Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Eight ~ Creating The Perfect Day

I'm fascinated with the applications of theories and/or behaviors that work well for me. I'm always looking for ways to enhance this amazing journey called life. I often talk about finding the Energy and Enthusiasm to enjoy everything you want in this world. For me it often requires examining behavior where I've fallen short, and trying to alter my approach the next time around. I'm beginning to learn that certain things need to be in play almost every day. In the process I've created a list called "The 8". If I do these 8 things I feel like I've had the perfect day. You might want to create and personalize a list of your own.

1. Sleep ~ My perfect day starts with the night before. If I get 7 1/2 to 8 hours of sleep, I'm revved up and ready to hit the ground running.

2. Workout ~ Like you knew this wasn't going to be on the list. My workouts effect all aspects of my life. Mind, body, spirit and beyond.

3. Whole Foods ~ Fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats provide the fuel I need for a whole life.

4. Supplements ~ They assist with the recovery of workouts and provide energy for the next one.

5. Attitude ~ The more time spent asking questions to find solutions in life, the more exciting life becomes. Focus on what works, not on what doesn't.

6. Hobbies ~ Find something you love to do. From stamp collecting to bird watching, hobbies can provide great friendships and tremendous personal growth.

7. Charity ~ Whether it's sending flowers to a friend or working with orphans, when you take the onus off of yourself and but the focus on others you'll find true happiness.

8. Down Time ~ Turn off the tube and breath. Balance is part of a perfect day. Read, meditate or exchange ideas with people you love.

Whenever I do all 8, my day is as good as it gets. If the items on this list feel like work to you, then they won't work for you. You have to truly want to live this way. If you are willing, then choosing "The 8" will make for many perfect days.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Matman2163 ~ Poetry In Motion

Ode to P90

I woke up this morning, all tired and sore
From bringing it hard, to just do one more
From push ups to pull ups
And Ab Rippers too
To whip you in shape
And get rid off that goo

P90 was first and that program was great
In the first 30 days, I began to change shape
I lost weight in my midsection, my butt, and my thighs
And saw my self transform, right before my own eyes

The plan was quite simple
I’m here to attest
Workout hard, eat right, and get 8 hours rest
The diet I followed was easy you see,
Just stay on Michi’s ladder
What more could there be?

I finished my first 90 days with success
And thought to myself, give the master series a test
The workouts were longer, with many more reps
But I did them with gusto, yes, even with pep

I brought it my hardest, never took it too easy
And laughed at TH, although some of his jokes were quite cheesy
But looking back now, yeah, it’s been quite a while,
Although the jokes repeated, they still made me smile
They helped me to bring it and what can I say
I gave it my all, each and every long day

I finished the master and what could be next?
But a new kind of hurt in the form of the X
More push-ups, now pull-ups, and Yoga to boot
The workouts are longer, but the jokes are a hoot

I found my self twisting in all kind of ways
And finished with Ohm’s,
Flushed those worries away

So now I’m closer to reaching the end
But if I can do this,
Then so can you, friend

To get through these programs,
Just listen, take heed
to 3 little words,
Decide, Commit, and Succeed.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Stress Kills

My Aunt Irene is 101 years old. She is and has always been a curious, happy-go-lucky kind of gal. She was not one to exercise and go on diets, although she ate fairly healthily her whole life and smoked cigarettes 'til she was 95. She quit the cigs because they got too expensive. She had two older sisters, Helen (my grandmother) and May. Both died in their eighties and both created more stress and less humor in their lives than Irene. She raised five kids on her own after her husband died young, so her life wasn't a picnic either. Is Irene an anomaly or does her good-natured spirit have something to do with her longevity?

Research is showing that poor sleep and a stressed-out life is shortening our lives faster than a poor diet and no exercise. The combination is like playing Russian roulette. We need to lighten up, find balance, and not be so attached to the outcome all the time. Exercise and a good diet aren't enough. The combination of mind stress and physical stress (from exercise) can produce free radicals that damage cells and cause everything from premature aging to cancer. Beating yourself into submission to keep up with the Joneses is killing you. A sense of humor and scheduled downtime (other than sleep) will keep stress at bay. Whenever you feel stressed out, ask yourself these three questions:

1. Where's my sense of humor? If you can make a goofy face or say something silly, then you can instantly shift your mood.

2. What's the solution? When you're stressed out, you're focused on the problem. When you ask yourself to solve the problem, you start to ask the right questions to improve the situation.

3. Am I in the moment? Sadness, anxiety, depression, and stress are often caused by thoughts and events of the past and future. All you have is right now, so stop, take a breath, and check to see if the present moment is as bad as you think it is.
If you can dump the stress, find yin to balance the yang, and search for solutions, then you will live long and prosper.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Secret Is Choice

My good buddy Nicholas C. had a great question in this week's mailbag. I let him in on a little secret that I'd like to share with all of you.


Hey Tony,After having the extreme honor of meeting you at two previous camps, I couldn't help noticing that you bring intensity and purpose to "everything" you do, whether it be just ordering dinner or teaching a class. I need to know your secret! How can the rest of us bring it with such energy and enthusiasm? Be blessed:) Nick Submitted by "niko63"Tony's Answer:

My Man Nick,
The short answer is choice. Life throws options at us every second of every day till the day we die. The combination of risk, faith, curiosity, determination, practice, desire, growth, hope and choosing right over wrong can build an incredible life. Super successful people all have one thing in common. They don't see obstacles. Their brain is wired for success. Problems turn to questions that get answered with solutions. No wining, bitching, complaining, blaming ever. Just doing, searching, learning and growing. You don't have to turn into an android robot from outer space to lock down this practice and philosophy, you just need a plan you'll stick with that works.

I think a lot of people get tripped up when they let other people slow them down. If family and friends aren't supportive of positive behavior then they need to be ignored. We all try so hard to fit in. Yuck! The great thinkers and doers did their own thing. They thought and acted way outside of the box. They didn't copy, they created. We all have this power. We live in a crazy "I can't" world and it's killing us. If we just said "I'll try" a little more often we could change the world. The winging it survival mode lifestyle is a joke. It's time to be accountable. This little trip to planet earth is far too short to waste any time. The time to start doing everything right is right now. I'm thinking way beyond a good diet and fitness here. Both should be automatic and are the cornerstone to everything else.

It's time we started thinking for ourselves and not so much about ourselves. We need to stop being influenced by others, look inward for a second or two, and discover that it's not about us. Fitness and a good diet are a link to discovering that there is more out there. When you learn this it becomes less about you and more about how to positively influence others. You'll never have the Double E (Energy and Enthusiasm) to grow outside of yourself until you hard wire a healthy lifestyle. There is nothing worse than someone who knows better and chooses the lame way out. I've learned that poor fitness and a bad diet lead to the status quo, AKA hell on earth. I am no different than you or anyone else. I'm not special, or smart, or lucky and nothing comes easily to me. I spent most of my youth scared, confused, lazy and sad, so if I can rise up from the ashes anyone can. Just choose it. 11/5/06