Setbacks are a Part of Life


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The War on Sugar never ends..

This has been a not so great week, lots of stress at home and work, I haven’t been eating right at all. In fact I have spent the entire week eating wrong. One thing I have been doing, well the only thing I have been doing is staying consistent on my Intermittent Fasting schedule. My workouts have been nonexistent, my Macros have been a disaster and my stress level has been way up but I’m still losing weight.

Stress increases Cortisol levels which can by itself destroy any fitness goals you have. I have felt it this week and hope to jump back on the fitness train Saturday or as I jokingly call it the “gain train”.

In the back of my mind I fear my weight loss may be a little muscle loss but I’m lying to myself and saying it’s just water weight or fat loss. My apologies for this not so positive post but this is Real Life, failures happen, slips will be a part of our fitness journey. For today that’s all I have, I’m getting back up and trying again. Failing isn’t the opposite of success, it is a part of success. All success is, is the ability to overcome failure while reaching your goals.

Giving A Little More


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Sometimes the lessons of our past make the best teachers for tomorrow. So why do we continually fall for the same failures over and over and not learn our lesson?

Maybe it’s because the time wasn’t right or the lesson wasn’t understood enough to have an emotional response to it. I have found the best lessons learned where the ones that broke my heart, the ones that caused internal pain and discomfort not the ones that I “thought” I understood but the ones I felt in my heart and soul.

Life is full of lessons, driven by choices and bombarded with decisions; this can be overwhelming at times. That is why downtime, time away or alone time is so important; it gives your mind a break from all the thinking and allows time to process at a deeper level some of the bigger questions that may get pushed aside due to the day to day concerns.

“A little more persistence,
a little more effort, and
what seemed hopeless failure
may turn to glorious success”.
– Elbert Hubbard

The bigger the risk the greater the opportunity for more in your life, if that is what you desire. After my divorce I swore to myself to never let anyone in again. I was 100% sure that was the right thing to do and believing it would just be easier on my heart that way and making my life better. If I never opened myself up I could have missed out on the beautiful relationship I’m in currently and the friendship we have grown. It would have been a huge mistake and one that I may have regretted the rest of my life.

I tried again, I got back up and said “my life will continue” thinking about how I wanted my life to play out and what I wanted for my future I knew down deeply that I didn’t want to be alone for the rest of my life. So I gave a little more effort, a little more persistence and pushed fear aside and now have what looks to be a glorious future.

We are the only limits in our lives (within reason) I mean lets face it I’m not going to be the President of the United States of America one day, although with the current president my odds increased significantly. We set so many limits on our capability and create so many boundaries that are not really there to begin with. I can’t do that, that is not possible, that will never happen… Well your right, you have given up already and set the bar pretty low for success.

I have placed so many limits on myself due to past hurts and experiences and occasionally the losses in our lives aren’t losses at all.

What if the daily choices we make one day bring us to a fork in the road and either direction will guarantee life will never be the same? The bigger you risk the bigger the opportunity, so why would I allow something in the past decide my future; well I’m not anymore and through that I have found opportunity’s that I never knew existed, a love I didn’t know was available and a chance to have a much bigger life than I told myself I could have.

Hold on With Loose Hands


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Maybe this “life thing” isn’t as hard as we make it.

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
– Lao Tzu

I remember a time when I was always anxious. From the time I woke up in the morning until the time I tried to sleep at night I felt anxious. What will work be like today, what am I making for dinner, how is my relationship, how are my friends, my family, are my daughters okay, am I a good father, am I a good enough friend, what can I do to help, how is my faith…. on and on

Life changes and seeing that all the worrying in the world cannot stop life from changing I now sleep at night, I care about others however I care for myself first, I focus my energy on now, not tomorrow or yesterday. I had someone tell me recently that they see a huge difference in who I am today as opposed to the past few years.

I think it was a combination of things, a job that was unfulfilling, a relationship that was damaged beyond repair and most of all I was not being honest with myself about any of my life. Lying to myself and trying to make something out of nothing took so much energy from what was real and true that I had no energy to offer my happiness.

Learning to give energy appropriately is so very important to our well-being.  Today I know that I must come first if I ever want to be capable offering anything to others. If I find my center and focus on what makes me happy my energy level is full enough to joyfully be with others.

It is nothing I can tell you, It’s not an instruction I can write or a step by step process that can be followed however it is simple when you can be honest to yourself; here are 5 “rules” I try to follow and live by now.

  • Do what makes you happy – but don’t be selfish and inconsiderate. Find what makes your heart happy and have the courage to change.
  • Follow your heart fearlessly – learn to let the fear of change flow in and out of your mind and understand that change IS a part of life not something to avoid.
  • Always be honest about your situations – How do you feel about what is truly happening in your life? Does it help you? Does it feed or take away from your life?
  • Give energy appropriately – If the energy you give is not reciprocated back you may want to reevaluate how much energy you are giving. (I do not mean keep score; there should be a flow to this, we cant always be 100%) 
  • Have someone or something to look up to – Have faith, find a mentor, someone that has been through what you are going through. There is SO much power in understanding and being with someone that understands. Also realize that with the exception of faith, we are all humans, we all fail and if the one you have chosen as a mentor, partner or friend one day is not in your life that is okay. life will continue, love will happen and change can be more fulfilling than you ever imagined.

 

Don’t cling to anything; change is unavoidable so hold on with loose hands and understand that noting is forever, everything will change at one point or another. Be thankful for the energy others give you because it is a part of who they are. Think of life like a rope, let it glide through your hands, don’t try to grab it you will get burned and don’t let go or you may lose your way.

Listening To Intuition May Have Saved My Life


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I’m learning that what I believe “right or wrong” is far more important than simply following what other people think I should believe. Believing in yourself, one of two things will happen, either the truth will be discovered and you will have the opportunity to change your path or you will continue on a path of success.

“Believe in yourself, and trust your own wisdom rather than being swayed by the opinions of others”. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I have always been better at learning the hard way, sometimes the very hard way and on occasion having to learn more than once; apparently I want to be thorough when I lean something.  I think maybe that is the point, nothing truly important is easily learned and if not experienced it fails to be completely understood.

Lean to trust your gut, learn to listen to that voice that says “better think twice” it is a very powerful tool that often goes un-noticed and ignored; there is a reason we have intuition. Have you ever been in a situation that just didn’t feel right or made you feel uncomfortable but there was no apparent reason why? That is intuition, there is a reason you just may not be aware of it. I have a first-hand account of this, and only found out why after the fact.

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I was 16 and went to a friend’s house party with about 10 other friends from the neighborhood. After a few hours a couple other people we knew showed up, I knew them but not well, however when they got there something was just “off” about  them. I couldn’t pinpoint it, I had no idea what it was at all until the next day. I found out that they came with a gun looking for someone that was seeing one of their girlfriends behind their back. That night I had no idea what was going on and I didn’t know he was seeing her. He was there looking for me and I wasn’t there long enough after they arrived for him to get courageous.

I thank God and my intuition that he never had the opportunity to act. I felt something, I knew something was wrong and I truly believe that by acting on that feeling and leaving may have saved my life or someone that could have been harmed in a confrontation.

Listen to that voice, it may be insignificant or it just may save a life. We are complex beings, equipped with many tools at our disposal. Learning to use them only improves our choice making process.

This Parenting Thing Is Messy


 

Sitting here trying to process what it means to be a parent and how a parent should act. The complexity of that statement  is in itself hard to grasp. At the moment I feel like a child still learning while I raise two daughters that seem to be catching up to me.

Learning when and when not to interject my opinion and how to step back is proving to be the most difficult part of raising children at the moment.

“If you can control your behavior when everything around you is out of control, you can model for your children a valuable lesson in patience and understanding and snatch an opportunity to shape character”. – Jane Clayson Johnson, I Am a Mother

When I was younger my motivations were much different than today I acted partly out of anger and spite. I said to myself “I will be a better parent than my mother and father”. I know they will read this so now that I’m an adult and a parent let me also say I know you did the best you could with what you had and love you both very much.

I still think about life before I had children and what that looked like, all I wanted was stability, something of my own, a family and to be something for someone that I didn’t have growing up. I believed that getting married, having children and moving on from everything would give me a feeling of importance that I desired so much. Over the last week it has been a roller-coaster of ups and downs, mostly due to how others lives are intertwined with ours. My daughter’s have been affected by the actions in a way that I haven’t processed yet. I see some of me and I see some of their mother; both come with very unique challenges.

Leave your pride, ego, and narcissism somewhere else. Reactions from those parts of you will reinforce your children’s most primitive fears”. – Henry Cloud

I have boasted my prideful accomplishments by the “success” of my life and it has been in some cases more important than others feelings or needs. Many years later and a few “non successes” I see I’m not always right, far from perfect and what I based my opinion of success was not exactly accomplishable. I see success in how my children interact with others, how they are driven and how they respond to life. Every stage of raising children has had its own struggles and triumphs, sometimes changing drastically and quicker than I can respond to. Last night was a great example.

During a great walk with my girls I witnessed smiles, anger and tears, aggression and sadness followed by empathy and understanding. Now that I have the time to process everything, all I think about is how I should have responded, how I did respond and now I can come up with hundreds of things I should have said but missed out on the opportunity.

This parenting thing is messy..

Focus On How Far You Have Come, Not How Far You Have To Go


Welcome back to the fitness Mr. Jenkins I see you have been away for a while.

I have been out of the gym for a week resting my body (I’ll call it that but honestly I have been lazy).

While I was “resting” I have noticed a few things durring this time off. I am much stronger when I return back after I take a little time away. What this tells me is I do not allow for a proper rest period in my fitness.

As for my IF (intermittent fasting) I am still utilizing IF over 80% of the time and it has become second nature in my life to simply not eat from 6,7 or 8 pm to 10, 11 or noon the next day. I have adapted very well to this lifestyle and am currently about 186 lbs (83 kg) and feeling great.

My strength is consistently increasing and my body is continually gaining mass. However there are a few things I have found.

1) Salt intake – when I eat foods very high in salt I get VERY bloated and feel suboptimal, it also decreases my desire to lift and go to the gym because I feel blah, and bloated.

2) Water intake – DRINK WATER.. I drink about a gallon a day on most days and the days I don’t I usually can expect a sluggish feeling followed by a headache and increased desire to graze or eat.

3) Macros – learn to count your macros.. in the beginning you will lose weight quickly depending on how much you have to lose in the first place. You will hit a plateau in your weight loss (this is where I am today) I am learning to count my Macros, Just in case you ask what is a Macro?

A Macro is a breakdown of the basic foods fat, Carbs and Protein.

For example:

Fat has 9 calories per gram

Protein and Carbs have 4 calories per gram

Find your caloric intake (free online calculator) and begin to calculate your daily maintenance level, gain and cut levels as well.

EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, so please don’t copy a Macro off the Internet. If you are serious about your fitness this is the foundation of everything. Learn to read and communicate with your body.

This takes time, learn how to adapt this to your life not change your life to adapt to your “diet”. That is why diets fail, sustainability is the absolute key to your fitness. If it’s too much work you won’t do it for long enough to see results, or worse you will see results and fall back into old habits and may end up worse than before.

I hope your fitness journey is successful and please feel free to email, comment or contact me for more information.