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Frustrated With Your Exercise Efforts? This is Probably Why...



You Overestimate Your Capacity


 
This one is a little personal for me. I probably do this more than anyone I know. That must have been why this was an easy post to write!

We humans have this wonderful trait of projecting the best image of ourselves onto our future choices.  While this is an awesome trait (one I think is our inner potential calling us to greatness), there is also the fact that our best intentions will eventually run smack into realities we could never have know about or planned for.  That can be frustrating, but once you learn to account for things taking longer than expected, it starts to make the change process more manageable and much less discouraging. 

So what are some of the biggest capacity blind spots I’ve observed over the years?  Here are four of them:
 
1.     You overestimate what you can accomplish in a day.  Unless it’s the day before vacation, you’re probably not working at full capacity.  Yet, most people plan their lives as if they will always be as productive as the day before vacation.  How to overcome this: Learning the discipline of taking a few moments to map out each day and regularly review written goals, can dramatically change the game for you.  One of my best recommendations for how to overcome this blind spot is Darren Hardy’s Insane Productivity course.  It’s outstanding, and many of the principles made their way into our Life Coaching service. 

2.    You underestimate how much time meal preparation actually takes – We’ve observed again and again that most of the time when people decide to “eat better” most of the time they are blindsided by the emotional tedium of planning, shopping, prepping, cooking, eating, cleaning…and repeating a few hours later.  How to overcome this: First set aside more time than you think you’ll need.  Yes, this will mean you have to say no to some other things while you learn to make healthful eating into a routine.  Second, find or hire someone who has this rhythm down and learn from them.

3.     You expect to be a success the first time you try something – every expert was once a beginner and yet we often expect to jump into new substantive challenges and avoid taking some lumps along the way.  We've observed again and again that when you approach it that way you’re either going to quit early or be disappointed.  Once, like a baby learning to walk, you accept some failure along the way, you’ll be well prepared to go through the process of learning the inevitable lessons that come with trying something new.

4.     When you strive for a new goal, you expect to have more time for other people than you actually do.  So much of living a good life is the ability to invest in meaningful connection with others.  Such connections are the relationships we will end up relying on when the goal achieving process start to bog down.

Want some help?  We can help you not overestimate what you're capable of and keep you from feeling like you're stuck on a hamster wheel.  If you're already a customer, schedule one of your free 30-minute strategy sessions to keep you on track. If you're not already a customer you can click here to set up a FREE consultation.

To your TRUE Health and Wholeness,

Christian

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One of the Biggest Obstacles to Health You've Never Considered



You Have a Chemical Problem

Possibly more than any other factor in health, this is often the biggest blind spot people have when it comes to their health and weight loss being stuck at a plateau.  Because toxins represent a constant barrage, and because they are impossible to avoid and they hide in plain sight, getting a handle on reducing your chemical problem could be where you stand to make the biggest gains in your health.    

Big Picture Context
  1. There are over 80,000 man made chemical introduced in the last 100 years that never existed before in human history.
  2. If it’s synthetic and man made, it’s almost certainly not something a human body has need of or knows what to do with
  3. Since our bodies don’t know what to do with such chemical, if their intake exceeds our ability to purge them (and trust me it does) our bodies store these chemical in our fat cells, and for the really bad stuff, deep in our liver where they can’t get out. 
  4. We are barraged with toxins from birth to the grave – A study done by the Environment Working Group found the umbilical cord blood from newborn babies has over 200 pollutants present including dioxins, jet fuel, pesticides, and all sorts of hormone disrupting chemicals. 
The Bad News - It is impossible to get away from all these chemicals.  You will never be free of toxins. 

The Good News – there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce your exposure to toxins.  This is by no means an exhaustive list but here are the:

Top 6 Measures You Can Take:
  1. Get a high quality filter for your drinking water:  Get to know what’s in your tap water and you’ll start to get a sour stomach just learning about it.  (There’s no water on the planet that’s not affected by the way). A good water filter is one of the best places to start reducing your exposure to toxins.  One that removes fluoride is preferred if you can find one.  NOTE: I know I know, fluoride is supposed to be good for you right.  Trust me on it, or go look it up yourself.  It’s actually pretty toxic.  Read the warning label on your toothpaste with fluoride if you want a curious place to start.
  2. Get a filter for your shower: Your skin is a filter, but it doesn’t catch everything.  So, you can either have a filter in your shower, or you can be a filter.  Reducing the amount of toxins hitting your skin in the shower (chlorine especially) is a great way to reduce your toxic exposure. 
  3. Upgrade your person hygiene products: Take a look at the ingredients in the products you put on your face and skin.  Chances are your poisoning yourself a little every day.  The majority of products contain some level or carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.  Check out the EWG app Skin Deep for a QR code scanner you can take to the store (or to your bathroom) to scan barcodes of products and begin to get a window into how toxic your products may or may not be.  As a general rule, the more ingredients you can recognize the better.  Eventually you’ll start to develop your trusted, go-to brands.  And apparently women eat an average of seven pounds of lipstick a year…if you’re not going to stop wearing it, you might as well make it less harmful. 
  4. Upgrade your household cleansers: similar to personal hygiene the stuff we clean our homes (or other products) with can be quite toxic.  What’s good for cleaning grime off something probably isn’t good in your lungs, on your fingers or anywhere else in your body for that matter.  Looking for effective, natural products takes some work, but is totally worth it.  NOTE: Laundry detergent is probably the most important place to start.  Having low-level toxins on your skin all day can wreak havoc on your endocrine and other systems. 
  5. Replace plastic and non-stick with glass and stainless steel anywhere you can:  Plastic is super convenient, yet many forms of it are not great for your health.  It’s easy for these products to slowly degrade and find it’s way into your blood stream.  Remember, these products were made with convenience in mind, not necessarily health.  NEVER microwave plastic.  It puts dioxin in your food.   
  6. Think about what you can do to get off medications: I’m no doctor so what you do here is between you and your physician.  However, I can tell you drugs are by nature toxic, thus the reason they all have side effects.  Not all drugs are terrible and while they certainly have their place (trauma and ER especially), drugs don’t heal.  They only cover up problems by accelerating, suppressing or replacing a bodily function.  Many drugs (like birth control) end up causing cancer, anti-depressants typically cause sustained weight gain, antacids cause bones loss and hip fractures, and don’t get me started on the cardiac damage done by cholesterol-lower medications (how did we fall for that one?)  Bottom line is, if you regularly take medication(s), there is probably a whole world of other options for you that will help your body heal and lose weight.  Continuing to put something toxic in your body, creating new symptoms, and expecting a different result sounds a bit like a definition of insanity. 
Don’t just take my word for it on the above list.  If you want more information on this topic, or want to do a deep dive, check out the outstanding books The Hundred Year Lie by Randall Fitzgerald, or Slow Death by Rubber Duck by Rick Smith and Bruce Laurie

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The Top Four Progress-Killing Mindsets



Truth be told there are way more than four sabotaging mindsets people have, but here are the top four I've seen over the years...and what you can do about them.

#1 You want it to be easier than it is

One of the common, yet unspoken frustrations I hear people express is that they want this one thing they learned/implemented to be that last click on the padlock, the one finally unlocks the health they’ve been looking for.  The unspoken wish people have is that the extra thing they try will finally make the difference to get their health going in the right direction…permanently, without progress slowing down, and without having to learn and master additional habits. 

I only wish health worked like that.  Reality is, building health is often like learning to play music, one skill builds on the next, and there is always more you can do to improve.  Just like musicians on their professional journey, people can get stuck on their health journey.  Losing the first 50 pounds is a lot easier than the last 10 and unless you practice new habits and acquire new habits you’re likely to stay stuck.   Winners push for answer, for continual improvement, while others let the frustration we all feel cause them to quit.  Be a winner!

#2 You rule something out before you try it

Now admittedly this is a double edge sword.  It’s not possible to “try everything,” nor should you…try every diet theory, engage in every form of exercise, take all the supplements in the supplement aisle, etc.  But at the same time it’s also a bad practice to stubbornly rule out things that genuinely may help, simply because we don’t understand them. 

Instead, of a “that probably won’t work” mindset, develop a curious mindset—one that says something like “I wonder if it could work, and if it doesn’t, I wonder what I could learn from it.”  Think about what benefit might you stand to gain that you would otherwise miss.  Might there be more to it than you’re aware?  Look for time-tested disciplines or ways of thinking that have been around for a while. 

Side Note for the Skeptic: Stop being stubborn!

Instead of planting a flag and saying for example that, chiropractic won’t help, talk to people who swear by it.  Instead of ruling out acupuncture because Western medicine can’t explain it (although they a nice job of copying it with dry needling), find out why it has been around for a few thousand years.  Instead of saying Pilates is for ladies, try it out and see why NFL players love it.  You get the point.  There are all sorts of things that may work.  Don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out, but don’t be too stubborn to try time-tested modalities.  Options that have been around for a while have staying power for a reason.       

#3 You move on before you give something a long enough period to be effective.  Most disciplines in the healing arts, most worthwhile dietary changes, or most forms of exercise, take more than a handful of sessions to really be successful.  We’re so used to everything being quick in our society that this is often hard to remember. 

So how long should I stick with something?

Know that the body has a pre-set timeframe for ramping up the healing process—for example, your stomach cells are remade every few days, red blood cells (your body’s grocery delivery system) takes four months to be made new, the process of reforming soft tissue takes three to twelve month depending on several factors, and on and on.  As a general rule of thumb, give yourself at least six tries or two-four months with any health, wellness or fitness endeavor to begin to gauge its effectiveness.   

#4 You suffer from an “I already know what to do” mindset. 

While that may be true, it may not be.  If you’re knowledge isn’t bearing fruit, it’s fair to ask two follow up questions: If you know what to do then why are you still stuck? There may be a legitimate answer, or it may be that you actually don’t know what to do. 

A few good follow up questions to ask here are:
  1. Have you had anyone you respect question what you “already know to do?”
  2. If you suspect know what to do, what keeps you from doing it?
  3. If you know what to do, and aren’t doing it, what do you not learned about how to set up life so you can practice what you think will be effective?
  4. If you are doing it, have you mastered it?

OK, I hope seeing those mindsets helps you cultivate a new possibility and growth mindset.  If you ever need help figuring out your next steps we are just an email or phone call away.  You can reach me at christian@true-hw.com or you can submit a request for a free consultation here

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Why That Form of Exercise You Like May Be Hurting You

The Biggest Blind Spot I See with Exercise: People Who Don’t Mix up Their Workouts Yes, consistency is your superpower when it comes to using fitness as a tool for body transformation and sustained health, but almost equal in importance in exercise is to not get stuck in a rut. More than a few weeks of the same workout will slow significantly in producing adaptation in your body. Read More

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Four Tips for Finding a Good Personal Trainer

FITNESS


Finding a good trainer
can take some work.  Here are a few things to consider when searching for the trainer that perfectly suits you and your lifestyle. While being conveniently located, having a body that doubles as a great business card and having specialties that match your goals are important, here are four other essential questions worth answering about the person you would consider hiring:


TIP #1
How much experience do they really have?
What have they personally accomplished in exercise? Nothing compensates for breadth of experience.  You want a trainer who knows what it feels like to be in the shoes they might put you in and who can lead you through the process.  How many hours of experience do they have vs. how many years? In a couple years or less, a full-time trainer can have thousands of hours of experience to draw upon.  In contrast, a trainer with “15 years of experience” may have only been working part-time with the same two people for 15 years.  What is the breadth (age, demographic, goals, etc.) of their clientele? Have they worked with anyone who has similar goals to you, and do they have a frame or reference to help you set new goals as the years and accomplishments accumulate?


TIP #2
Is their passion for what they do obvious?
If not, it probably won’t be after you’ve purchased some sessions, either.  Unfortunately, even the fitness industry is not immune to having “professionals” who are bored with their work.  Any of us can feel stale if we sit on what we know for too long.  Passionate trainers are plugged into networks that keep them motivated, current with the latest research and industry trends, as well as practicing what they preach.  Passionate trainers are always looking to enrich their client’s experience.  The others just count reps and collect a paycheck.  If you hire a trainer, his or her energy (or lack of it) is part of what will fuel (or dampen) your workouts.  Find a trainer whose enthusiasm is contagious.


TIP #3
Do they possess a combination of Confidence and Humility? 
Good trainers are confident, but not cocky.  Interviewing a trainer should give you confidence that they have tools that can change your life, but you should also see a humble side of them that recognizes they don’t know everything.  Confident trainers convey that with well-crafted routines and attention to detail – you cannot help but see results.  Humble trainers recognize that you are not a carbon copy of anyone else and that this journey of helping you be a better version of yourself will be a learning experience for both of you.


TIP #4
Do they understand their role as a part of “Team You”?
Good trainers understand and demonstrate there is more to vitality than just a good workout.  They understand that their work with you is only a portion of what makes you whole and healthy.  Such trainers are typically plugged into a network of other health and wellness professionals who can help you accomplish your health goals and, in turn, benefit more from the wonderful world of exercise.


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Plateau's = Opportunity

Getting stuck at plateaus is normal. It's part of the change process. Anytime you start to change, the new measures you implement will take you somewhere better, but rarely do they take you all the way to your goal. Think of reaching your goals as a sequence of phases: There's a climbing phase, and a plateau phase. Each one sets up the next. Each plateau is another opportunity to reflect on where you've been and ask more informed questions so you can prepare for the next climb. That is where we come alongside you as the guide to you ask the right questions and break the cycle of falling back into bad habits. Read More

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REASON #7 WHY YOU HAVEN'T REACHED YOUR HEALTH AND FITNESS GOALS: You Picked the Wrong Goal

Striving to accomplish something meaningful will make you (sometimes painfully) aware of the areas of your life where you fall short—your faults, your excuses, your tendencies, your limitations, and countless areas where you could improve your philosophy and skills sets. However, the process is not all “glass half empty.” Striving for a big goal will also present you with countless opportunities to become a better person. Goals setting, real goal setting—the kind with a thoughtful, adaptive plan—is one of the most clarifying and refining processes we can go through. To say you picked the wrong goals isn’t meant to say you picked a bad goal, or a goal you won’t accomplish eventually. Rather it’s saying that the process will teach you a lot, and one of those lessons is that sometimes you aimed at something off target from what you really want, or from what’s wise to run after right now. FOUR SIGNS YOU PICKED THE WRONG GOAL: Read More

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Reason #6 Why You Haven't Reached Your Health and Fitness Goals: You Rely on Willpower, Not Why Power

“Willpower is an exhaustible resource.” That was one of the best lines I picked up from the excellent book Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath. Trying to use willpower is an exercise of logic fighting with emotion. The Heath brothers use the brilliant analogy of an elephant (emotions) and a rider (logic) to describe the internal tug of war we all go through when, for example, we try to force ourselves to go to the gym when we’d rather sleep, or to not fall prey to the allure of the television or ice cream instead of going to bed. In moments of clarity, both the elephant and the rider are in agreement and working toward the same course of action. Yet, when there is a battle of wills, an imbalance of perspective, the elephant always wins. Their point is, unless we are well prepared, the willpower battle will eventually be lost. So… to change our results it’s helpful to start thinking and behaving with the above understanding in mind. Read More

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Five Essential Ingredients for Changing Your Body, Your Health, and Your Life

So you want to lose some weight, turn your health around, and stop settling for mediocre? It’s time to start living life with the body and vitality you’ve always wanted. If you’re serious this time, ready to put in the work and commit to a journey, then read on friend. These five ingredients comprise the recipe for dramatic and permanent change. Read More

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Cupping Therapy

Rio Olympians have thrown cupping therapy in to the national spotlight with their circular bruise-looking marks on their bodies. This isn’t the first international exposure to cupping as it was also seen at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, but it has gained much more notoriety due to its use by superstars like Michael Phelps. So what exactly is cupping and why are Olympians using it? Read More

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