. Watch your confidence go down and deal with shitty moods because not only are you missing out on the endorphins from exercise, but you're not getting much vitamin D from the sun either. See your productivity and energy dive. Develop crappy eating and sleeping habits because thats what tends to happen you're not exercising. Start having less sex and feeling less connected to your partner because your sex drive has taken a dive and you're not feeling good about your body.
2) Get the f*ck out of bed knowing there is that little voice in your head telling you not to. Rug up. Get to training. After 5 minutes, find yourself sweating like a pig. Get rid of all the layers of clothing. Pump through the workout. Walk away feeling high on life: confident, strong, fit and healthy. Eat like a champion because when you're fit, you want to eat well. Spread positivity everywhere you go, because when you're feeling good about yourself, you project those good vibes onto everyone else and spend each and every day being a better version of yourself because you were prepared to invest in your healthy, happiness and headspace first thing in the morning.
Which option are you going to take?
5 steps to avoiding the winter weight gain
I was lucky enough to be invited by realestate.com.au to work with their team on boosting performance. We kicked off the five-part series last week with a workshop on nutrition and exercise.
The team is made up of a bunch of super cool guys and girls who are already pretty well educated, but could definitely 'tweak' a few things to improve their strength, fitness, body composition and energy and ultimately perform better in all areas of their life. You're probably in the same kind of boat.
As us Aussies move towards winter, I'm conscious of the stats: unfortunately, we tend to put on somewhere between 3-5 kilos in the chilly months. Yep, every year, we make the same mistakes.
So, to buck the trend and maybe, just maybe, go the opposite way and lose 3-5 kilos (or ideally, 3-5% body fat), here are a few things I'd love you to think about...
1. Trying to chase too much. Ahhh, this is a little case of the pot calling the kettle black for a good 10 years, one of my worst habits was making things a lot more complicated than necessary. I always tried to do too much at once. For the past 2 years, I've spent hours and hours reversing that and trying to simplify things. Here is the thing: for every extra goal you try and chase, the chances of you succeeding come down. If you chase ONE goal, your chances of meeting it are up around 80% (obviously, this is provided you DO THE WORK). Chase TWO goals, and it drops to 54%. Chase 3 goals and it's down at 23%. You do the math.
2. The personalised diet. I encourage everyone in the 6W2S programs to have a paleo-style approach to eating i.e. eating real food! Kira Sutherland (our nutritionist) and I have 33 years' combined experience, and despite this, that doesn't mean our food plans are right for every single person. Everyone is different, and everybody responds differently to different foods. Take an apple, for example. It's a healthy food, right? Yep, we learnt there when we were about 4, but it might actually give you inflammation. The best thing you can do is to keep a food diary for a couple of weeks, and record your food as well as how you felt 2 hours after eating. If you're feeling tired after lunch, you may have eaten something your body doesn't respond well to. It'll also make you more aware of what (and how much) you eat you may not eat as well as you think you do.
3. Burn it. Nutrition is number one, but exercise still plays an important role in getting you those results you want. One of my major observations from the realestate.com.au workshop was this: most people are kind of going through the motions when it comes to training. They have the best intention and are getting to the gym, and I congratulate them on that, but they aren't getting the job done properly when they are there. It might be a case of poor education (talking to a couple of the guys yesterday, I think it is) or it might be because they're staying well within their comfort zone. I don't want to scare anyone off (because we always start the new guys in level 1 the easiest level) but when guys and girls come and train with us, they are hustling for the whole 45 minutes it's what gets them great results. See, they are amping up their fat burning potential AFTER their workouts. This is known as the 'afterburn effect', and it can promote fat burning for up to 36hrs after your workout. Winning!
4. Being a goal digger. Grab a piece of paper and run a line down the middle. On the left hand side, write down your goals, and on the right, your weekly planner. EVERYTHING on the right hand side should be linked to the left hand side. For instance, I've got the 50km North Face run in the Blue Mountains in four weeks with that in mind, I've built up my running from the first 5km run I did after two weeks off at the start of the year, to now feeling pretty comfortable running 30-35km (note: I won't run 50km before the event itself but I'll make sure I've got the endurance to be able to do so).
5. Try it, test it and re-assess it. How can you find your 'ultimate formula' if you aren't testing and measuring? One of the things I spoke to the guys about yesterday is that unless they are assessing, they are pretty much guessing. Yep, you might be able to tell that your clothes feel a little bit looser but you NEED to test in order to work out what the ultimate prescription is for YOU! Just like keeping a food diary, it's also worth testing every 2-3 weeks to see how your body is responding to what you are doing. Keep in mind that at some stage, you are going to plateau and when that happens you'll need to make another set of changes to keep moving forward. If you don't test and measure I can GUARANTEE you that you're not getting the most out of yourself and your body.
8 things you must know if you want results
Serious about results? Here are 8 things for you to consider.
1. Take responsibility. Before we really get into to it, let's address the number one thing YOU are responsible for your OWN results. No one else! Where you are now is a result of the decisions, actions and potential lack of action you've taken in the past. I get it, it's hard to take FULL responsibility for where you are but the sooner you can do it, the better... I've made more bad decisions than anyone I know, and they've been bitter pills to swallow, but I honestly believe I'm better for doing that.
Action plan: For the next two weeks, pay attention to your self talk. Who are you blaming? How can you flip that on its head and put it back on you? What lessons have you learnt? How can you take responsibility for what happened?
2. Don't do too much too soon. I'm guilty of trying to do too many things at once, and trust me it doesn't work! One of the reasons most diets fail is because there is too much change at the same time. Making subtle changes is a lot more realistic and sustainable in the long term, so look at changing 1-2 things a month and no more!
Action plan: What is the SINGLE most important thing to change in the next 4-6 weeks? If you're a guy and looking to drop body-fat, I can probably help you. Click here to find out more.
3. Create an action plan. Ahhh, so what's next? I want you to dream big, like really big but without some kind of action plan, you're not going to be able to turn that dream into a reality. What's your plan? What do you have to do week in week out, month in month out, in order for you to achieve your goal?
Action plan: So you've got 4-6 weeks to change ONE thing? What steps need to be taken to make that happen? For example, if you want to drop body-fat, what changes are you going to make to your diet? If you have a burning desire to set up your own business, how are you going to start working towards that?
4. Look at previous life patterns. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So, if you want real results, think about what you've done in the past. What kind of worked? What didn't work? And what are you going to do differently this time to get the results you want?
Action plan: If your current workout regime is failing to get you results, why? If your business hasn't or didn't succeed, why?
5. Realise that motivation comes and goes. DO NOT rely on motivation to get you through. It will come and go. There will be days when you're pumped and days when you're not. Roll with it. If you're passionate and determined about getting what you want, you'll be able to push through those moments when your motivation isn't up at its peak.
Action plan: Be aware of the self talk and push through it. This happens to me all the time, so I know how it works! You try to justify the thoughts in your head and tell yourself that it's okay not to do this and do that but deep down, you know you're going to have to push through if you want to reach your desired outcome.
6. Just get going. I'm going to wait till I have more money‚ I'm going to wait till I lose 20 pounds‚ I'm going to wait till work settles down, I'm going to wait for Christmas... If you keep waiting for the perfect moment, you'll be waiting forever. Start now.
Action plan: Make tomorrow the first day of your new lifestyle.
7. Get the right support at least for now. You may want to do it alone, and that's all good but everyone needs a little help, at least at the beginning. Whether it's fitness, business, get the support from the right people
Action plan: Reach out to those who have the results YOU want. If you're a guy and want to drop fat, build muscle and get strong, this might be for you.
8. Know there is a trade-off: There will be SOME kind of trade-off in getting the results you want. Want an incredible body? Eat out one less night a week. Want to take your business to the next level? Cut back on going out from two nights a week to one. For every 'shift' you make, there will be some kind of change (small or big) required.
Action plan: As important as anything here is how badly you want it.... The more you want it, the more you'll be prepared to sacrifice.