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Be Easy on Yourself

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

“I’ve learned in climbing that you don’t ‘conquer’ anything. Mountains are not conquered and should be treated with respect and humility. If we take what the mountains give, have patience and desire, and are prepared, then the mountains will permit us to reach their highest peaks. I believe a lot of things are like that in life.”
~Ed Viesturs~ First American to climb all fourteen 8,000 meter peaks and author of No Shortcuts to the Top.

There seems to be an innate drive toward perfection and anything short can quickly throw us in a spiral. The example that really “stuck a chord with me” yesterday was a gal who was moving a bit slower through the health challenge than some of the others in the program. Her post expressed frustration, anger with herself, the feeling that she wasn’t doing “well enough” or “doing it right,” and a general sense of sadness.

We so often miss what we do accomplish and instead focus on what we think we should have accomplished. However, who is to say what we should do or shouldn’t do? Where does this “should-meter” exist? More importantly, why do we let it exist and have influence over our day to day emotions? Why don’t we celebrate today, and today’s accomplishments, no matter how large or small and quit being pressured by some external clock or system that exists only in our imagination?

Let’s look at some practical ways you can GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!

Quiet your critic: When you hear negative messages and reprimands in your mind, take a deep breath. Stretch. Go outside. Break the moment. Ask yourself: What do I gain by talking to myself like this or treating myself like this? How will this possibly help me move forward toward my goal? All we gain from living beneath a “should-meter” is feeling lousy and pushing ourselves further from our goals.

Talk it through: If you can’t quiet the critic on your own, then talk it through with others. Involve yourself in support groups where you can discuss these issues with. Work together and brainstorm on how to treat yourself better… then IMPLEMENT the ideas! Talking about it alone won’t fix it, you have to brainstorm an action plan and then DO IT("BRING IT")! Don’t become engaged in hours of endless and negative conversation. Share where you are stumped or stuck, then brainstorm solutions. Ask: What is it I am trying to accomplish? State your problem and also what you want to accomplish. Brainstorm together on how to move from point A to point B.

Focus on what you did do, instead of what you didn’t do: Drop the “shoulds and coulds” from your vocabulary. Instead focus on what you DID accomplish. Remember many small steps will get you to the same place. What is important is to keep moving, it is hard to keep moving if we undermine our accomplishments.

Expect life to interrupt: No sooner than we have a goal and a path in mind life will undoubtedly interrupt. Life has a way of doing that and we have to work with it instead of against it. Expect life to interrupt and try not to become frustrated when it does. Instead of abandoning your plan, sit down and brainstorm on what you CAN still accomplish. You might have to slow down for a week, a month or a year, or brainstorm a new way to work with your plan. What is important is to modify your plan, never abandon it. We never need to “start over” although we often need to change direction.

Re-read this week’s quote once again… “I’ve learned in climbing that you don’t ‘conquer’ anything. Mountains are not conquered and should be treated with respect and humility. If we take what the mountains give, have patience and desire, and are prepared, then the mountains will permit us to reach their highest peaks. I believe a lot of things are like that in life.” I think we could actually substitute many words for “mountain” in this sentence. We could use goals, dreams, life–all require patience and desire and preparation. When we forget to cut ourselves some slack and are hard on ourselves, we lose momentum and go down the mountain.

Your Challenge: What “shoulds” have been causing you to feel lousy? How do you push your self with unrealistic expectations or negative self-talk? What can you implement from this Week’s Challenge to begin getting rid of the “should-meter” in your life?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYJANDM 8/18/2009 7:12PM

    I don't usually read the blogs posted here, but this time I did for some reason. Now I know why. I recently posted on one of the forums that I'm feeling confused and frustrated because my elementary-aged kids are home from school on summer vacation and I'm finding it really challenging to get all of the workouts in. I asked other moms to suggest what might help me. I got many replies. I was semi-convinced that maybe I should just start my program over till the kids go back to school.After all, I like to go full-speed ahead when I do something. Nobody agreed. Instead, I got many suggestions on how to make the time needed for my workouts, and to not let the fact that the kids are around discourage me. A workout is better that NO workout. This blog is very motivating to me. I'll come back to it again. Thanks.

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ANDREA0301 8/18/2009 4:36PM

    Excellent blog - again! Here's to everyone throwing out their shouldometers!!

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Ideas for living stronger

Monday, August 17, 2009

“Life is a competition not with others, but with ourselves. We should seek each day to live stronger, better, truer lives; each day to master some weakness of yesterday; each day to repair a mistake; each day to surpass ourselves.” —David B. Haight

During the last Olympics, my daughter and I talked a lot about what “being a Champion” means. When I read this quote, I felt it truly embraced what it means to be Champion in life. If each of us were to embrace this quote, how could we not feel good come nightfall?Few of us will ever compete in an arena such as the Olympics. However, each day we compete in the arena of life and self-improvement. If we embrace the teachings of today’s quote, a personal gold medal is within our reach.Your Turn: Do one of the following today:

* live a stronger, better, truer life
* master some weakness of yesterday
* repair a mistake
* surpass yesterday

Your Affirmation: I become stronger everyday.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    so true! and its all about the battlefield of the mind if you conquer your mind you win...you have to look and move forward

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KREE123 8/17/2009 9:41PM

    Nice quote! My friend told me the other day, "Being ahead by a mile or barely hanging on both mean you are still in the game."

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ANDREA0301 8/17/2009 2:00PM

    Here's to being a better me everyday!

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RAINRUN 8/17/2009 11:47AM

    great blog!
thanks for sharing

Comment edited on: 8/17/2009 1:09:16 PM

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BLABBERMOUTH2 8/17/2009 10:38AM

    WOW - such insight. I have a lot to think about today. Gotta tell ya, I'm sure I'm Spark Sharing this one Eric. Thanks for being true to the person you are undoubtedly supposed to be and embracing it.

God bless you today and all the days of your life.


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GLOBALDAD 8/17/2009 9:54AM

    Thanks for the words!

I look forward to your insights ever time they are posted!!!

If you had the time, these would be great every morning since they provide wonderful perspective for the day!

Take care.


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SHERLYNN43 8/17/2009 9:46AM

    I love this!!! Thanks so much! Your posts are always so motivating!!!
Have a GREAT day!!!

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CEKNIGHT 8/17/2009 9:40AM

    Good words. Thanks for sharing!

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P90X 30 Day Results (Pics Updated)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Not a whole lot of change in the pics. Most of the change that I notice is how my clothes fit and my fitness level. Too me, the pics almost look identical. Here they are:

I have updated the following blogs:

Supplements.. www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo

P90X Classic (Round 1 - Phase 1) Measurement Results

P90X Classic (Round 1 - Phase 1) Nutrition Results


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRAKATOA21 8/22/2009 8:04PM

    Man, wait 'til Day 60! That's when I really started to see the results. Your body is now primed and the dam's about to burst! Rock these next 30 days and you will be amazed at your Day 60 pics, "guaranteed" (quoted word courtesy of Tony)

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BIKERCHICK74 8/15/2009 6:40PM

    Looking good.. I think you have more hair on your chest too... :)
Sorry if I am too foward.


I am on week 2 of P90X.....

Keep in touch

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SUMITH2008 8/15/2009 1:40PM

    Sweet progress man! It's taking awhile to burn that tire around the belly but its slowly coming off. I'm holding off on posting pictures till i have more longer term picture progress :). Glad to have you as our P90X fearless motivational leader! BRING IT!

Comment edited on: 8/15/2009 8:08:18 PM

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LSDALOIA 8/14/2009 5:10PM


Thanks for the free tickets to the gun show!

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SUPER_GURL 8/14/2009 3:00PM

    emoticon Eric!!

I can tell a difference! emoticon

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KATSPAWPRINTS 8/14/2009 11:26AM

    Wow it's be 30 days already?? Awesome job, Eric! emoticon

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SHERLYNN43 8/14/2009 5:24AM

    Wow....I can already see a difference! Keep going!!! Way to go!

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ANDREA0301 8/13/2009 11:33PM

    I think you're doing GREAT and looking FANTASTIC! Like you said, you can notice it in your fitness level. That's AWESOME!

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PURPLEALLY 8/13/2009 10:20PM

    I agree with the comments about shoulders/back. Also, the way clothes fit is an excellent measuring stick. emoticon

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JONDECKER76 8/13/2009 9:30PM

    I agree - back and shoulders have improved greatly. Your back double-biceps pose shows that your back is definitely more cut, your V-shape is more apparent (you've actually put a lot of size onto your back - probably from pullups!), and you can also see the improvement in the arms very well from this pose!
Also, looking at the front pose (with the arms down), look at the new lines of the triceps - you can really see a difference! The latest pictures show how the line of the arm is no longer straight, but dips inward between the shoulder and tricep!

Excellent job Eric - keep bringing it buddy!

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RAINRUN 8/13/2009 9:21PM

    Your shoulders defiantly look stronger.

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JMW386 8/13/2009 9:16PM


I can definitely see some changes - especially in your back and shoulders. Also, I like how you noted that you can tell some differences in the way your clothes fit and your fitness level - it reminded me that changes and progress come in different forms and to look for signs of progress in different places. Keep up the great work!


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JACKLIN11 8/13/2009 8:53PM

    hey Eric I see changes in your shoulders and back. I think those are great 30 day pics. keep up the hard work!

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WENDYSPARKS 8/13/2009 8:02PM

    Good definition with those muscles and abs!! Looks good! Talk soon, wendy emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/13/2009 8:03:43 PM

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BLABBERMOUTH2 8/13/2009 6:35PM

    To me the last photo of your back shows more definition & cuts. I agree with the other comments......neck, shoulders, back. I can't wait to see 90 days out - oh, man, I bet there will be a major difference.

Good luck.


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GINAKAY11 8/13/2009 5:35PM

    I will be interested to see how this works out for you after 90 days. My husband is interested in trying it. Keep up the good work. Gina

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ALNEAGLE 8/13/2009 5:30PM

    I'm with MSGATES! You can see some changes in your back, shoulders, and neck! Keep up the hard work!! Phase 2 will definitely bring some changes, because the whole muscle confusion really kicks in during phase 2! Good Luck and Great Job!!

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TOTS_ROCKS 8/13/2009 5:19PM

    Hey Eric,..

I disagree,... I see definite change in your neck/shoulder areas... and more distinct muscle tone in your back!! I think you are doing great and besides, if you clothes fit better that is a great improvement!! Me, I cant see to find happiness on the scale, but my clothes, just hang off of me, so I know I AM doing something right!!
You are BRINGing IT... just keep it up!! emoticon

You ROCK!!! emoticon

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Create Your Own Music

Saturday, August 08, 2009

"Find what makes your heart sing and create your own music."
~Mac Anderson

It is not always easy to find your true calling. Sometimes we find it
through trial and error. But always remember, it's NEVER too late.
Ray Kroc, for example, founded McDonalds at age 52. Many people have
decided to go back to school in their 60s and 70s. It's never too late
to find your purpose and your passion in life. We are all unique
beings, with different interests and different talents. Discover your
gifts, discover what moves you. Find what makes your heart sing!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WENDYSPARKS 8/11/2009 8:18AM

    Great blog! It made me feel better this morning. Life has its ups and downs and we all need to pick ourselves up sometimes and start over anew. Talk soon, wendy emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROWDYWITH4 8/11/2009 12:29AM

    Come visit my blog...say a little prayer for me...and find out what makes my heart sing...

Love this blog!

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ANDREA0301 8/9/2009 8:10PM

    Love it, love it!

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GLOBALDAD 8/8/2009 10:34PM

    Always inspirational and timely.

Thank you for taking the time to lead and inspire!

Is this your true calling and passion??????

I think we know the answer.


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SAASHA17 8/8/2009 10:08PM

    hey Eric,

tats a nice one!! I actually put it up on Gtalk status msg!!:)

thanks and have a nice weekend

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BLABBERMOUTH2 8/8/2009 9:01PM

    Eric, I so look forward to your daily blogs. Thanks so much for being diligent in posting them.

Have a good weekend.


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GLAZED-DONUT 8/8/2009 6:20PM

    Well said & very inspiring (-: short to the point unlike my blogs haha! xxoo

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Attitude Check!

Friday, August 07, 2009

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
~Thomas Jefferson~

How is your attitude this morning? Are you ready to have a great day?

As we work to make our days consistently brighter, we learn the "tools" it takes for us to have a great day. Each of us has triggers that help us to make the most of our day. Our triggers might include getting up on time, having a healthy breakfast, having time to write an affirmation or read a positive book. Think through the tasks you normally do that help get your day off to a good start.

Think about your "good days," "medium days," and "average days." Which days are most enjoyable and productive for you? Odds are it is the "good days" that help you make progress toward creating the life you desire. The first key ingredient to a "good day" is the right mental attitude. Likewise, the major component in reaching a goal (as today's quote states) is the right mental attitude. Realize that taking the time to "program yourself" for a great day with a great attitude is important. It is never something to be neglected.

While reading this, thoughts that come to my mind. This also affects how our daily workout is going to be. On your good days when you wake up in the morning, everything is going great, and you are full of energy; you will have the perfect workout. Don't you think to yourself why can't I feel this way everyday. All you can think about is working out. You are not focusing on the rest of your day.
Think about what makes those days for you. We all know it is difficult to feel this way every day. But we can try too. If you don't clear your mind and focus on task at hand, you will not give it everything you have. Which in turn will show in results down the road. Pause a second before starting your workout. Focus & tell yourself your going to "BRING IT".

Have a emoticon workout!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Thanks for the words of wisdom, Eric.

Truly something to think about...you can't choose all the things that happen to you on a daily basis but you can choose the attitude you face the day with and that can make all the difference. emoticon

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BLABBERMOUTH2 8/7/2009 4:42PM

    Eric, what can I say? Another spot on blog. Have a great weekend. emoticon

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GONE2014 8/7/2009 11:17AM

    Great thoughts!! Thanks for posting!!

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ROWDYWITH4 8/7/2009 11:13AM

I needed this attitude check this morning. It so easy to just want to have a attitude and wollow in our sorrows after having such a horrible, now going on two weeks. Last week the Fridge quit on me...this week my breaks on the car went out, the loss of a love one, what else could possibly go wrong? But, I need to stop and notice all the things that are going right. God is so good all the time...maybe the fridge went out to stop an electrical fire or maybe the breaks being fixed keep me from driving and being in an accident. You never know what these trials prevent, but they definitley draw me near to Him with THANKSGIVING! Have a blessed day, Eric!


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ANDREA0301 8/7/2009 10:40AM

    I really needed these words of encouragement this (not-so-great) morning. Thanks for sharing.

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GLOBALDAD 8/7/2009 10:33AM


What a great way to start the day! The Thomas Jefferson quote is a wonderful reminder.

You are a great inspiration and timely.

Keep up the great work and continue to lead with your words that continue to inspire!!!!



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