To live is to grow. Have you ever said the following: “I’m living it up!”, “This is living!”, or “Living the live!” I know a lot of people that say they are living only when they have a great time. But living does not only happen in select, or “good times.” It happens in every stage of life, good or bad. Are you living right now? Of course, if you are reading this, and are not a ghost, you are living. Are you in the best mood? You may be. But you may be in a bad mood. And does that mean you are not living? Guess what? You are still living. And bad experiences may be the best type of living, because you grow.
Now that it is understood that life is about growth, and growth happens constantly, whether it is good or bad, you know that you must figure out a way now, a way to grow in a good way, and appreciate the bad when it does show up. Why Pain?We wonder why we go through pain, surely it must not be worth it? But, indeed, any type of growth is, no matter how small. See, what happens here is, nobody wants to experience pain, as it is a bad feeling. Bad feelings happen to teach us lessons and grow. The more pain, the more experienced we are, deeper the feelings and connections in our brains to truly feel deeply and see things differently, and make new neural connections that will help us survive in the future. Without bad feelings and pain, we would not grow to the capacity we deserve. Would you not want to be your best? Life experiences that guide you to your growth are not roses, they are painful thorns. Have you realized that life can be up, or down? If we do not feel the sting of the pain, we will not enjoy so much the sweet of the honey. Life can be, of course, sweet like honey, but in other times, when it wants to teach us some lessons, it will sting us. But that is alright, because we will appreciate the honey so much more when it is there.. and truly, we should appreciate the sting, not only because we know that the honey is coming soon, but because we are growing with knowledge and experience.
Experiences Change You Who are you? It’s imperative that we have a great understanding of what makes us who we are. Every experience, whether positive or negative, takes us to a place of improvement. As we understand that each day we are someone new, the reason for that is because yesterday has changed us for today, and today will change us for tomorrow. You understand that 6 months ago, as well as 6 years ago, you were a different person not only because of your age, which is an obvious difference that takes you to different stages of your life (child, teenager, young adult, etc.) that brings about typical experiences that an average individual of that age experiences, but also you are different because no one in the world experienced exactly what you experienced during those times. The blueprints we take make us similar, but never the same. This is why we are all different people built on a foundation of different building blocks. Same Earth, Different PeopleThe extent of difference in each one of us due to our individual experiences makes it surprising that we all get along. The variety of our backgrounds have created a portrayal of life that is going to be the same from one person to another, giving us not “rose-colored glasses”, but glasses colored by our own colors - whatever those are, created by us.
Life gives you colors, and you paint your own world. Nobody can paint your life for you, as the brush sits in your hand. Dream your masterpiece and paint it, with daily strokes.
Embrace Experiences Taking into account your experiences, you can be thankful for who you have become. If there are things you do not like, then you can change them - nobody else can. Take into account your reaction towards your experiences, and see whether you welcomed them and allowed them to teach you a lesson. Most people do not like themselves because they are bitter and unhappy due to the negative experiences. Those individuals have a tough time understanding that experiences are a great thing, and they are a gift to life. Let go of the negativity and be grateful about the experiences, good and bad. Next time you are feeling badly, acknowledge it, understand it, take the good from it, and LET.IT.GO.
Sleep More - Sleep helps you lose weight. It is the recalibration of your body, and it is necessary, especially in order to heal your muscles after working out. The less you sleep, the more weight you gain. Everyone's body requires different amounts of sleep, and for a healthy adult, 7-8 hours a night will be adequate for full functionality. Get yourself a sleep monitoring app on your smart phone, this will help you see how many hours a night you can get, and this will almost become a fun challenge every night. It will read either through sounds or movements to monitor your sleep throughout each and every night. I love Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock, it is available on the App Store.
Drink Water - Without water, the body cannot function properly, and thus the metabolism of the body may slow down. If you ever feel thirsty, this means that the body is out of balance - you should always be hydrated to the point where the body does not need to send over signals to you to hydrate it. However, one way to see that you are over-hydrating (it's a thing) is by seeing your urine clear. This is not good - mellow yellow is good, find your own balance. One of the great tips of weight loss is to know that you are hungry, not just thirsty. This is why hydrating is important, as the body can get confused and send the wrong signal to you, and you may think you are hungry, but you are just thirsty. By hydrating, you eliminate the option of this confusing phenomenon.
Workout Discipline - When you are not used to working out, you can make every excuse not to. I know from my own experience. For weight loss, not just cardio, but strength training must be included in the schedule. Weight training breaks muscle fibers, rebuilds them in a stronger fashion with more fibers for future endurance (thus you see your muscles grow during repairing process after workout) and when that happens, the body's metabolism goes up. As your resting metabolism uses more calories throughout the day, you will lose weight. Keeping workout clothes in your car can help. Also, having friends that support you, and keeping an online accountability on social media can help reinforce you towards this behavior. Taking guided classes are some of the best things you can do, as you can be there and truly mindless and follow what the instructor is telling you, and not only this, but there are other people doing the same thing, and it is an encouraging team to be part of - it feels like the pain is shared. Lastly, know that each time you can push yourself a little farther is the next threshold you will be able to cross.
Food Planning - Be sure to eat small meals multiple times a day (5-8) and keep yourself nourished before your body tricks you into thinking you need to eat because you are sad, stressed or bored, amongst other emotions. Which emotion makes you eat? Be sure to keep nourished so that you do not have unnecessary and unhealthy cravings. Did you know that certain nutritional deficiencies will send craving signals to you? It is quite intriguing and genius how it happens, but understand. For example, you crave carbs and sweets when you are tired (go back to Number 1: Sleep More). Food intake is 80% of your weight loss. Eating early can help metabolism start early in the day, thus burning more calories over time. What to eat? Choose your food ahead of time, or plan what you will eat, and stick to your plan. Use the rule of color: eat as much colorful fruits and vegetables daily. Avoid processed, try to eat more organic and non GMO (genetically modified organisms). Maintain some parameters that you will not cross in terms of eating certain meals, but keep your moderation as the body needs all types of nutrients and foods, within reason. If you want to eat something that is off limits, use the rule of 3: 3 bites, and you're done!
The Little Things - Park farther, do squats when you brush your teeth, squeeze your muscles when going up the stairs, calf raises when pumping gas, taking stairs instead of elevator, etc. Also, move fast, whenever you can. Use any opportunity to give your muscles a burn opportunity. You can also be sure to take healthy legal supplements and check your complete blood count (CBC) with your doctor to see that there are no deficiencies in your body. Eat clean whenever you can, and you will see a difference in your energy and health all the while losing weight.
Be sure to not miss one day where you do not focus on multiple or all the steps - "The Compound Theory" by Darren Hardy states that you must have repeated daily behaviors in order to get to the result that you want.
Challenge yourself constantly, and you will push boundaries that you never knew existed.
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