Today is a new day. I have learned that to live to the fullest and avoid suffering, I have to let go of the past and forget about what it used to be. I have to plan my future, and not expect that everything comes as I expected. In other words, I can only live in the present. One day at a time.
That I should always do my best to expect the best…
to stop making excuses, accept my mistakes and take responsibility for all that happens in my life, to let life happen and let time uncover the reasons why things happened. Like Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect the dots looking back.”
Mistakes bring pain, losses bring pain, risk brings pain, trying brings pain. But if we don’t make mistakes, we don’t learn; if we don’t lose it means we don’t make mistakes; if we don’t risk, we don’t make mistakes; if we don’t try, we don’t risk. To become better everyday we must try, risk, make mistakes and lose. Therefore, pain is inevitable and it is needed to continue progressing which leads to happiness.
I have experienced two types of pain, physical and emotional. Physical pain I am very used to. I know it will go away soon. It is only a discomfort of my body telling me that I hurt it, but it will heal. It will only take time.
Emotional pain is a little more complicated for me. It is hard to fail and start over, to realize that my life will not be the same because of my loss. Emotional pain brings me to my knees, it makes me cry and ask God for forgiveness. It makes me ask God for his wisdom to understand this pain. It makes me a better person. It makes me humble. It makes me human. It makes me understand others. It teaches me that I still have more to learn about life.
I have noticed that only people who transcend are capable of embracing high levels of pain…
Martin Luther King is an example. He went to jail for months for doing what is right. His life and his family’s lives were threatened many times. Living everyday wondering when and where another bomb was going to detonate and always leaving his family behind because of his high purpose in life.
Gandhi is another great example, walking for more than 500 miles to free his people from unjust laws. He fasted many times, almost to death to help his people to do the right thing. Giving all his material things and sourcing by only necessary means.
Mother Teresa also sacrificed her comfortable life to help others. Without support and resources she was begging for food to help the needy. She was rejected so many times and she never gave up.
Jesus also suffered. The thought of him knowing the pain he had to go through that I’m sure was pure agony. He knew he was about to get whipped almost to death, and then he needed to carry his cross, nailed and crucified, exposed in the sun, hungry and thirsty while many people were laughing under his feet.
I notice that to achieve something extraordinary, I must become extraordinary…
and to become extraordinary, I must endure pain and discomfort. The good thing is that pain is not here to stay and will leave some day. It may last hours, days, months or years, but one day it will be gone and I will be better, stronger, wiser and more skillful.
My life will be average like many others if I am not willing to risk and try, but great achievements come from great endurance. Therefore, I am willing to continue moving forward and not give up on my dreams, because with God I can overcome any difficulty. Today I am a better person thanks to the pain that I am living and pains that I have overcome. I am living today for what I have and for who I am. The past is in the past, and the future is not here. Consequently, I am living my present like there is no future or past, doing my best.
Custom Body Fitness is located in Glenwood Springs CO and Carbondale CO
“For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.”
There have been many people all over the world throughout history that have fought for freedom. Some who I’ve heard about are Chief Joseph, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Dalai Lama, Pancho Villa, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas Jefferson and Cesar Chavez.
Of course, this list is nothing compared to how long slavery existed, and it’s not possible to count every single person who has fought for freedom all over the world. And it’s true we can find all kinds of slavery and all kinds of revolutions.
The Truth Is….
that I am very happy that I am free, not only free from slavery but also free to become a better person. I bet that any of these leaders, before they could free other people, needed to free themselves.
Can you imagine creating a revolution where you could be killed or incarcerated for life?
These leaders needed to overcome some real fears before they could lead other people.
Remez Seasson said, “Your mind is your instrument. Learn to be its master not its slave.” I think the first battle to win is the one with oneself. My thoughts used to enslave me, but now I have more control over them. One thing that has helped me is to differentiate the carnal or superficial desires from the things I really want from the bottom of my heart.
There is not a better battle to win than the one with myself. I understood that I can control my superficial desires and I can do better in life and overcome my fears and put all my energy to improve myself. I can control my thoughts instead of my thoughts controlling me. Battles with oneself are the hardest ones, but freedom begins here.
If you want to control your thoughts and overcome any difficulty and achieve your goals, here are a few tools I use to do it. By the way, personally, I can tell you that putting my life in the hands of a Superior Power has helped me the most.
Being with myself and giving me time alone to think about what is in my head allows me to understand my thoughts and find answers. At the same time, it helps me to focus on the future and the goals I want to achieve.
While all this is part of my meditation — and it helps me understand myself and what I really want — the best thing about meditation is that I can manipulate my thoughts and focus on them. When a negative thought comes into my head, I replace it with my dream. I focus on all the positive events.
Be aware of what you are thinking…
During the day there are many thoughts running through my head such as fears, negative events, negative feelings and others. I don’t let these thoughts occupy my head. I am aware of them but think about the good side of everything. It becomes easier as I become more aware of what I think. Now it is a choice to put good thoughts in my head instead of just thinking wherever my brain wants to think.
Accept That Some Of Your Negative Thoughts Bring You Pleasure And Suppress Them…
Many times we get pleasure from our negative thoughts, such as seeing someone fail, reading or hearing gossip, seeing other people in a negative stage, thinking about junk food, thinking about getting drunk and so on.
For some reason we have bad habits.
There is nothing wrong with getting pleasure from these thoughts: The problem starts when we allow these thoughts to occupy our brain. It is important to cut out these feelings and think the opposite right away. Otherwise, our brain gets full of negative thoughts and we become what we think.
Start Putting In Only Positive
Information And Real Knowledge…
There is no doubt that we become what we have in our brain. If we put junk or trash in our brain, we can’t expect to come up with ingenious ideas. If we put trash in we get trash out. If we want to become positive, we must input all the best information provided in the world by reading, listening to other capable people and leaving behind negative people, TV programs and gossip magazines.
Surround yourself with the perfect environment…
I make my environment. I meet different negative people. I choose my friends carefully, and when negative people are around me I turn their negativity around at least for the moment. If I can’t do it, then I let them be and walk away. I choose what I am ready for, what I am watching online and what I am spending my time on.
Focus On Your Dreams…
Your dreams are not going to come alone. Your dreams affect your life. You behave according to your dreams. The only way you can achieve your ideal life and be happy is by you winning your own battle. You decide if you let your dreams go by not fighting or winning over your thoughts.
I am not perfect by any means. But I have grown a lot thanks to controlling my thoughts.
“Conquer your thought and you will conquer the world.”
What Should I Eat To Lose Weight…
Let’s start by determining for how long you want to lose weight. If you want to simply lose weight but not fat, you can start by cutting carbohydrate intake and dehydrate yourself and lose 5 pounds in a week. You can also fast and lose weight. Or you can follow a diet for 3 months and lose some weight. Believe me, any of these methods will work. But the important question is: for how long?
I think it all depends on how long you are willing not to drink water or to live without the energy carbohydrates provide. Or it depends on how long you are fasting or following a diet that does not fit your lifestyle. Remember that the real problem is not the extra weight you are carrying. The real problem is your lifestyle. If you are looking to lose a couple of pounds only for a special occasion, a short-term solution may be fine, but I am not sure if your body, health and appearance will be at their best.
Now, if you are looking for healthy, energetic, effective, lasting weight loss results, you may want to take into consideration a lifestyle change where weight loss happens without you even needing to pay attention to what you should or should not eat. Instead, you want to learn what we are made to eat and what foods are made for profit.
If you study our past, you will discover and learn a lot through our existence. We did not know a lot, and we probably fed ourselves only from plants and fruits. This is the best food our body can digest. However, as we evolved, we started trying new things, such as hunting and creating cooking methods and using oils when cooking.
Nevertheless, we got worse about our food intake when we got busy making money and focusing on work. We take time away from cooking, preparing our foods and even from eating. Therefore, we start buying processed foods that are full of chemicals with no nutrients. These days, many companies are saving money by keeping their products on shelves longer. They don’t want to lose profit, and they want to sell their products. Consequently, they find the way to do. It is by taking the nutrients out and adding chemicals, as I mentioned.
The real reason human beings eat is because we need nutrients to have energy, survive and repair our bodies. Nutrients are found in whole foods, which are perfectly made for us to digest them (or we are perfectly made to digest such foods). The truth is that when we started to refine foods and break them down from their natural state is when we started having problems. For example, sugar has created so many problems in society, such as diabetes, tooth decay, metabolic problems and obesity. It is the same thing with refined flour, and if you start researching vitamins, you find out that the same thing is true.
Let me tell you what I have learned about the body. There are enzymes in the body that are in charge of digestion. These enzymes break our food down into a simple state. Imagine your house being 300 years old, and it is falling apart. All the components of the house are old and some are rotten. You hire a construction crew to basically take the house down and build a new one. Of course, if you want the house to last another 300 years or more, you want to buy the best materials that you can find. Otherwise, you may need to replace them often.
This is the same thing that the enzymes are doing in your body. The enzymes are breaking down all the food that you are eating into specific nutrients, and they are rebuilding your body by taking the old cells down (taking the old house down and building a new one). Your body is regenerating every second even though it takes 7 years to completely finish every single cell. So what you eat is super important not only for weight loss but for your health as well.
By now maybe you are making some conclusions about what foods you should avoid and what foods you should be eating. Nevertheless, let’s get more specific about it. Let’s talk about what you should be eating and avoiding.
Let’s start with what you should be eating. Now before you get all excited about the foods that are going to help you lose weight, keep in mind that the foods that you avoid are as important as the ones that you should be eating. I know that by starting eating the right foods, there will be no space for the bad foods. It helps if you learn about bad foods and be conscious about it.
Make no mistake about this. There is no diet that says that veggies are bad. I think it’s one of the only things that doctors, diet practitioners and other professionals agree on. Veggies are the key for weight loss and a healthy life.
Veggies have all the nutrients you need to survive, to heal, to exercise, to sleep, to have a clear mind, healthy skin, healthy sight and healthy bones and anything you can think of. There is no whole food more dense in nutrients and healthy than veggies. If you do some research it will confirm this. However — and this is not to contradict anyone — it seems that some people do need meat to have a higher quality of life. I read in the Bible that two men were invited to eat what the king eats to stay as strong as the other soldiers, and they refused, asking to eat only veggies. These two men were the strongest of the army. However, I also read that one of Jesus’ disciples had a fish ready for Jesus.
So if you eat meat or don’t eat meat, make sure veggies comprise the majority of food you eat. In other words, think about eating at least 50% veggies in your lunch and dinner. Everyone can eat veggies, and make sure you eat them if weight loss and being healthy is your goal.
There is a myth about fruits. Many people think that eating fruits will make them gain weight because fruits are high in sugar, which makes people fat. While it is true that sugar contributes to obesity, sugar in fruits comes in a natural state and with other nutrients needed by the body.
When we eat fruit we eat more than sugar. In fact, the highest percentage of an apple is water. Have you seen a dehydrated apple? After what is left, we get also fiber (which it helps with weight loss), minerals, vitamins and sugar. However, the sugar that is left needs to be broken down and used as energy almost in the same moment. Also, it is difficult to overeat fruits. Try to eat 10 apples in one sitting and let me know how it goes.
On the other hand, refined sugar is already in its simplest state, and it can be overeaten. The body does not really need to digest it, and it goes straight to the liver, becoming fat to be stored. In addition, this type of sugar is everywhere in the processed food industry: bread, chips, frozen foods, pickles, salads, dressings, dried meat, beverage, canned foods, and anything you can think of that comes in a package. This is another way of overeating sugar. This is the real cause of obesity.
I have not met an overweight person who eats only fruits. I have even met a couple of fruitarians who are very skinny. Fruits are like a vegetable with a sweet flavor. You determine the logic for me. Is it better to eat a pastry made of refined flour, sugar and other ingredients than a fruit?
You should be eating fruits for all their nutritional value and weight loss benefits as well.
Meat is a contradictory topic. Many people have done research on this topic that leads to a conclusion that humans fare better without meat. However, many of these studies are done with treated meat and animals that are grown with hormones and other harmful chemicals.
I think one of the problems with our society now is that our animals are treated with so many chemicals to make them bigger and profitable. In addition, when the animal is dead, the meat gets treated even further for preservation and also for profit. Furthermore, nowadays people are most likely eating predominately meat in their diets (bacon with eggs for breakfast, hamburger or a Philly sandwich for lunch and for dinner steak and potatoes). My grandfather is 100 years of age, and he is very healthy, skinny, still walks, sweeps, showers alone and gets up at 4 a.m. to do his home chores. He eats meat in his diet. But the meat that he eats is not treated like in America.
Maybe I am only defending my point of view of eating meat because I do eat meat. As I mentioned before, I think the best diet is vegetarian. I have tried to become vegetarian, and every time by the third week I run out of energy, and I feel tired no matter what I do.
I think because of my level of activity and my training, meat is something that my helps me with my energy levels. Also, I believe that we all have been raised in different environments. Just like some people are able to eat grains and others are able to eat legumes, I think many people are able to digest meats better than others. If you study many cultures you find out that they eat according to their environment, and some cultures are completely different than others. For example, people in many Asian cultures eat a lot of rice and never have an overweight problem until they arrive in the U.S. In the U.S., the second generation of these Asian families struggle with overweight problems if they adopt the American diet. My family in Chiapas, Mexico, would eat meat every day — chicken, beef and fish — and never had a health problem until they adopted the Western diet. However, they combine everything with veggies and grains.
However, like I said the problem with society now is that we eat too much meat with harmful chemicals in it.
These are my recommendations about eating meat: First, find the best meat and invest your money in it. Don’t be cheap when it comes to food. That means find people and companies that raise animals in a humane way, without hormones and antibiotics. Also, make sure that the animals eat what they’re supposed to eat; for example, cows eat grass instead of corn. Next, don’t make meat the main ingredient on your plate. Veggies should be the main ingredient, and meat should be only a complement, the smallest percentage. Keep in mind that you can survive without eating meat, and if you are better without it, there is no need for you to eat it.
Grains and legumes…
Grain and legumes are a source of protein and carbohydrates that many people avoid because of a myth, just as it is with fruits. Many diets have discriminated against carbohydrates, and people have not taken the time to differentiate between good and bad carbohydrates. The body needs carbohydrates to function at its optimal level, especially if you are active. Carbohydrates serve as energy that no other nutrient can provide as quickly and efficiently. Grains and legumes are not the reason why people are overweight. Nevertheless, there are other carbohydrates that need to be avoided that I will mention later.
Oatmeal, rice, quinoa, beans, lentils and wheat are some examples of good grains.
If you noticed what I have mentioned are whole foods in the most natural state they can be. You can’t go wrong with whole foods. This is what you can eat to lose weight and stay healthy without a problem. It is time to talk about what to avoid.
Sugar never was a problem until men intervened to extract it from its natural state. The same happened with oils and carbohydrates and protein and vitamins. Now we not only refine our foods, but we alter it. Years ago we used to cure meats, vegetables and other foods with salt, vinegar and other natural substances to keep them from spoiling. As we evolved, we found (really the corporations found) other ways to preserve foods. We do this to economize and save energy, as we can use it to do other things.
Nevertheless, flavor, for many of us, has become our goal when eating. We are always looking for ways to make foods tastier. We end up eating what has more “flavor” than what taste appeals to us. This is why some restaurants are more popular than others.
As you probably know someone else concluded what I have concluded before I did. Many companies do not care about you and your health. They really care about money. No one wants to lose money, and many are willing to lie and hurt others for it. It sounds a little dramatic, but it’s true. Many companies have discovered how to create more food, keep it longer on the shelf and make it tasty, hence making a bigger profit.
Now companies (unlike your grandmother or mine) are using chemicals that hurt our health and make us hungrier so we can eat more, and it makes us overweight. So the first foods to avoid are processed foods.
Refined foods and beverages with added sugar…
These are not too different from processed foods. As I mentioned, our problem started when we refined our foods. Our foods are not whole anymore, and we don’t digest them as we are supposed to, and our body ends up storing them as fat and/or creating a disease. Of course, if sugar, flour and refined foods are not good for losing weight, you probably already concluded that added-sugar drinks such as soda, bottled juices and energy drinks are not good for losing weight.
Keep in mind that I am not here to dictate your life and tell you what to do. I am only passing information according to your desire to lose weight and be healthy. To make it possible, you need to take all into consideration and weigh the benefits of your dreams and your habits. Alcohol is a worldwide accepted legal drug that contributes to many problems including overweight.
Calories are the energy that we use in our bodies. When calories are not used, they are stored as fat. There are calories and empty calories. Calories are what you find in whole foods. For example, when you eat broccoli you are getting nutrients with calories. You are eating zinc, iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, C, B, and much more. All these nutrients have a role in the body, from creating new bones, to helping with your sight and digesting foods. They are useful, and this is the real reason we need them. However, alcohol has empty calories. There is not a single nutrient that benefits the body. In fact, it intoxicates the body. In addition, these empty calories go straight to the liver and get stored as fat.
Fast food restaurant…
Have you see the documentary “Food Inc”? There is basic and good information about how food is treated in fast food restaurants. It is very similar to processed foods. In fact, fast food restaurants use processed foods. These foods are raised with hormones and pesticides, and nutrients have been removed and chemicals have been added.
These are the foods that you should avoid to lose weight and stay healthy. If you do this there is no mistake you can make. Nevertheless, I also recommend you do a sensitive food test to find out if you are allergic to any healthy foods from any previous damage you have done to your intestines due to these harmful products.
How much weight you want to lose, how healthy you want to be, for how long you want to lose the weight and how you want your body to look is up to you. Choose wisely.
It is not coincidence that all successful people set up goals. Many do it in writing and others picture it. Any good leader knows how important goal setting is.
When we have a goal, we have a clear destination, we prioritize important tasks, we control our future, we get motivated, we effectively manage our time, we live an effective life, and we accomplish our dreams more quickly, achieving better results.
When I did not know about goal setting, I had goals, but they were useless or vague. For example, some of my goals were to make more money, make my car faster, pay my bills, go party over the weekend, and become a waiter (because I was a busboy). I never really accomplished anything except for getting speeding tickets, getting drunk, and wasting the money I made. But yes, I paid my bills.
Now my life is different. I have accomplished a couple of goals that contribute to my happiness, to the world and to my freedom.
For example, I opened Custom Body Fitness Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, founded Canine Outreach Care and Rescue, wrote two books, and own two pieces of real estate. I know many others have achieved more than this, but the point is that goal setting has helped me to achieve my goals. I could never have accomplished these without the help of goal setting. Therefore, I know goal setting works.
Let’s clarify how goal setting helps…
For example, if you know you are losing 30 pounds because you want to improve your health and defeat diabetes, to fit in your wedding dress, or to increase your self-confidence, most likely you are going to be investing your time doing the right things because of your clear destination. We can compare this to going to the supermarket — when we know we are missing tomatoes to make a delicious sauce for our dinner, we go straight to get tomatoes. However, if we don’t know why we are going to the supermarket, we can end up buying potato chips, a pastry, canned food, candy or anything else that may not help us with our sauce.
We prioritize important tasks…
If the goal is losing those 30 pounds, we know that we need to eat on schedule, eat whole foods, stop eating junk food, exercise at least 30 minutes every day and stop drinking alcohol, among other things. Since we have a clear goal, all our energy is focused on achieving it, and even if we relapse, we get up and continue moving towards your goal.
Because our goal is important, instead of wasting time watching TV, surfing the web, or going out at night with friends, we invest the time in the priorities that will get us closer to our goal. Instead of going out, we cook; instead of waking up late, we wake up early and exercise.
Controlling our future…
Many of us lose our temper when we lose control of a situation. Having control of the future helps us be more secure and gives us the self-confidence that everything will be okay. While we are not certain about our future, goal setting is the best way to know what can happen in our future based on what we have control over. For example, if you don’t want to develop diabetes or be overweight, we can control that part of our lives by setting goals. On the other hand, if we have no goals and just make bad choices, the chances of us developing diabetes or gaining weight is greater.
It help us get motivated…
When we predict the future and we know that the future seems promising, we get motivated to practice the right habits. We get extremely inspired because the future seems great. For example, when things happen that were not supposed to happen and demoralize me, I continue practicing the right habits because my future motivates me. This happens to me when I project my future and set my goals. If there are no goals or promising future and we only live for what life brings us, we lose motivation when things become hard.
There are only 24 hours in one complete day. When we don’t have goals we do whatever we feel like depending on our mood. If we feel like sleeping long hours, we do; if we feel lazy and want to watch TV, we do; if we feel like eating junk food, we do because there is no goal at which to aim. This can be compared to shooting. If we don’t have a target we can shoot at the sky, the tree, the car, the other tree and anything that we can think about. Like I mentioned before, when we have goals we invest our time meticulously towards our goals instead of just doing what we feel like because of the mood we are in.
Living an effective life…
Many of you already know that being in shape helps in many ways, from increasing self-esteem, having a better appearance, losing weight, having more energy, being independent, avoiding diseases to setting an example for our family. When we set goals and achieve them, we have conquered only part of our real purpose. We become more knowledgeable, resilient, and a better person over all. That gives us the courage to continue moving forward and live our purpose, leaving a legacy as we do it. This not only improves our lives and our families but improves the whole world.
Setting goals is the fastest way to get to our destination, realizing our dreams.
When I set my goals, I keep in mind a couple of things:
Goals should not be vague. For example, “I want to lose weight.” If you said that, you could get rid of an arm and lose weight, dehydrate yourself or even lose one pound and you’ve achieved that goal. So it should be clear: How much fat do you want to lose per month? Is fat the only thing you want to lose? Do you want to add muscle? Or do you only want to fit in your wedding dress? Or do you want a toned back to show when wearing your dress?
Setting goals should have a purpose, and the purpose should give you a positive sustainable result. For example, my goal was to make my car fast to feel cool and to win street races, but how would that contribute to my future and fulfillment?
Losing weight for the sake of losing weight does not give you enough motivation. If you focus on losing weight, it does not mean anything until you attach it to your emotions. When your emotions are involved your motivation increases. For example, losing 20 pounds to fit into your wedding dress sounds better than just losing 20 pounds. Or losing 30 pounds because I am tired of not enjoying life and doing what I love to do such as hiking, running or anything with my friends because I am embarrassed when they have to wait for me. If your mom died of a heart attack and you don’ t want to die the same way, that is also attached to your emotions.
Set a time limit…
If you don’t set a specific time, you could take all your life trying to achieve your goal. For example, when I bought my first apartment I wanted the freedom not to pay a mortgage, and that helped me to create a specific goal to know how much the apartment should cost and when I wanted to pay it off. Even though I asked for a five-year loan, I ended up paying it in two and a half years. So this goal has a purpose: I don’t want to pay rent, and I want to have my freedom. The time I gave myself to pay off the loan was 5 years; it is very specific. If I hadn’t done that, I might have gotten distracted with fancy cars and wasted my money on one of them when I can’t afford it and have it take 30 years or longer to pay my mortgage.
I did not spend money on unnecessary things, I worked hard to make that money; I could see myself owning the place so I wouldn’t have to pay rent. That gave me the motivation to continue working and improving myself even when I didn’t feel like it. I managed my time and invested it into working and saving money instead of spending it. My life was more effective thinking about the future, and I am living my dream. Same goes to your weight loss, if you have it clear why you want to lose weight and set a time limit, you may even get faster to your desired weight.
Keep track of goals:
The fact that I could see how much money I was paying and how fast I was saving it gave me the motivation to pay the apartment off even faster. When you take measurements and see real results, you know where all the effort of eating healthily and exercising is going, giving you the endorphins that you need to continue moving forward, motivating you even more to get there.
Now that I mentioned chemicals, let me mention how the following two special chemicals work…
Is a happy chemical that we release when we achieve goals. This is one of the reasons visioning our dreams and writing down our goals is so important. If you remember when you were a child and thought about Santa Claus, you thought about the presents. Those goals were so exciting that we even behaved and did what our parents told us to do to achieve the goals. When we went on a trip or passed the exam or anything like that, we got excited because dopamine is what we release when we achieve our goals.
Is what keeps us focused with no pain to get to the goal. When a runner experiences the “runners high” or a weight lifter feels the best in a weight lifting session and don’t really feel pain, the reason is they are releasing endorphins, which helps mask the pain. This is what endorphin does: covers the pain until they reach their goal. However, after hours or days they feel sore because the endorphin levels are lower.
This is why it is important to set goals for success…
Let’s recollect everything we talked about today.
Goals are important because we have a clear destination, we do the needed work to get there, we prioritize important tasks, we control our future, we get motivated, we effectively manage our time, we live an effective life, and we accomplish our dreams more quickly, therefore achieving better and faster results.
When we set goals, we should make sure we take into consideration:
Be specific, know your purpose, set a time scale and keep track of your progress.
If we set goals and follow the plan, it helps us to be high every day, and we won’t need cocaine, antidepressants or any other drug because we naturally get dopamine and endorphins.
To me it is very important to understand my clients in order to help them reach their goals. When I interview them, one of the questions I ask is what they want to get from exercising. Many of them are shy about telling me the real reason. But I don’t blame them because I would be shy as well talking to a stranger and telling that person about my life or the real reasons I want to exercise.
As we warm up and start talking about their real issues, we discover many things. I have come to the conclusion that most of us are looking for almost the same goals, but we express them differently.
Let me tell you what I have found out…
maybe you can relate. We want to stay younger; be healthy, in shape (tone body and low body fat) and energetic; have stamina; enjoy longevity; be stress free; be independent; increase our sex drive; be sharper; be more self-confident; have a stronger body and fit into our clothes, among others positive things.
If you related to this and know how it feels (low self-esteem, not happy with the way our body looks, unhealthy, tired, embarrassed not to be able to do many physical activities, old, lethargic, weak, and not able to buy the clothes we like but instead what fits), you probably agree that it’s time to change.
This is why many of us look for help…
We are tired of the pain of those feelings, and that pain is stronger than the pain of changing. However, many of us don’t want to take the steps in life required to really experience such change.
Many of us spend $4 for a coffee at Starbucks, yet we think that a dozen organic eggs are expensive at $4 compared to the conventional ones that cost $2.99. Or we spend $100 in a night out every weekend or twice a week when we can cook at home and save $60 each time and we don’t want to spend $150 in a good exercise program. Or we buy a couple of drinks for $9 each plus tip, and we complain that organic is more expensive.
Many of us complain about how expensive healthy food, a gym membership or a personal trainer is, but we don’t pay attention to all the money that we spend on things that don’t contribute to our goal.
With this I am not saying that people should not buy a cup of coffee or go out and eat…
What I am saying is that many people don’t notice how their money is spent. Even when it’s about an investment to improve our life, we think it should be cheaper even though farmers worked hard to bring such healthy food to our tables. But, once again, we are willing to spend dollars in toxic things such as alcohol.
When I learned that conventional foods contribute to many diseases such as cancer and diabetes, I decided to start buying organic. The issue back then was that I was broke and in debt. I was at least $5,000 in debt, had no job and owned a business that was taking money instead of providing me with it. Also, my car was broken. But something just made sense to me, and if I wanted to save money and avoid diseases, I need to start buying the right foods. So even though I was in debt, I decided to put a couple hundred dollars more into my credit card.
When I was in that situation I learned a lot about saving money…
and investing it in the right places. That was when I paid a lot of attention to my spending habits. I got out of debt, bought an apartment and helped my business grow. This is what I learned:
Television only takes my time and money. I could save at least $80 a month from cable.
Back then the smart phone was the new thing, and everyone had one. Any plan with data was between $100 to $150 (compared with a plan for calling and texting that cost $40), plus the phone itself that cost from $800 to $1,000. I saved between $60 to $110 a month, and I kept my Sony Erikson i810.
I stop driving everywhere and taking unnecessary trips, which saved me a couple of tanks of gasoline a month from $20 to $0.
I stopped eating out, which saved me around $80 a week.
I stopped buying clothes because I liked them and bought only when I needed them. That saved me around $150 a month.
I stopped spending money on my car, which was one of my hobbies. I concluded that all the money I put into it will devalue just like the car itself. I can only estimate how much money I wasted, around $20,000. So I am guessing I also saved a good amount of money here.
Once I did some accounting, I was saving at least $600 a month. I can only imagine how much money someone who eats out every night and buys drinks at the bar can spend a week.
Even though there are some people who can’t afford a gym…
or personal training memberships, they should at least be able to invest their money in their food, buying the most healthy and organic food available. In the long run, they will save more money avoiding cancer and other diseases.
When someone comes to me and tells me they can’t afford a gym membership or a group training program, I can only think that they don’t want to afford it or they simply don’t see the value of it.
We are always going to spend money, either for bad habits or good habits. The problem is not spending the money; the real question to ask is, are you wasting your money or are you investing it?
So if you want to change your life and get any of the results I mentioned earlier, you have to ask yourself, is where I am putting my money helping me reach my desired goals or getting me away from it.
No matter how much money you end up making…
you always are going to find a way to spend it, and the truth is that many times what should be a priority is not and what is not becomes a priority. I see some people driving luxury cars and stopping in a fast food restaurant.
Nowadays I invest my money in seminars, courses, books (a lot of books), exercising, food, real estate, Custom Body Fitness, my family, charity, tools that I need for work and to help others, anything that is going to drive me closer to my goals and not farther away from them. For example, I would never spend $8 for a drink, but I would spend $30 for a book. If I buy a pair of pants that cost me $150 and I wear them very often, it is money well spent. But if I spend $15 for it and wear it only once, I have wasted my money.
So if you want to stay younger; be healthy, in shape and energetic; have stamina; enjoy longevity; be stress free; be independent; increase your sex drive; be sharper; be more self-confident; have a stronger body and fit into your clothes, invest your money in the right place.
When it’s about losing weight, nothing superficial works in the long term…
though things might work for shorter periods. For example, a weight loss pill may work for a couple of weeks, but then people can’t lose any more weight and usually regain the weight they lost. Surgery works for a couple of years, but soon people start gaining the weight back.
The real problem is the habits that are still there. Those same behaviors will make the person regain the weight. When I sit with our members at Custom Body Fitness, I always listen to their stories. I can make a lot of conclusions from these stories and give our members feedback. One of the reasons why people can’t change their habits is because of their beliefs.
Beliefs are what make us…
For example, the other day I had a discussion with a friend about our different beliefs. She said that she had a thyroid condition that is genetic, and I told her that there is no disease that is predetermined by genes. She said that I was wrong. My goal was not to convince her about my beliefs versus her beliefs. So I told her that I do respect her opinion, and she is entitled to think what she believes is true.
I have another friend who had the same thyroid condition, and, after she did some research, she knew that her way of eating was bad and was a big factor in her thyroid condition. Even though her mom had the same thyroid condition and the doctor told her it was genetic, she opted to believe that the problem was under her control. She now has a healthy thyroid without medications and their side effects.
Based on their beliefs, friend number one decided she has no control over her thyroid problem, and therefore only medication can help her. However, friend number two asked for a second opinion from a different doctor and found out that she needed to change the way she eats to control her low thyroid, which she is successfully doing.
My point is not whether the disease is genetic or not…
My point is that based on their beliefs each took a different approach.
So many people come with a belief that a diet or any other superficial method for weight loss will help. For example, I interviewed one of our members who is doing the Keto diet. She said that she was eating more meat than veggies. She continued talking about this diet, and, according to her (because I do not know a lot about it), the diet is more meat, no sugar of any kind and no carbohydrates. She told me that fruits in this diet are out, and she also told me how cottage cheese is okay in this diet.
The Keto diet is now part of our new member’s beliefs…
and even though we have talked about healthy eating, she forgot about some very important points that this diet is not taking into consideration. For instance, fruits are not only sugar, and there is not a considerable amount of sugar in fruits that will make people overweight. As a matter of fact, I have not seen an overweight person who eats only fruits. I have eaten fruits all my life and never had an overweight issue. Also, I have a friend whose diet is fruits alone, and he is one of the skinniest guys I ever met. Steve Jobs ate only fruit, and he was not overweight.
And that’s because fruits are not refined sugars; fruits are whole foods that come in a perfect state for our body to digest. The biggest percentage of a fruit will be water, followed by fiber, vitamin and sugar.
When refined or processed sugar is eaten, it goes straight to the liver, where it needs to be processed into fat and stored. When a fruit is being eaten, the body needs to break it apart with fiber, which helps with digestion. Even the sugar is used for digestion, and no sugar is actually stored. Also, your body will allow you to eat only enough fruit. With refined sugar, usually the body does not how to handle it and you may end up eating more than what you can handle.
Another belief when dieting is that everything that is allowed in the diet…
such as nutrients (protein in this case), is okay to eat. For example, since it’s okay to eat foods high in protein in the Keto diet, it follows that cottage cheese is good. But one of the big factors of being overweight and having diseases is eating processed foods. Most cottage cheese brands have ingredients like grade A lactose, grade A whey, guar gum, carrageenan, locust bean gum, citric acid, lactic acid, phosphoric acid, potassium sorbate, natural flavoring, Vitamin D3 and enzymes.
Another example is when we hear the word vegan. We believe it’s healthy. Beer, alcohol, processed foods such as energy bars and McDonald’s french fries are vegan, but that does not mean they’re healthy.
So when we talk about beliefs, many people have different opinions: the doctor, the other doctor, the nurse, the dietitian, the guru … everyone. The reality is that to find what is true we need to step back from everyone’s opinion — because that is what it is, an opinion — and do our own research from various sources, take our time to meditate on it and make the most educated decision without persuasion.
or a specific exercise for the abs or a hormone treatment. Losing weight is about a lifestyle change, and this is why it is so difficult for so many of us to lose weight. We don’t want to pay the effort of getting off the couch or open time in our busy schedule to exercise, cook, buy whole foods, eat on schedule and make conscious, healthy choices. We want an easy and fast solution to our problems.
So to lose weight the first thing we need to take into consideration is our beliefs and to challenge our beliefs even though that makes us angry, sad or wrong. This will open a door to new solutions that will require action from us and yes, effort getting the real results that we always wanted.
Don’t be a follower be a student.
When I was in my depression, I was going to college. I was taking a couple of psychology classes. At the same time I was doing my own research about human behavior and mental diseases. Some of the information I was learning in college simply did not make sense to me. It had a lot of contradictions about psychiatric drugs and people’s beliefs. Even though I was learning from school, it simply did not make sense. So I decided to continue my research, and I found out many people and even organizations are releasing the truth about psychiatric drugs, and they are fighting against this madness and making people aware of their danger and ineffectiveness.
Here is something funny:
I know that 1/3 of my readers will agree with what I am saying about psychiatric drugs, 1/3 will not be convinced and 1/3 will completely disagree with it. But my goal is not to convince you about the madness of psychiatric drugs. My message is simply that what did not make sense to me, I questioned instead of following what was being taught. The same I think will be good for you. It is important that you question all professionals and ascertain the teachers’ motives and beliefs and do your own research about the information you are getting. If you want to know that truth about anything, it is important that you do a whole unbiased research about the topic you are learning.
Before I used to follow advice from friends, professionals and other sources, such as the television, news programs and documentaries, without questioning their information. I really never learned anything because all I was doing was following instead of studying the information. I was lost trying to be other people by copying exactly what they said.
It was not until I started to question…
that I started to look for other sources of information and— adding what I think is the most important piece — meditating the information. Meditating the information not only made me curious about it, it also led me to more questions and to dig even deeper into other topics. By doing this it helped me find myself and be myself. I became passionate about helping people.
This is when I think magic started because by understanding myself I could start to understand others, empathize with them and understand why we make the decisions we make.
I started to forgive people who hurt me in the past, and I started to accept my mistakes and understand why I was selfish and hurt others. I think forgiveness is very important for the human being. When we forgive others, we get rid of many negative emotions that stop us from growing and make our life miserable.
I have the habit to continue learning…
and the habit of being skeptical, not because I don’t trust but because I like to learn. I usually gather information, meditate it and apply what I have concluded. This is a daily habit: read, meditate and apply the conclusion from the information taken.
Many people are not happy with themselves. Pay attention around you. Many of us are on our cell phone texting, talking, surfing the internet, on Facebook, listening to music, watching television or talking to someone most of the time. Many people don’t have even 10 minutes of silence because they are running away from what’s in their head. This is why they can’t have a moment of silence. And the question is, do you want to be with someone whom you don’t like? Once you find yourself, you are going to love yourself. Once you love yourself, you are going to start loving everyone else and live a happier life.
For me finding myself was one of the most important events…
It is like finding your child after looking for them desperately.
Anyway, there is a lot of myth about fitness and weight loss, a lot of contradictory information. Many times people, who hire me, come confused with so much information. I help them clear their thoughts, but what is more important, I teach them to be independent and start questioning anyone who calls himself authority. We can be persuade for money when we are giving and advise, we can honestly wrong because the information we learned is just wrong from text books and we can be ignorant. You will only discover the truth when you make your research and take time alone to find yourself and make your own conclusions. So don’t follow blinded, be curious and make your research.
Remember that is your health, life and body what you are putting in the line.
I have heard stories about people from other cultures who moved to the U.S. and started gaining weight. That generation and the ones that followed starting suffering from overweight problems including some of its diseases. Keep in mind that these immigrants had no overweight issues before moving. They adapt to the American life as they incorporate. After they move, it takes a couple of years before they start to gain weight.
The food they eat and the sedentary lifestyle they adopt are part of the problem…
We live in a first world country, and we are dealing with overweight issues even with all the resources we have to stay healthy. This leads me to think about other issues.
We live in a country with a lot of opportunities. The U.S. is one of the richest countries in the world. This is the land of opportunity. This makes me wonder: With so much opportunity, why do people still commit suicide? We have the highest rate of suicide, and we consume at least 80 percent of the cocaine in the world. This means that many people are not happy here, and they need to kill themselves or do some kind of drug to escape from reality.
Now, not everyone who comes to the U.S. or lives in the U.S. has overweight problems or kills themselves or does drugs. There are also many happy people. For example, my dad came to visit the U.S., and he was overweight. After 5 months he was in his best shape ever, losing 30 pounds.
When I moved to the U.S., I was lost. I was not happy. I was starting to get affected by the superficial messages television sends, society, and the lifestyle that many desire. I became jealous and found myself trying to fit into society. I started to buy things I could not afford such as brand-name clothes and went to restaurants that were out of my budget. The more I tried to copy other people’s lives, the more unhappy I became. To this add the lack of self-empathy and emotions from others. No wonder why people think about killing themselves and doing drugs. We feel unaccepted and out of place like there is something wrong with us.
There are many theories about what exactly the term “genetic” means…
While I believe that many of our behaviors, diseases and traits may be genetic, I also believe that all these are also affected by environment.
Genetic is a term that many of us misunderstand. The term has become dangerous. We think that genetic means that we are predetermined to a certain disease, behavior or even destiny because of our genes. There are many studies done now that show that genetic is something different than what we believe. To those who study genes it usually is a biological term to define how life is being affected. In other words, environment affects a gene at all times. So genes can be altered by environment, and to some degree environment affects our lives.
My point is that many people come with healthy genes to a different environment and start developing health and behavior issues. But not only that, our environment also affects the decisions we make. For example, acceptance is a human need, and for us to be accepted, we are willing to do anything it takes. This is one of the reasons why gangs exist, teens start drinking, we spend a lot of money on cars and clothes, we give up to sexual pressure and we make many decisions that go against our beliefs.
While it is true that many people who are affected by environment are predisposed to diseases or behaviors, it is also true that some are not. But that is another story.
The truth is that environment plays a big role in people’s lives…
and you can notice this if you have had the opportunity to observe how all cultures behave differently throughout the world and throughout time. They have different beliefs and problems to deal with.
I used to be very egocentric thinking only about my own benefit. My life has changed, and I now think about others. I think about the generations to come such as your children, animals, and whoever and whatever is going to inhabit this place. My goal does not have to be your goal, of course. But if you care about the health of others, it is very important to start thinking about each decision we make and understand that these decisions do affect the environment, which in turn will affect others’ lives.
I could tell you that I do this only for everyone else and our earth, but I would be lying. Even though I am not as egocentric as I used to be, I still think about me. Each time I help someone else, I feel better, I help my business and my health improves. In addition, each time I have problems the solutions come to me very easily because I think about everyone.
I am not sure if the psychology of it is real, but I have proven that the law of do unto others like you want to be done unto you is true. When I was egocentric and never helped with money or my time, it seemed like negative things were always happening. My car would break down when I needed it the most, and I had no money. I was broke most of the time. I did not like my job, and I was not happy. I never had a sense of progress.
My conscience is aware about the many decisions I make. I won’t feel successful or at peace if I see people suffering and don’t do anything. I can’t just be a spectator, buying an expensive car just because I want to feed my ego. I am not saying that buying an expensive car is wrong. I think many people deserve it because of the value they have put into this world, and my plan is to get a nice car one day, but I won’t get it until I feel I deserve it for helping so many animals, people and the earth overall.
My goal is to improve the environment where I live to improve other people’s lives…
It will not only help the generation to come, but it will also help me by making me feel great and leaving a legacy.
I come from a very poor family, and I raised myself starting from age 14. I used to sleep in cardboard. I used to make less than 5 dollars a day and survived on that. I wouldn’t think about buying a taco because I was afraid of the money I would have to spend. I had two sets of pants that I wore for more than 2 years. I never really had money. I was poor. But I was happy.
I moved to the U.S. and became rich. I had it all, things I never thought I would have. Back then the CD was the hot trend. I would buy all my favorite CDs, I could buy clothes, as many tacos as I wanted. I even bought a car. I had money. I literally became rich. The problem was that even though I did not have anything before, I still wanted more than what I had. I got a better job, made more money and get more material things, better trips, a better car and I would still feel empty.
No matter how much money I made and how many things I got, I would always want more.
Once I understood that I could decide what to think about the environment, I could take control of my thoughts, my actions and therefore my life. Many times my belief was that cancer could just strike anyone, and I was no exception. I thought that my body would adapt to chemicals and toxins and things that I was not supposed to eat or drink or be around. I was not responsible for my actions and usually blamed someone else for my situation.
One day, it just happened. I started to study human behavior, the environment, psychology, the power of the mind, cultures and I found out that yes, the environment affects everyone, but by the end you decide how you let the environment affect you. I was 28 when I made the realization.
However, it can be difficult for younger people…
who don’t have this knowledge and take adults as authorities — to control their thoughts and understand that the world they live in is not a set reality. Reality is what they decide to think about the environment. This is why so many young people can’t be successful in their lives and feel rejected, commit suicide or do drugs.
The better the environment we create for the next generation, the better our next generation will be, avoiding some suffering along the way and improving this world in general.
Let’s help the next generation to succeed by changing the environment for them and by changing ourselves, we change the environment.
I recently got two puppies, and I was potty training them. I am not an expert in the subject, and therefore my puppies had a lot of accidents in the house. I used the two usual training methods: punishment and reward. What I noticed is they learned faster when I gave them rewards than when I was punishing them. In fact, when they were punished, they even got confused and did not know what to do when I gave them rewards. However, confirming with them that they did something against the rules also helped them understand what they should be doing.
I also noticed in my career that people get courage and motivation when there is a reward…
and there is no better reward than achieving their goals. In addition, helping people understand their mistakes and how those mistakes are keeping them from getting to their goals is very helpful.
When there is punishment there is force, and when there is reward there is power. This is the topic that I am reading in a book call Force vs Power.
A train needs to be supplied with fuel to produce force to overcome inertia. As more force is produced, there is more resistance. So there is a constant fight that requires energy supply.
Gandhi use power against the force of Britain, Martin Luther King Jr. used power against the force of discrimination, and Jesus used power against the force of his enemies.
The point is it doesn’t matter how strong force is, power will always defeat it…
Force needs a constant energy supply, but power is just there. Power is smart, prepared, patient, decisive, persistent and peaceful. These are only some of the characteristics of Gandhi, Martin andJesus.
Many times when members start with our program they come very excited to change, or I help them to become very motivated about achieving their weight-loss goals. However, when we start creating a plan, I notice that many want to use force to achieve their goals. They want to follow a diet, a trend or a belief they don’t even understand. This is why many people can’t reach their goals — or when they do they end up regaining the weight — because of the constant energy required to produce force.
However, when we use power instead of force, losing weight becomes easier. You probably have read one of my articles or watched one of my videos where I suggest finding the real reasons you want to lose weight. When you are using your whys you start to use power, because now you are not just forcing yourself to follow a diet. Now you have reasons to change your eating. For example, one of my reasons to eat healthily is I want to preserve my body young, strong and healthy because I like how I feel and how I look. I don’t let myself get overweight or weak. I don’t use force to avoid processed foods — I use my reasoning (power) instead.
Another way you can use power is by understanding your real needs rather than your wants…
For example, you need four basic chemicals (dopamine, endorphins, serotonin and oxytocin) to be happy, and you can produce every single one naturally. For instance, you can produce dopamine by exercising, endorphins by constantly progressing and achieving your goals, serotonin by mentoring and being mentored and oxytocin simply by loving or healthily bonding with others.
In these ways you are using power. Or you can use force, by using psychiatric drugs, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, irresponsible sex or video games, behaviors that will cause negative consequences to come into your life. And don’t misinterpret my meaning; I am not saying that playing videos games, for example, is bad. I am just saying that making these behaviors the source of your chemical will create an addiction, using force to get what you need to be happy.
I have helped many people to lose weight, and they continue with me losing weight, and others are capable enough to do it alone after they learn how to use power instead of force. Following a trendy diet or superficially having a reward is never better than the real reasons you are losing weight and the knowledge of understanding yourself. Power defeats force.
This year start with the right program and mindset with your weight-loss program. Find your power instead of your force.
When I reflect on my life I see that I always had a reason to wake up…
When I was lost the reason was very superficial, useless for me, for the community and for my family. I used to wake up for dating, to ride my car, to make more money, to party, to see my friends, to go shopping, to watch my cartoons, to play video games. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that all those behaviors are wrong. It is part of life to do them, but when I just to wake up only for that my life had no purpose. But the truth is that there was always a reason for me to wake up.
You can imagine how difficult my day was. I joined the club of, “Not another Monday” and “Thank God it’s Friday.” There was no desire or passion toward any of those activities. I was a zombie. Think about it: How fulfilling can it be having a fast car? Or beating the game for the 50th time, or never finding the right girl because the cause was me? Or partying? Or shopping? Or watching cartoons? That was the ecstasy of my life. It’s true that many of these things would help me to wake up and I would find some joy in doing them, but soon it would dissipate, leaving me empty.
I really can’t believe I lived this life until I turned 28. But it is also true I did not know better than that.
Now my life is different. I wake up every day because my goal is to change this world into a better place. The goal is to add value to people’s lives and make them better. Not only that but also to prevent unnecessary suffering to animals and improve the condition of our planet.
I found my real purpose by accident and never completely developed a plan…
Each time I reach one goal, I set a higher one. It was not easy to find my purpose, and many people ask me the question of the year, “How can I find my purpose?” I understand that it is not easy and give an answer like, “Doing what you like to do is not enough.” That’s because many people like things that won’t add value to the world. Many people like sex, and I don’t see how sex alone will add value to the world. Other people like cigarettes, and I don’t understand how this can improve someone’s life. Other people like to put harmful chemicals on food, and I don’t see how that improves the world. How about gamboling?
We are biologically created to help each other…
There are two chemicals in the body released naturally that give us the best high, serotonin and oxytocin. Both are released when we help others (nothing like dopamine and endorphins that are released through self-serving acts, not that I’m saying that’s bad). If we want to feel fulfilled and complete, we must work on releasing serotonin and oxytocin.
Serotonin is released by supporting people and helping them achieve a goal. For example, when you help your child with homework and finish the task, there is a feeling of accomplishment by your child not only when the homework is done but when the homework is graded. The child feels proud of your help, giving you credit, and you feel proud of helping.
Oxytocin is released when we help other people just because we can. When you listen to a needy person or help the old lady cross the street or help someone change a flat tire, both of you get a shot of oxytocin.
These are the only unselfish ways to get these important chemicals. This is very important, because you will only feel truly fulfilled when you know you are helping others. You will enjoy your day when you know you are changing and helping other people’s lives in a positive way. Not only you will enjoy it, it feels so good that you become addicted to the good task.
If we add the fact that you like to work with your hands, mind, brain, creating, building, listening, alleviating pain, fixing …
you have found your purpose. Whatever you love to do, it should add value to others people’s lives and the world.
This how I found my purpose…
I have become various things: I am a personal trainer, health coach, philanthropist, writer, business marketer, speaker, motivator, mentor and teacher, yet I don’t identify myself as any of them because all I think about is adding value to people and this world.
I wake up not caring about what day it is and get to work because this purpose and these goals are very fulfilling.
Dreaming big is not a dream…
It is your reality. Yes, it might sound ridiculous for you to walk or run 50 miles when you can’t even complete 2 miles. However, as you train and become more familiar with running and achieving your goals you’ll add more miles to your training. You will see that 50 miles may not sound like too much by the time you are running 30 miles.
The same happens with your goals. Yes, if your goal is to save 10,000 children from human trafficking and abuse, it may sound too difficult, but as you create systems and start saving the first, before you know it, even 20,000 won’t seem difficult.
Gaining your financial freedom is the same way. However, this is only a secondary effect of the purposeful work you are doing. So my point here is to dream big and be ambitious with your goals and purpose. It might seem too far and difficult in the beginning, but it will get easier.