PJ's Fitness Blog

A blog about a fitter you. Come find out what is on the cutting edge of fitness science and be a part of the ongoing conversation.

Your New Dilemma: Vegan or Omnivore?

veganI really enjoyed the lecture with Tim Van Orden a week ago. Thank you to all who attended. I hope you agree it was a fun, informative, and valuable event. (For those of you who couldn’t attend, you can purchase a DVD of the presentation shortly – watch your Facebook, Twitter and the newsletter for the announcement it’s available.) I especially enjoyed watching those of you who attended squirm with the dilemma Tim presented to you regarding protein and fruit (among other things). I let you stew about it for a week so you would fill your heads with questions and doubts. Everyone should always question what they hear and strive to seek out both sides of every story.

Well, now you’ve certainly heard both sides! Tim’s message and website (www.runningraw.com) is certainly different from my message and the X Gym’s philosophy on nutrition isn’t it? Did he rock your world and shake your state just a smidge? I certainly hope so. Many of you wondered why I agreed to do a joint lecture with him at all, since he flies in the face of so much of what I preach.

Be your own expert

The reason is, I don’t want you to blindly believe anyone. Not me, not Tim, not your mom, or even your doctor. What I want is for you to know that there is an amazing (more…)

Think Thin to Get Thin (Part 4)

think thinContinuing on my quest to rewire the brains of the world for permanent fitness without the need for willpower, I submit to you the final part (be sure to read the previous parts below before this part).

5.) Complete an experience that exceeds your limits. What is something that you think you would never do?  Bungee jump? Speak in public? Pick up a spider with your hand? You know you could do it if you had to, but your subconscious brain doesn’t think you can. If you temporarily overpower it with your conscious brain and keep doing the things that your mind’s eye doesn’t think you can do, it will get confused and will rewire itself to match the new references that you are presenting.

6.) Master a new skill. Most people’s identity is deeply linked to their job, their family/spouse, of both. If you pick a new skill to master that is outside these parameters, you will open up your mind’s eye to accept new possibilities. My new skill was to learn how to fly airplanes and get my pilot’s license. This was totally outside of the fitness world (my job), and had nothing to do with my kid’s interests (my family). Because of that experience, I can tell that my subconscious brain is much less resistant to new ideas and is also easier to reprogram.

7.) Rewrite your most common questions. When you ask yourself questions like, “What’s wrong with me?” or “How did I become so fortunate to have this life?” you are programming your identity for better or for worse. It’s the job of your conscious brain to come up with the questions. Your subconscious brain is the one that answers them.

If you say, “Why do I always have such bad luck?” Your subconscious brain will assume you know what you are talking about and answer the question for you with something like, “Because you’re just one of those unlucky people.” Now that answer is part of your programming, and the next time “luck” is a factor, you will make conscious and unconscious decisions to bring bad “luck” your way. Remember that your subconscious brain always has to be right, so it will make you miss opportunities and help you sabotage yourself so good “luck” never happens and when it does, you won’t notice it.

The same principle applies to fitness. If you catch your negative questions, you can stop the answers from programming your subconscious brain. You can also use this principle to your advantage by forming positive questions that you constantly ask yourself. One example would be, “Why did God bless me with such a great ______.” Just fill in the blank with what you like about yourself. Your subconscious will have to answer the question with something like, “Because God likes you and wants to show you in ways like that.” This opens up the window for future blessings, not just to receive them, but to notice them and create a life where more flow in!

To be continued in the lecture DVD…

Changing your mind’s eye and personal identity might seem like a daunting task at first, and this blog has limitations due to the fact that it is only one form of communication, but if you would like to learn easy and specific strategies on how to apply these principles, then stay tuned for release of the DVD on the seminar I gave on 3/18/10, because this is the subject matter I spoke about in much more detail (including some new and better twists).

Special note to lecture attendees: I know Tim’s message was drastically different from mine in many ways and I knew that you would all have tons of questions. I wanted to lecture with Tim because our viewpoints are so different. He has some great points, and so do I. We both have opinions based on scores of research studies, so how you you know what’s right for you?

Well, I will be blogging about it more in my next post. Keep your questions coming so I can answer them all in the blog which will benefit many others too! Just email me at pj@xgym.com. In the mean time, keep eating your protein, drinking your water, chomping lots of dark greens (raw is best) and limit your fruit intake if you are trying to burn fat fast.

More soon…

Think Thin to Get Thin (Part 3)

Thin brainContinuing on my quest to rewire the brains of the world for permanent fitness without the need for willpower, I submit to you part 3 (be sure to read parts 1 and 2 below before this part).

3.) Exercise. Start small and move ahead when you are ready. Most people think exercise is a big huge commitment, but it doesn’t have to be. I average less than 10 minutes a day and I am in the best shape of my life! Exercise is vital to your success because it changes the way you move, your posture, how you feel, what you think you will and will not do, and many other things that effectively reform your mind’s eye.

Small steps is the best way to start out, because that makes it easier to establish consistency. When you establish consistency, you create a habit, which can then become a part of your lifestyle. Once you are at that point, exercise is just as much a part of your life as brushing your teeth. Since we now live in a modern transportation society, it is more important than ever to keep moving. God did not designed us to sit down all day!

Exercise can be condensed (like we do at the X Gym and on the X Gym DVD) so time isn’t a factor any more. If you don’t have 40 minutes per week to exercise, you’ve got bigger problems to deal with, so get those straight first! If you do have 40 minutes per week, but you still won’t exercise, then it’s just a priority issue, then read on and practice the other techniques in this series of posts, because they will help you with this one!

4.) Check your peer group. This can be co-workers, your social network, your family at home, or any other group you associate with. Your mind’s eye will listen to the messages from these people too – especially those messages that are linked with emotion. This is how others can brainwash us. Be careful what you hear, and catch others feeding you these negative messages.

You may even find that you need to make some courageous decisions in your life and break off some friendships or hang out with certain people less. Your peer group will either drag you down or pull you up. You have to choose wisely!

If it is your family that is pulling you down, then you need to be a leader and pull them up. Tell them this is your new lifestyle and you really need their support. Be sure they understand that you won’t force this all on them, but that this is your new resolve, and that you need their help, support and love to make it work for you.

You may also find that you need to hang out with certain people more. Find friends that support the lifestyle and goals that you want to achieve. Surround yourself with people who are already living that dream so you can find it easier to share those habits.

Sharing your proclamation with someone in your peer group can also be very helpful. For instance, if your proclamation is “Today I commit to getting healthier and fitter,” say it to that person. Have them respond with, “I believe you and support you in that.” If you don’t see them on a given day or you forget (remember that your old neural networks will sabotage you and try to make you forget or just take away your motivation to do it), then call them, text them or email them as soon as you remember. Just do it every day. It will help you in two ways: first, to remind your brain that this is a new lifestyle and second, to remind them that they are supporting you in it.

To be continued in part four…

Changing your mind’s eye and personal identity might seem like a daunting task at first, and this blog has limitations due to the fact that it is only one form of communication, but if you would like to learn easy and specific strategies on how to apply these principles and work with me live, then come to my next seminar, because this is the subject matter I will be speaking about with much more detail than can be delivered through this medium. Click here for more details…

Think Thin to Get Thin (part two)

Thinking ManIf someone could safely brainwash your subconscious brain and reset your mind’s eye so you thought like a thin person and therefore became one for the rest of your life, would you do it? Most would jump at the chance. Some wouldn’t though, unless they trusted that person unconditionally, so how about if that someone was you?

Forming a new mind’s eye will help you break the old patterns and once that happens, willpower isn’t even needed anymore. You will think like that new person and will act differently as your old patterns are a thing of the past and new patterns control you. Sounds great, huh? So how do you brainwash your mind’s eye and form a new identity in your subconscious? All you need is commitment and consistency to follow the next 7 steps.

1.) Link pleasure to your goal. You have probably already found enough discomfort with your present state to make you want to change, but people can learn to live with discomfort, so while it might be a good catalyst to get you started, it’s never an effective long-term strategy for success.  If you imagine enough pleasure to link to your “after” picture however, you will be motivated towards long term results.

Since pleasure is the only long term motivator, you will need to focus on this aspect. Do this by writing down a list of good feelings you will have when you achieve your “after” picture. Look at this list daily and feel the pleasure in the present tense, as if your after after picture has already happened. This only takes a minute or two to be effective!

2.) Compose a proclamation and say it at least 3 times a day. Become obsessed with it. Post it in places you will notice it. Write it on your window or mirror with dry erase markers, place post it notes in strategic places, etc. Get weird about it, and when you recite your proclamation, say it with emotion for full effectiveness.

Your subconscious brain will hear messages most clearly when emotion is applied. If you find it hard to muster up emotion with your proclamation, or even if you don’t believe what you are saying, you can fake it and it will still work. Just be an actor. Your subconscious brain is easily fooled and doesn’t know that you are acting, so it will hear it just as well.

Your subconscious brain will always go with the majority of the messages it hears, especially the messages that are linked to emotions, so make your proclamation the majority message and your subconscious brain will buy into them even if your conscious brain isn’t convinced!

My proclamation is, “Every day and in every way I’m getting stronger and wiser.” I say this at least 11 times, emphasizing a different word each time. Sometimes I restate it a few times emphasizing the word “stronger,” because that has many different meanings to me (i.e. physical, endurance, power, will, spiritual, etc.).

You can create emotion to some extent by simply involving your physiology, so even if you don’t feel your proclamation is “just right” yet, you can still make it work over time by saying it emphatically with a focused posture, while looking in the mirror at yourself with utter intensity. You may feel silly at first, but do it anyway. Even if you do feel silly, wouldn’t you rather feel silly and be successful, than feel comfortable and fail again? I sure would!

It is important to know however, that this and other exercises might be difficult to perform. Your brain might tell you things like, “This one just doesn’t sound right” or you might put it off until you have formed “just the right proclamation.” That is your established neural networks trying to sabotage you. They know how effective this technique is, because you have been using it all your life already, but just in a negative way. These networks don’t want to die off, so they will resist your efforts. Expect this resistance and when it happens, recognize it as a sign that you are winning the battle and push on to win. These old networks are dying off and are simply fighting for their survival. Just press forward and finish them off! Once you do, you will look back on those times and wonder how you ever even thought that way!

I’m living proof of this principle. So is Taz and many others. I was a Doritos freak in high school. I could eat a family size bag in one sitting! When I got to college, my main addiction was those soft candy orange slices, made from high fructose corn syrup and coated with granulated sugar. I would buy the Costco size bucket and pound through one of those in just a couple days! Now my cravings for things like spinach and bell peppers are even stronger than my past cravings were for Doritos and sugar. I couldn’t imagine eating a single Dorito or candy orange slice today. It still blows me away how much my brain has changed! This can be you too, with just a little consistency of these 7 easy steps.

To be continued in part three…

Changing your mind’s eye and personal identity might seem like a daunting task at first, and this blog has limitations due to the fact that it is only one form of communication, but if you would like to learn easy and specific strategies on how to apply these principles and work with me live, then come to my next seminar, because this is the subject matter I will be speaking about with much more detail than can be delivered through this medium. Click here for more details…