Motivational Personal Development Strength Training

Building Muscle, Building Confidence

I’ve been weaning myself off of the barbell for a few months. I decided to change up my training and depart from the go-big or go-home approach. I’ve gone from high weight/ low repetitions to high reps/ lower weight. I cap my weight increases and change my tempo for a greater challenge. I’m exploring how this feels and listening to my body. Sometimes in a large class I feel a little bit on the outside because my goals might be different, not going for a personal record. But then I remember that everyone’s goals are different all the time. So I just do my thing. One reason I’m backing off the big weight is it does a number on my central nervous system. I’d like to minimize fatigue and brain fog. It’s been a stressful few months, and while I have lots of strategies and mechanisms for copying with stress, my reserves are low. A good strategy for me is to minimize extra fatigue from compound exercises like deadlifts. However, the personal records are important too, and I’m happy I have them. I’ve been reflecting on the value of the p.r. One of the greatest take-aways from the deadlift and rack pulls specifically is the byproduct of self-belief. Yes, fat loss, gaining strength, and feeling good are also amazing byproducts, but the unexpected result is self-belief. The surprise of this discovered confidence makes it even more of a gem.

I’m a pretty confident person about most things, but most things I do, I do all the time. When it comes to the weight room, for the first year especially, most of it was new and most of it came with the thought, “I can’t do that.” I think many of us would agree that so quickly for all of us this initial thought becomes, “I can do that.” How exciting and empowering to have this new narrative. Honestly, sometimes we wonder if we will ever be able to get through the warm up without stopping, or do a one minute plank, wall sits, or bear crawls, let alone any weight lifting. But we do and we believe in ourselves a little more with each success.

When we start thinking about our own #s, setting goals and accomplishing them, in some way we are rewiring our brains for self-belief. By setting our sights on something that seems out of reach and then achieving that, we boost our confidence and this carries over into other parts of our lives. What else in my life would I like to achieve? What goals can I set? How do I prioritize my routine to get there? What are the steps I need to take? Once you apply the structure, the discipline, and the process to get there- Boom! You reach new p.r.s in your life. For me the barbell is a reminder of all the things I never thought I could do, but actually can. Coincidentally, barbells are not in our routine this month. I’m glad I didn’t have to quit cold turkey, and had self directed through the weaning process, but I look at them fondly with memories of my personal records. Fortunately for me on my last rack pull p.r. of 300#, my workout buddy, Michelle asked if she could take my picture. I’m glad she did, and like Bogart to Bergman in Casablanca , I can say, “We’ll always have Paris.”

Cultivating your self-belief is a wonderful byproduct of attending a gym. What would you like to accomplish that you never thought you could, because you know what? I bet you can!

Motivational Nutrition Personal Development

In a Relationship

What makes a successful relationship? Whittling down the answer to this question to the essentials leaves a simple formula.

A healthy relationship:

  • Is a priority
  • Brings value to my life
  • Honors who I am
  • Requires cultivation

In other words, when I prioritize a relationship I put aside time for it and plan for it. I feel nourished by it and feel like I have something to offer at the same time. When I cultivate a relationship, I take time to learn about the person and allow for growth and change.
In contrast, an unhealthy relationship might feel rushed, fit in between other things, easily distracted during interactions by texts, calls, work, or t.v, etc. I might go so far as to label it “bad” when I talk about it, or feel I have to justify it, not be completely honest about it, or see there is no substance to it.

The same is true with our relationship with food.

There are many strategies for building healthy habits for eating well and supporting good nutrition. Some people have success with 3 meals a day, some with 5 smaller meals. Some people count macro nutrients. Some count on protein shakes. There’s intermittent fasting, intuitive eating, (my favorite), meal prep, recipe apps, food journaling, and more. Any, none, and all have worked for me at various times in my life. Recently I went through a very stressful time, and I could feel my eating habits changing. I found that I wasn’t able to pull a strategy from my tool box to help me. Day after day went by and I’d start over finding myself ending at a place I didn’t like. I’d forgive myself and try again, but I was getting discouraged. What I realized through that process was that it wasn’t about the food, the habits, the 3 meals, or the high protein. It was about my relationship with food that was having the most impact on whether or not I was successful executing my healthy eating habits.
The best way for me to reset my habits was to do what I would do to improve any relationship.

  • Make it a priority. Eat slowly, not rushing through a meal or snack on the go. Be present and mindful.
  • Make sure it brings value. Eat nutrient dense food with quality ingredients.
  • I’ve been told I have exceptionally high standards for most things in my life. To honor who I am, why wouldn’t I hold my food choices to those same standards?
  • Cultivate my relationship with food. Enjoy the process. Explore new ideas, recipes, flavors, and resources.

By taking inventory of my relationship with food this way, I am actually addressing the root of many food habit issues.
What does a healthy relationship look like for you?

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I Won The Lottery, and So Did You

What do you mean I won the lottery, Hunter?

That’s what I thought until I decided to not sleep ALL night and watch a one hour speech by Warren Buffet, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway who’s net worth is 73.5 Billion Dollars.

In his presentation, he was asked the question, “What is your take on Social Security and the Welfare System?”

His answer really takes everyone’s best interest into account, and that’s why I wanted to share this with you today.


NOTE: These aren’t his exact quotes – just as I remember

When he was asked this question in front of over a hundred high school students, he replied with this answer:

“Well first things first, we all won the lottery… when I was born I had a 1 in 50 chance to be born in the United States, and I was fortunate enough to be born here. You guys have also won the lottery, so you’re already ahead of the game.”

That statement right there was a big eye opener to me in itself. Yes, I’m grateful that I live in this country, but when you really get to the numbers (1 in 50) although I’m sure the numbers have changed since when he was born, it really makes an impact.

He continues…

“Imagine if, 24 hours before you were born, a genie came to you and said, “you’re about to be born in 24 hours, and you can create the world however you want it.”

“What’s the catch?”, you’d say.

The genie would reply back, “Here’s the catch… you don’t know if you’re going to be male or female, white or black, smart or stupid, healthy or have a crippling disease, what country you’re to be born in, or if you’re born rich or poor.””

This reply to the question Warren Buffet asked is about the best answer I think he could have given. Obviously, everyone’s interpretation on this is different, but it does really take into perspective everyone elses positions.

Personally, I don’t get caught up in all of the politics that go into social security and welfare, but I am aware that a lot of people complain about it.

It impacts my life in that my mother is very ill and does have a very deadly disease that she was born with. Luckily, it’s not as severe as it could be, but the medical bills aren’t cheap. She worked her entire life as a nurse and helped thousands of people, and she didn’t stop until her doctors told her she had to.

However, a lot of people abuse the system too, and it is FAR from perfect. Warren Buffett acknowledges this but claims that it is constantly improving.

I’m not going to get into this debate, but I really just wanted to share Warren Buffett’s viewpoint on this because it really made me appreciate what I have a little bit more. I hope it did the same for you.

You can watch the full interview below: