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Category Archives: Health and Fitness

The Key to Success? Overcome your Body and Deepen Your Mind

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Today I want to talk about yoga.  Well, not specifically yoga but more health in general.

I practice Ashtanga Yoga, sometimes known as Power Yoga, at least four times per week and sometimes more.  I schedule my exercise into my weekly diary along side all my other to dos.  I make it important because it is important.

Anthony Robbins claims that the hardest part about going to the gym is getting there.  Sometimes I put on my yoga clothes in the morning when I’m tired and stiff, and try in my head to give myself a million and one excuses why I won’t practice today.  Maybe I’m sore from yesterday’s practice, or maybe I have a meeting later this morning that I need to prepare for.  My favourite “get out of yoga” excuse is that I’ve practiced enough this week already, and I don’t really need to practice today.  But these are exactly what they sound like.  Excuses.

In their book Odin and the Sphinx, Keith Raniere and Ivy Nevares claim that:

“More noble humans do not simply follow their urges; they have learned to master them and follow a more global course of behaviour guided by abstract principles.”

Or as Cato the Elder so eloquently put it:

If you are ruled by mind you are a king; if by body, a slave

So what makes some people highly successful and others not?  Do they have something that you don’t?  Probably not.

Those who are highly successful in their chosen field have usually learned to overcome their body feelings, to peruse a higher goal or outcome.  This is one of the most fundamental keys to success.

No matter what your goal is – to lose weight, run a marathon, attract more clients, start a business – you must decide on a course of action and learn to overcome your body urges.  Not just once, but many many times.

Putting on weight does not happen from eating one piece of chocolate cake:  it comes from eating one piece of chocolate cake, many many times.  In reverse, losing it does not come from abstaining once:  it comes from abstinence over a long period of time.  Building your company requires doing the thing you know you should do, many many times.  Having a chunk of savings in your bank account comes from putting away 10% of your earnings, many many times.

In essence you must learn to live and think independently of how your body is feeling, and resist urges that are reactive and not aligned with your higher goal.

The benefit?  As you start to achieve your goals and live your dream, moment-to-moment happiness that comes from body satiation will be replaced by a stronger sense of joy and peace.  You will be less concerned by satiating your body urges and will gain a deeper understanding of yourself, and ultimately a deeper understanding of all human beings.

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Ten Top Secrets to Health and Weight Loss

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Following yesterday’s ten top tips, I decided to write about another area that people ask me about all the time:  health and fitness.

So many people today are over weight and unhealthy.  It is shocking how uneducated we are about what we put into our bodies.  So many of the modern day foods contain numerous additives, preservatives and E numbers that going to the supermarket is more like a trip to the science lab.

Losing weight isn’t some huge myth either.  There is no mystical short cut and no magical cure.  It requires being mindful of your food consumption on a daily basis, and building new habits over time.  Losing weight requires effort, something many people are scared of.

If you want to say thin then follow this simple equation.

Food consumption + Exercise = Body weight

Simply put, eat less calories than you burn off.

Here are my top tips to stay healthy:

1.  Read the back of the label of everything you buy.  Get into the habit of knowing what is in your food.  If it contains more ingredients that you don’t recognise than ones that you do, put it back.  It is claimed that bad diet choices give more people cancer than smoking does!

2.  Exercise at least three times per week.  Personally I practice Ashtanga (Power) Yoga.  Not only do I sweat and burn calories, but it keeps my body supple, strong and flexible.

3.  Spend 30 minutes every couple of days preparing a mixed salad and a fruit bowl to keep in the fridge.  Pick at it when you’re hungry.

4.  Get into the habit of checking the calories on the back of everything you eat.  Would it shock you to know that the average cookie contains around 220 calories?  If you eat two it’s a quarter of your recommended daily intake of calories.

5.  Eat little and often.  Personally I don’t eat breakfast until about 11am when I will have scrambled eggs with hot sauce and rocket (arugula) in a tortilla wrap.  This often does me until dinner time, with only a piece of fruit in the afternoon and perhaps a few unsalted nuts.

6.  Don’t eat carbs before you exercise.  Eating a bowl of pasta will not make you run for longer and burn more fat.  The opposite is true.  Your body will use the energy created by the carbs to fuel your run, and not the fat reserves.  Your body will use fat as energy if none is readily available from eating carbs or sugar.

7.  Drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day.  Yes I know you’ve heard it before but it’s true.  Buy a 1.5 litre bottle and keep it at room temperature. It’s easier to drink that way and you can drink more in one go.  I drink about a pint, four times per day.  Your body is 80 % water and needs hydration to run efficiently.

8.  If you want to stay healthy, try not to eat so much meat or dairy.  I’ve been a vegetarian for a number of years now and have never felt better.  Meat and dairy cause an acid reaction in your body as your body needs to produce acid to digest them.  Germs cannot thrive in alkaline environment, but they love acid.

9.  Try to laugh as much as possible.  Some cancer hospitals have laughing therapy sessions to help the patients get better. When you laugh your body produces endorphins which not only feel good, they help your cells heal and stay healthy.

10.  Don’t sacrifice your health to make money.  No amount of money or success is worth sacrificing your health for.  What’s the point in having it if you won’t live long enough to enjoy it?

I’d love to hear your top tips for staying healthy.  Please feel free to comment below.

Happy Saturday everyone!

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