The 5 Fresh and Simple Ingredients all Successful Weight Loss Transformations Have

“The minute you get away from fundamentals – whether it’s proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation – the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.”– Michael Jordan

5 fresh and simple ingredients all successful weight loss transformations have

I have a confession to make.

I absolutely love Thai food (especially the curry dishes).

With selections of massamun, green, red, panang, huang ray, and sassy (pineapple) curry—you can’t go wrong with any of those selections.

You may be thinking did this blog just turn into a Cooking Network blog post? Not yet. The food and cooking information will be arriving in the not-so-distant future.

I had Thai food over the weekend and ordered a bowl of green curry. As I indulged into bite after bite, and eventually drunk the rest of the soup, I had an epiphany—this dish was perfectly crafted.

My green curry not only tasted exceptional, but the precision and attention to detail that went into making this dish is something that isn’t to be taken for granted.

Green curry (Gaeng Kiaw Wan) is one of the milder Thai cuisines. In fact, Gaeng Kiaw Wan in a literal translation means sweet green curry (I’d like to see who knows this at trivia night).

After you add a protein of choice, the main basic ingredients are coconut milk, green curry paste, palm sugar, and fish sauce. However, depending on where you are, expect to also have some Thai eggplants, sweet basil leaf, kaffir lime leaves, green bell peppers, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, carrots, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, and baby corn (are you hungry yet?).

successful weight loss transformations
My green curry dish made with lots of love!

 

Ok, what does my green curry dish have to do with successful weight loss transformations?

Everything.

Just as the cooks who carefully prepared my dish and added each item in the right amount, embracing upon your fitness journey requires careful preparation and inclusion of the right items for the perfect result.

Add too much of the wrong ingredients to any curry dish, then the flavor and the dish turns into something completely different. Include too many tactics to beginning your weight loss journey and you’ll suffer from information overload (and risk not even getting started due to paralysis from analysis).

Most people’s weight loss journeys aren’t successful because they haven’t included the essential ingredients.

Is it because they’re using the wrong diet? Not necessarily.

Or is it because they’re using the wrong workout plan? Not exactly.

Maybe it’s because they aren’t working hard enough? Nope (effort is hardly the problem).

They don’t want it bad enough? No way (what is this—a high school football pep talk?)

Losing weight is conceptually simple, but the execution is where the complication arises.

Just as cooking a delicious dish of green curry requires the proper ingredients and spices for a world class experience, successful weight loss transformations requires the same dedication. These ingredients are often overlooked because they aren’t sexy or trendy, but yet they’re damn effective and essential.

In fact, before I begin to consult with a person on a 1-on-1 level, one of the first exercises we do is address each of these five ingredients I’m about to discuss below.

If you want to accomplish your weight loss goals without compromising your sanity and preferred lifestyle, implement these five ingredients.

1.Have a meaningful incentive

The first step on your weight loss journey isn’t going to buy a gym membership, cleaning out your fridge, or researching workout plans.

The first step is to sit down and think about “why you want to lose weight?”.

I get it.

Writing why you want something seems silly and time wasting (after all, you need to get to the gym and sweat some calories off and clean your diet up).

However, this shotgun mentality may work at the beginning, but what happens when your motivation flames out and your adrenaline returns to its baseline. The novelty of something new has worn off and you don’t feel like going to the gym—what’s going to keep you going?

Without a powerful why there isn’t any substance or meaningful stakes brought to the table to guarantee you stick around at the first sight of resistance or discomfort.

A meaningful incentive isn’t buying a new pair of jeans, fitting into a neon green bikini for your vacation, building some size 16 biceps to impress at the beach, nor any other superficial surface metric.

A meaningful incentive connects on a deeper level and places a priority on the long-term (not just the weeks leading up to your summer vacation).

Aesthetics are important, but adding in other factors of your life such as losing weight to get off your medications, having the energy to play with your kids one day, setting an example for family and friends, or to improve your confidence to go after what you really want out of life.

2.Develop a winning game plan while preparing like a champion

Politics, sports, relationships, business, and wars all have one main commonality—to succeed requires strategic planning & preparation.

Presidential races aren’t won by the candidates just showing up. They prepare extensively and strategize to the minute of details. The super bowl isn’t won by the team just showing up on Sunday. They prepared two weeks in advance.

Wars aren’t won by randomly showing up and fighting.  They prepare and take stock of the surrounding terrain while analyzing their enemy.

Businesses don’t make profits each quarter by just showing up blindly each day. They forecast and conduct meetings to properly plan and execute. Successful relationships are certain to go stale after some years, but that’s why the successful ones continue to evolve with each other and never stop dating each other.

Stating a desire and want without a plan for making it a reality is nothing but an empty wish (it’s just floating up in the clouds).

Successful game planning and preparing like a champion requires you to front load your work as much as you can.

Why is a plan so crucial?

Because if you blindly begin your exercise routine, once resistance shows up or you have unexpected obstacles appear, you’re going to falter.

By game planning, you’re creating the structure that specifically works for you (most importantly). If your fitness plans don’t seamlessly mesh with your lifestyle, you’re not going to stick with the plan for the long haul.

When you’re thinking about how to construct a game plan, start with these three topics.

  1. Eating – How you eat needs to be considered based on your specific schedule, preferences, and comfortability while still complimenting your specific physique goals.
  1. Exercise – What type of workouts will you do? How many days will you lift each week? What exercises are you doing during each session?
  1. Implementation – What time are you working out and on what days? What about eating times? Have you established a sleep routine? Are you prepared for events, work, and other miscellaneous obstacles that will head your way?
planning successful weight loss transformations
Not matter the area of focus—you gotta have a strategy.

 

Front loading your work isn’t sexy, but neither is budgeting your finances—yet you’ll do it if it’s important enough.

One of the best ways to start front loading your work is to identify three of your potential biggest obstacles that pose the biggest barriers to succeeding with your fitness goals. Once you identify them, determine a solution for each of those obstacles.

3.Seek accountability and support

I told myself I was going to write a book and months later, I had one page written and a half-assed outline.

I told some people I wanted to write a book and they would tell me this is awesome. I felt good having a dream of writing a book, despite the reality that nothing was being accomplished.

Answering to ourselves hardly ever works in the end because we can justify our excuses and lack of action. Our brains are tricky and will find angles to make ourselves feel okay with not following through on our initial commitments and desires.

When it comes to accountability and support, we need two distinct types of it: professional/expert accountability and unapologetically positive support.

  1. Professional/expert support and accountability – This is having an expert in your corner or at least someone who will keep you accountable while providing guidance. Your best friend doesn’t count due to the relationship. They’re unlikely to push you outside your comfort zone and call you out for actions you fail to follow through with. 

Whether it’s a coach or expert opinion on a forum—you need to involve someone with expertise who isn’t afraid to offer advice that you may not want to hear.

  1. Unapologetically positive support – Whether it’s a friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, social media, or private group—this type of support essentially serves as your cheerleader. They keep your spirits high and keep you going when you feel like quitting.

They’re not going to give you logical expert opinion or call you out for something. They’re going to be biased in their support of you, no matter what’s going on.

4.Set a big, but realistic deadline

After you’ve established your meaningful incentive, a plan that fits your preferred lifestyle while establishing both types of accountability—now it’s time to put some skin in the game.

Without a deadline, there isn’t a sense of urgency to keep you focused and attentive.

While deadlines are important, you need to be realistic and properly assess everything going on in your life. If you have a hectic schedule and can’t workout as frequently along with getting inconsistent sleep—you can still expect some results, just not at the same rate as someone who consistently trains four days a week and routinely sleeps eight hours.

If you really want to up the ante, try a couple of these games out to make it fun and challenging with other friends when setting deadlines.

  • Make a goal on Stickk and donate to an organization that you hate if you fail to keep your word
  • Make a public declaration
  • Implement negative consequences or positive rewards (this is dependent upon your personality)

After determining your realistic goal, now it’s time to reverse engineer your goal down into manageable steps.

To generate momentum and build your confidence for long-term success, you must establish periodic markers of success.

Twenty pounds may be your goal, but reaching that goal is months down the road and without any positive signs of success beforehand, you’re not going to last.

Psychologically, twenty pounds sounds like a lot to someone new or rusty with their fitness. A better approach is to break those twenty pounds down into sizable chunks. With some clients, I’ll take it two pounds at a time.

Seems wacky and pointless, but just as in baseball, a couple singles and doubles here and there still drives in runs instead of just swinging for home runs while striking out more frequently.

Think little wins as opposed to large gigantic wins. You don’t go from broke to millionaire in two weeks. You don’t go from a mediocre NBA player to an all-star in four weeks.

5.Don’t forget to have fun

At the end of the day, we’re only talking about fitness. Not quantum physics, the theory of relativity, or some high-stakes boardroom meeting—this is supposed to be stress-relieving.

Here’s a secret that I want everyone to know—I don’t enjoy working out sometimes. Driving to the gym is one of the hardest tasks in my daily ritual.

There are a plethora of other comforting options. I could write even more (probably code for looking at Youtube videos), watch TV, eat some comfort foods (not a good idea), sleep in, play video games, or have a ‘Netflixathon‘.

However, I enjoy the effects of working out. I enjoy how it makes me feel; the stress it releases from my body; the way it helps my body look and perform.

These factors lead me to make better decisions; thus helps my business and relationships. That is why I’m hooked on the gym, not because I enjoy being out of breath jump roping or pushing myself to exhaustion during a set of squats.

I don’t enjoy passing up ice cream, wine, and cookies the majority of the time. While I eat and drink these items occasionally, for the most part, I pass on them because my why is more meaningful than the immediate/short-term pleasure those items provide.

ice cream- successful weight loss transformations
Ice cream is great, but it’s not worth your long term goals.

 

On the contrary, I enjoy how healthy foods make me feel, think, and perform.

Not matter the exercise routine you’re doing or the type of nutritional philosophy you’re following—you must enjoy some aspect of the journey (even if it’s simply finishing your workout or eating healthy through the week so you can look forward to your guilt-free weekend indulging meal)

Not finding any enjoyment and relying on sheer willpower is a dangerous game that you’ll always lose. Willpower is a limited resource that is zapped as you go about your daily routine and make decisions on numerous things. 

Put your lab coat on, become a scientist and keep experimenting with the type of workouts and nutritional strategies until you find something that perfectly gels with your preferred lifestyle while fully complementing your physique goals.

The Weight Loss Mindset: 9 Powerful Truths to Simplify Your Weight Loss Journey

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t—you are right.”—Henry Ford

The Weight Loss Mindset

We live in an image-laden society where sex sells. We live in a society where our looks grant us special privileges in certain aspects of life and open doors that are often off-limits for most.

We’re hyper-aware of our aesthetics and over-analyze the smallest of our perceived flaws. We at times, obsessively measure ourselves against the next human being beside us.

From billboards to magazines to Instagram models with little clothing flexing while quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson (weird) or Rumi (not motivating)—sex and fitness are spamming us everywhere.

Everyone wants to lose weight. Everyone wants to improve their physique for a myriad of reasons: more sex, more confidence, better quality of life, and the list goes on and on.

Think I’m over exaggerating about our obsession with weight loss?

Think again.

While our society is becoming more and more obsessed with sex and status—we’re collectively becoming unhealthier. Despite the plethora of information within our grasps, obesity is at an all-time high and most people aren’t even living a basic healthy lifestyle.

Most Americans are highly conscious of their weight and I’m willing to bet that most of the world is becoming increasingly aware of their weight.

Despite this awareness, our society is failing at weight loss. In a recent poll, 51 percent of Americans stated a desire to lose weight, yet only 26 percent say they’re making a serious effort to lose those pounds.

Interesting.

At face value, it’s easy to just say that the remaining 25 percent are just lazy and need to get their ass in the gym and start eating less and moving more.

However, we’re better than that nonsensical gibberish that most narrow-minded experts and gurus preach from their pulpits.

I’m willing to bet that the entire 51 percent makes an effort initially. But the failing 25 percent goes off course following the wrong advice and loses motivation by starting their weight loss journey with the wrong weight loss mindset.

Maybe the 25 percent failed because all of their hopes were placed on supplements, diet pills, magical fitness fairy dust, and other quick fixes that eventually fizzles out. After all, this isn’t too feasible of a belief to explore since the supplement industry is currently producing revenue at 32 billion and by 2021 is projected to be 60 billion.

These are all huge potential deterrents, but one of the biggest points for men and women’s weight loss shortcomings is their expectations. Most people quit due to their initial expectations not being met and the unrealistic timeliness they place on their transformations.

Weight loss doesn’t have to be a process where suffering is mandatory. If you’re tired of stressing over losing weight, remember these nine truths to develop an unstoppable weight loss mindset.

1.There will be some initial self-doubt (and that’s okay)

Every time we branch outside of our comfort zones, there’s going to be a fear of the unknown.

Yet, within this muddle of uncertainty, you must persist and move forward. Persistence in the wake of doubt and questioning of your abilities is common at the beginning. This uncertainty is common due to past fitness setbacks, lack of skill, or a lack of self-confidence.

There isn’t anything wrong with you just because you’re a little uneasy or anxious about the goals ahead—you’re human and it’s natural to feel this general uneasiness.

Wanting to lose fat or tackling any fitness goal is daunting. Stating an intent to lose 20 lbs or making the habit of exercising a consistent routine activity isn’t easy from the surface level.

2.Commitment is essential

State your intent and jump into the water with both feet. No dipping your toe in to test the waters. You’re either in or you’re out.

There isn’t a halfway. The elevator only goes up or goes down (there isn’t a sideways).

Commitment is doing the work regardless of how you feel.

Stating what you want isn’t enough. Talking and doing are two different things and needs to be separated.

A commitment entails doing the work regardless of how long it’ll take to accomplish your specific fitness objective. A commitment requires unwavering support to the craft and daily 1% improvement in life and fitness.

clock for weight loss mindset
No matter how many hours needed or days—you need to be committed for the long haul.

 

3.There are no shortcuts

Nothing and I mean nothing valuable and worthwhile in the long-term can be accomplished or gained through shortcuts and taking the easy option.

Going for the girl or guy who provides no resistances and has no morals instead of the girl or guy who plays hard to get and has standards leads to agony.

Short-term solutions provide instant gratification and places band-aids over deep wounds, but doesn’t solve long-term problems nor develop long-term healthy habits.

Opting for that cleanse or cheaply formulated diet may accomplish weight loss in the short-term, but in the long term provides an illusionary effect. Yes, you have weight loss for now, but long term, that weight is going to come back with a vengeance along with a worsening metabolism for a side order.

4.Perfectionism is a fairy tale

Perfectionism is often procrastination in disguise. A perfectionist mindset prevents you from having the chance of accomplishing your fitness goal.

Why?

Seeking perfection only allows you to delay taking action due to you telling yourself that you need more planning and knowledge before starting your fitness journey.

More knowledge, more tactics, and any other informational avenue isn’t your solution to accomplishing your weight loss goals. To get closer to your weight loss goals and living a rich and fulfilling lifestyle requires you to take action (like right now!).

No more waiting and planning, just do and assess, then go from there.

5.Have realistic expectations of yourself and your current situation

Let go of the comparison game and living vicariously through others fitness. Is it really motivating to watch numerous Instagram post of some insanely fit person posing with their magical weight reducing tea?

Are you motivated after watching numerous videos of someone posing in a perfectly lit room and sharing a quote telling you to believe in yourself and it’ll happen?

I’m betting if you do some soul searching, then odds are it’ll be more of a deterrent than an added benefit to your fitness journey.

The problem lies when you compare yourself to people who don’t share your specific circumstances and don’t have the specific obstacles that you have.

Make goals that suit your particular lifestyle and situation, not anyone else’s.

If you can only commit to three gym sessions a week, so be it, that’s plenty. Don’t force yourself into a fitness plan and set goals based on what others tell you and expect.

Accomplishing your goal in 16 weeks is great. 20 weeks is just as good. The main point is to accomplish this in a sustainable manner that has your long-term health in mind, not just superficial metrics.

6.Progress isn’t linear

The first three weeks, your weight is doing the electric slide off your body with ease. You’re flying high and feeling good, then around week four, your weight hasn’t decreased.

This is the typical cycle of someone starting a weight loss regimen. The first few weeks depending on your starting weight and conditioning levels, weight will fly off your body due to water weight, glycogen storage, and the initial shock of your system.

Progress will naturally slow and that’s normal. It’s not natural for someone to lose four—five lbs each week throughout their journey.

It’s also normal to go weeks without weight coming off and then the week after, you lose a couple of pounds. Weight loss doesn’t operate on a linear straight line, think of weight loss as operating more on a roller coaster.

7.Expect some turbulence (and embrace it)

If you didn’t experience any resistances toward version 2.0 of yourself, then what fun would that be?

While in the heat of the moment, your obstacles and setbacks won’t be fun. However, after reflecting on it, you’ll come to understand that those moments of seeming drudgery are what develops your character.

Those moments are what develops your badassery and make you remarkable.

Most people think success is one straight line of good times up the mountain, but it’s actually an ugly wiggly line that requires you to hold on for dear life at times and just survive.

weight-loss mindset

Sometimes you’re going to run into thunderstorms and there isn’t anything you can do about those moments. But remember, just as thunderstorms don’t last forever, those dark cloudy moments will pass through and give way to more sunny and prosperous moments.

It’s only a failure if you decide to quit and wave your little white flag.

8.You’ll need to call for help at some point

Bill Withers famously stated that we all need somebody to lean on, and boy is he correct on that.


For the majority of the past year, I had to lean on quite a few people and if it wasn’t for them—this article wouldn’t be written nor would this blog still be around.

Life is tough and frustrating at times. Sometimes we don’t have all the answers, capabilities, capacity, or strength to handle everything that is thrown our way.

None of us is superman (and even he needs help). It takes vulnerability, but true courage is raising your hand or making that call for help and support.

Never feel ashamed to ask for help or reach out for support. It’s tough to juggle fitness with all the other movable pieces going on within our lives.

9.You’re ultimately in control of your end destination

At the end of the day, your actions will propel you to success and the goals you desire or lead you to a land of disappointment and endless dieting (don’t do this, stop that here).

You are the captain of this here ship and that is your life. You control which direction it sails and determine what you let on board (people, environments, and other lifestyle factors).

Many can teach you and tell you about the path to where you desire, but only you can choose to take that path and do the right actions.


Lastly, here’s a free download of the weight loss mindset to remind yourself in case you start being too hard on yourself.

the weight loss mindset

30 Lessons (i.e. Random Musings) Learned About Life And Fitness

“I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning…Every day I find something creative to do with my life.” – Miles Davis

30 Lessons (i.e. Random Musings) Learned About Life & Fitness- lessons learned about life and fitness

A few weeks ago, I turned 30. My first initial reaction was, “Where the hell has time went?”

I remember being a small child listening to Marvin Gaye, along with many other music legends, and immediately becoming enamored with their melodies and positive influence on people.

I remember being the little kid who was always the “unique” one and never meshed perfectly with the other kids.

I remember being the kid who was into comics and the arts but was afraid to show that because it wasn’t cool—so instead I tried to become a suburban thug who wore oversized clothing (that didn’t last too long).

suburban thug-lessons learned about life & fitness
This guy wasn’t fooling anyone…especially when he started to talk!

I remember being the college kid who arrived at 165 pounds and full of insecurities. I also remember being the college kid who left at 205 pounds and full of insecurities.

I remember being the young adult and receiving my acceptance letter to go to school in New York and embark upon a medical school education (the rest of that particular evening was a blur…blame it on the booze).

I remember being the young adult who arrived in New York and was punch drunk in love even though I immediately got cussed out by a feisty old lady.

I remember going to happy hours and eventually meeting the strangers who would eventually make the whispers that I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing even more apparent.

I remember completing my first year of medical school courses and everyone was looking forward to the next year and deep down I knew there would be no next year.

I remember returning home and telling the world that I wanted to be a writer and eventually have a book, speak and spread my knowledge of health and fitness by working with individuals (this ended up in laughs and many other snarky remarks).

Throughout those years, I also remember being unsure of this thing called life. I remember writing in my college journal that I wasn’t going to be here much longer. Thirty wasn’t in the plans.

I remember throughout my late teens secretly feeling this eternal hollowness. I remember being in a world surrounded by people, but yet, never felt more alone.

I remember being at a coffee shop on a brisk and cool Saturday night and contemplating calling it a quits with life.

I remember going through 6 months of therapy and finally facing my demons. I remember losing almost everything and nearly ruining my business and life.

I also remember being at my lowest and using writing as a therapeutic tool. That tool eventually carved out my debut book ‘Body Architect’.

What’s all these random facts mean: life is a roller coaster and there will be plenty of bad, but there will also be plenty of good.

Here are 30 lessons (i.e. random musings) learned about life and fitness in my 30 uneven years.

1.Your health is the foundation to your life (never forget this)

It’s easy to get caught in the world of hustling our asses off for our jobs. It’s easy to procrastinate going to the gym. It’s tempting to place everyone before ourselves.

But a rich and remarkable life starts by placing your health at the core center.

Pretend your health is the head of an octopus and all the other facets of your life are the tentacles. Without that head operating, those tentacles aren’t doing anything.

No matter if you want a girlfriend, escape to a new city, new job, or more money—it starts with an emphasis placed on your health.

2. Sleep is the best drug to transforming your health

We live in a 24/7 world where hustling gets us a pat on the back. Working yourself into the ground is viewed as a necessity in order to make it in your particular industry.

Many people attempting to lose weight will go “beastmode” at the gym and train intensely five-six days a week and eat clean but will drop the ball on their sleep.

Sleep is where your body recovers from those intense workouts leading to lower body fat percentages. Before you start training intensely and complicating your nutrition, master your sleep practice.

3. Nearly every type of diet works

Paleo, intermittent fasting, carb backloading, vegan, and the other gazillion diets floating around—they all work.

Huh??

At the base of any diet is one that preaches eating whole foods, limiting processed foods, and not drinking your calories.

The confusion happens when certain ones start using fear mongering tactics to help sell their type of diet. Pay the fear messages no attention and pick a diet based off what is comfortable to you and complements your physique goals.

4. It’s never an issue of time, it’s an issue of priorities

Many people desire to change, but many people also don’t want, nor are they willing to take the necessary steps required for change.

These necessary steps often require a shift in one’s priorities, sacrifices and discomfort. It’s easier to play the role of a victim than to actually do something about your situation.

Next time you recite “I don’t have enough time” or “I can’t do something”—pause and think about that. Is it really time or that particular thing or are you just making an excuse, being lazy and unwilling to give up certain things.

Either avenue is fine, just don’t use time or other external tools as your shield for excuses.

5. Fitness has 4 pillars: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual

The majority of the world views fitness just from a physical standpoint. It’s all about the aesthetics and the amount of weight lifted. However, that’s only a fourth of the pie.

Fitness has a mental aspect that includes being a lifelong learner which encompasses focus and discipline, not just in the gym but throughout your life.

There’s a spiritual component which isn’t about religion but instead is about being in a positive and healthy state. It’s being able to give gratitude even if you want more.

Lastly, there’s an emotional state which encompasses the people that you hang around with and allow into your inner circle.

These may seem like separate entities, but in actuality, they play and feed off of each other. How can you perform your best physically if your emotions are filled with negativity and scattered?

6. Compound exercises trump isolation movements

Squats, deadlifts, and chin-ups will always trump leg extensions, hamstring curls, and bicep curls in terms of developing your body in the most efficient and effective manner.

The biggest benefit of compound movements is their capacity to transform your body in the shortest amount of time compared to the isolation movements. This happens because compound movements work multiple muscles per movement compared to isolation which focuses on one per movement.

7. Before you seek an external transformation, you must begin with your internal world

Many people put their hopes and dreams in gurus who promise to help them make six figures one month. Many people, unfortunately, fall prey to fitness charlatans who create fancy Facebook ads and promise rapid results with minimal sacrifices in record time.

While those results may happen (doubtful), they have a zero percent chance of manifesting until you venture into your internal world.

Getting your emotions and mental thought processes under control has to take place before you can even think about that six pack or six-figure payday.

Before you become a fitness superstar or millionaire, you must adopt the mindset and character traits of that type of person.

8. Loneliness is a quiet and underrated disease

Mother Teresa was once quoted as saying, “The biggest disease today is not leprosy or cancer or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody.”

Woman-of-Inspiration-Mother-Teresa1

In the world of health and fitness, macros and debating over the optimal workout split take precedence over deeper issues, but at the core of most people’s struggles is an issue of feeling disconnected.

Lonely people are nearly as twice as likely to die prematurely as those who do not suffer from feelings of isolation.

Loneliness leads to decision making that is often times not in our best interest. Loneliness can lead to depression and other emotional issues (food, etc).

9. Pull more and push less

We live in a sedentary world where the majority of our jobs revolve around a computer screen. The motion that the majority of us are doing is extending forward which is a pushing motion.

Combine this with people’s love for working chest and muscles they can see in the mirror and you instantly create an imbalance.

Many of our muscular issues result from postural imbalances and neglecting to strengthen our back muscles.

As you approach your weekly workout volume, perform pulling exercises in a 3:2 ratio compared to pushing exercises.

10. Don’t be afraid nor have any shame in being a beginner

Everyone at one point in time was a beginner who lacked the skill set and confidence for whatever task they were doing (I’m just learning how to communicate both personally and professionally).

Before I was 200 pounds and proficient with my lifts, I was a 165-pound freshman in college who didn’t even know how to properly squat.

Before I was an author, I was just a dude who wrote daily and most of that material wasn’t any good. In salsa dancing, before I could even think about spinning or leading someone through a cross body lead, I needed to learn the basic steps (and I still have a longgggg ways to go).

11. Fitness can catapult you to success in many other facets of your life

Accomplishing a fitness goal for some means that anything else is possible because fitness has often been this nagging thorn in their lives. Accomplishing a fitness goal possess the power to chase after goals that were previously viewed as unattainable.

12. Everyone should read for at least 30 minutes daily

You’re either growing as a person and evolving to a higher consciousness or stagnating and letting times pass you by. Going back to the mental fitness component, books can serve as the driving force to enhancing your intelligence.

Books feed your brain. Books serve as a way for you to gain access to many experts for a fraction of what it would cost to meet them in person or hire them. By reading so many books, I have many mentors. What took them years to learn, will only take me a week to get the big takeaway points from their book (need some book recommendations, here’s my Goodreads profile).

13. It’s never too late to rewrite the script on your life

It’s only over when you stay down for the ten count. This game of life only draws to its conclusion when you wave the white flag.

No matter how crappy or dire your circumstances, you can always pull a reinvention and make a comeback for the ages.

This rewriting of the script starts with you believing that it’s possible to set a recourse for the direction of your life.

14. Food’s purpose goes beyond aesthetics

We live in a world where food is mostly showed as a way to perk someone’s ass up and give them abs and big biceps. Yet, food is way more than a tool to enhance your appearance.

Food is a social tool that can unite us, heal our sicknesses, and be used as a way to communicate across generations and cultures.

persian food
Not only was this Persian food good for my internal & external health, but it was also shared with my friends from different cultures & walks of life.

15. You’ll never be 100% ready

No matter how many business books you read or podcast you listen to—you’re still going to mess up. You can read a gazillion fitness books, but that doesn’t get you in shape.

You can read dozens of books on the craft of writing and how to beat writer’s block, but that doesn’t create your novel.

At the end of the day, wanting isn’t enough. 

Action will always remain undefeated compared to the alternative of “planning & planning”.

16. Your environment is vital to your success

Your environment either helps or prevents you from thriving. Who you hang out with and who you choose to give your attention and energy to is pivotal to determining who you’re becoming.

Do they have a fixed or a growth mentality?

Everyone doesn’t deserve a seat at the table for version 2.0 of yourself. Keep your inner circle small and only include people who add value to your life.

Your perspective is key and if your friends live in negativity and scarcity, don’t expect yourself to be much different. Just get the hell away from people who are consistently miserable, drain your energy or aren’t doing anything with their lives and don’t plan on changing.

17. Less consuming, more creating

Many of us (myself included) fall into the comparison trap and feel as if we’re not enough or our lives aren’t as compelling as others.

Facebook shows us that more people are having more fun on vacations, going on more dates, and generally living more exciting lives compared to ourselves. Celebrities are so much better than us and other people within our specific work industry are much more successful than we are—at least that what the internet tells us.

It’s all bullshit!

When we get caught up in other people’s lives, we lose track of our own and forget to live ours.

Doing this makes us depressed, resentful, and hopeless about our situations. Pay attention to your own life and focus on what you can control (and only that).

18. We’re capable of much more than we think we are

The way we treat and talk to ourselves at times would never be recited to our friends nor anyone else. You’re better, smarter, and more capable than you give yourself credit for. Show yourself some compassion.

19. Happiness and peace will never come from the outside

Marvin Gaye eloquently stated: “If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.”

If you’re like me, you’ve probably said this at one point in time: “If only I’d had more money”, “If only I could lose these 10 pounds”, “If only I had more time”, and “If only I could find someone who loves me”…”I’d”…{fill in the blank}.

People (myself included) fixate about what they don’t have and never allow themselves to be content with what they currently have in life. Always having a mindset of “more and more” will eliminate any chances you have of happiness.

If you can’t find joy and contentment for what you have now, it doesn’t matter how hot your partner is, how much weight you lose, nor how much money you have—you’ll always feel empty and hollow.

20. Don’t be afraid to challenge old beliefs and ideas about the world

Most of what we believe, think, and perceive about the world isn’t necessarily what we truly believe in. Instead, it’s what society has engineered into us along with our friends and family.

Challenge yourself and think long and hard about some common beliefs that you never truly questioned. Are these your beliefs or are they your family, friends, or societies beliefs?

21. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

The ego is a dangerous weapon that possesses the ability to fracture relationships and block potential ones from happening. The ego has the ability to handicap your business and your health because you’re afraid to ask for help (mainly talking to myself here).

Be the bigger and better person and ask for help or advice.

22. Your breakdowns & struggles can lead to your breakthroughs

Sometimes you have to lose it all to realize what’s important. Sometimes you need total chaos and despair to gain the utmost perspective on what truly matters.

Repeat after me: “You are not your struggles”.

Repeat it every day if you have to, “You. Are. Not. Your. Struggles.”

Bad moments, sad situations, or mistakes may arise in your life but this doesn’t define your identity. Recovering from breakdowns and low moments aren’t instantaneous, but they also aren’t life defining moments set in stone which will direct the rest of your life.

23. Stop lending your self-worth card out to the world

Your self-worth comes from the inside, not the outside.

How can someone treat you like the superstar you’re meant to be when you’re treating yourself like a 3rd-string player?

Comparing yourself and measuring yourself to others only devalues yourself and your accomplishments. Don’t be fooled into comparing someone’s outside world (their highlight reel) with your internal world.

24. Develop a gratitude practice

One of the best things in the last year I’ve implemented is to practice giving gratitude each and every day. It’s easy to take for granted what we have, become obsessed with getting the next achievement, and checking the next item on the list.

I recommend using a journal or using the five-minute journal app (that’s what I currently use: app or journal).

25. Reinventing yourself won’t be pretty the majority of the time

Creating change is hard, uncomfortable, and downright lonely at times.

You’re going to lose some friends and outgrow others. You’re going to ruffle some people’s feathers. Not because of what you’re doing, but because of what you represent by deciding to take action on something you want.

When you take action and prove otherwise to your friends, you end their excuses and put the focus 100% on them for why they can’t do whatever it is that they want. You changing will scare them because now what’s their excuse.

While you may lose some friends, outgrow others, and cause discomfort in a few, you’re going to meet some cool ass people along your new journey as you construct version 2.0 of yourself.

26. If you feel lost about what to do with your life, explore your childhood to unlock the potential mystery

Music, superheroes, creativity, and the arts were always appealing to me as a child and it’s no surprise that I ended up as an adult incorporating all those into my work.

I tried to ignore what was always calling me, but pursuing a medical career, advertising and marketing never felt like home. If you feel you just aren’t in the right career, take a trip back in time and explore what ignited your fire as a child.

going back to childhood
Go back to your younger & more imaginative self for the answers to today’s mysteries.

27. I hate today’s (especially online) dating culture

App after app promises love and convenience. Yet, instead, I believe they’re merely making us more distant from each other. Sure, there are some benefits such as being able to meet someone that you would have never had the opportunity to meet without the internet.

However, we’re also tempted with the allure of something better with the next swipe. If you find one mistake with the person you’re with, maybe the next person won’t have that problem and will be perfect.

Welcome to ‘The Age of FOMO (fear of missing out)’ culture (I’m guilty as well at times).

This is how we date and it’s super confusing.

Let’s start saying “no” to the ‘Netflix & chill‘ dating culture. Let’s start saying “no” to playing games and be open to how we really feel.

28. If you believe in your dreams, that’s enough—let no one take that from you

Often times, we have a vision or something that exists in our heads but this vision isn’t seen by anyone else. Sometimes, this vision and dream we have are so far out there that it seems ludicrous to the average person and that’s ok.

If you believe in something deeply, that’s more than enough of a reason for you to give it a try—no matter the result or chatter surrounding you.

If you fall short with your dreams, then at least these shortcomings are on your terms (not someone else’s).

It’s better to try and maybe fail than to look back 10 years later and wonder “what if I’d given that dream a try”.

29. I still believe in people (no matter how bad things seem)

If I relied on the news as the sole barometer for the human condition, then I would’ve given up on them a long time ago.

Despite how much violence and hatred it seems that is going on—I still believe in people. Despite how cruel people can treat each other at times in relationships and so forth—I still believe in people.

There’s a lot more good than bad going on. There’s a lot more light than there is darkness. There’s a lot more love than there is hate (Let love rule…sing it with me).

When people mistreat you, let you down, or show their true colors(which isn’t so bright)—forgive, but never forget. Most importantly, never stoop to their level.

If you lower yourself, then you’re just as bad as they are. Be better than that and take the high road.

30. Music has many superpowers

Music was the sibling I never had. Many nights while playing video games, I had the radio playing and rotated many CDs’ which would serve as the soundtrack to my life in the coming years and still to this day.

If you’re sad, lonely, ecstatic with joy or filled with love—there’s a song out there that perfectly depicts how you feel and understands you.

Music has the power to heal and unify groups of people just from a simple four-minute song.

Because this article is all over the place, let’s end with my theme song before I go out and dance or any social setting (Marvin Gaye- Got to Give it Up..the extended version of course).