How Do You Stay Motivated?


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This week has proven my theory that cooler temperature creates a stumbling block with fitness and healthy living, but why?

I have always struggled once the Fall season begins to set in here in Michigan to make it into the gym, eat healthy and move as much as I do in the summer. It’s no surprise that the walking begins to slow down (I hate walking in cold weather) but why weight lifting and eating healthy. Maybe it’s my instinct to prepare for winter or it simply becomes not as appealing to go outside at all, even to head to the gym.

I know that S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) is a real thing but is it simply a mental challenge; I do feel far better feeling the sun on my face and the warmth on my skin as I exercise. I have already felt the change and failing to not eat comfort foods, get into the gym and even meet my walking goals for the day. I have failed at my 2 day rule most of the week and my diet has been terrible.

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines how well you do it”. Lou Holtz

I struggle to stay focused on my fitness and healthy lifestyle; I am also in need of refocusing my motivation. I want to maintain or even improve where I have gotten over the last year. I have worked harder than I ever have in my life to get here and it really sucks to see all that work be for nothing. I am not alone in this; I have spoken to a few other individuals that express the same struggles.

I’m committing:

  • To continue my 2 day rule (not missing the gym for more than 2 days in a row)
  • Continuing my Intermittent Fasting eating habits (minimum 16/8)
  • Low carb diet and carb cycling
  • Meeting my 10k steps a day goal
  • Bulking or at minimum maintaining my muscle mass

“As long as habit and routine dictate the pattern of living,
new dimensions of the soul will not emerge”.
– Henry Van Dyke

I want to continue what I have started a couple years ago. I don’t want to lose the feelings that healthy living has brought into my life and I’m the only one that can make that choice.

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What Would You Tell Yourself if You Could Travel Back in Time?


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Dear 6 year old Scott, you are loved, you are special and you are enough..

Dear 13 year old Scott, Perfection is not something you will ever acquire. It is a state of mind that propels you into becoming more successful. Perfection is not believing that we will never be good enough, its feeling that no matter what, we will overcome the obstacles in our path. You are loved!

Dear 18 year old Scott, You are good enough and no matter how many teachers told you that you will never amount to anything, I promise with the drive in your heart you will overcome and become successful at what you set in your heart. You are loved!

Dear 25 year old Scott, this depression is temporary. You are not stuck in life and there is more to life than waking up to go to work and come home only to do it again 7 days a week. Take time to learn who you are and never forget who you were. You are loved!

Dear 37 year old Scott, congratulations, it only took you loosing almost everything in life to find the passion of 15 year old Scott. It only took 3 years to set the fire in your heart for living ablaze again. Now that we have spent a third of our life trying to figure out what the hell life is about, it feels good to see some things clearly now. It feels so good to be loved!

 

When you finally accept that it’s OK not to have answers
and it’s OK not to be perfect,
you realize that feeling confused
is a normal part of what it is to be a human being.
– Winona Ryder

Remember you will never have it all figured out, and that is ok. I am something today, not “I will be something one day”. Learn to become a better human, friend, father, and yes even a better employee, learn that there is a difference between desires to become better and feeling that I am enough at this exact moment.

If you could travel back in time and tell yourself something what would you say? This is just the beginning of what I would tell myself. For so many years, even decades, I have felt that I was just behind in life, that there was something I was missing, not quite hitting the mark as a man and father. When no one is there to encourage and foster the passions in your heart that fire slowly burns itself out. Why don’t we encourage one another, why can’t we build others up and we try so hard to prove we are better?

Are we so self-absorbed that a simple “good job” is too hard? It has become so foreign to have a compliment that now that I am receiving them it almost feels uncomfortable. Slowly I feel the fire in my heart to live growing, and purging the feelings of worthlessness. Life cannot be lived alone, make sure you have people in your life that will feed the fire in your heart not squelch it. Love one another, give compliments, inspire, build up and show appreciation when it’s reciprocated back to you and the life you have will slowly begin to change.

I Had a Plan Once


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Unexpected events can set you back or set you up.
It’s all a matter of – perspective.
– Mary Anne Radmacher

If you believe you can plan anything in life you are sadly mistaken. Yes our choices can guide the path we take in life but unplanned events will always happen. Illness, car accidents, career changes, friends and family even come and go.

I had a plan once.

It was a great to feel I had it all figured out, thinking “yea, I got this” as I walked blindly into life. I knew what I wanted to do in life, I had it all figured out. I wanted to go to school to be a mechanic due to my love of cars. Restore my 72 Nova SS and race on weekends. Settle down with a woman and have a little family, I wanted 2 kids, a boy and a girl.

That was my dream at 17 years old.

Here I am 36, and let me tell you how far off I was. I no longer have my Nova, I work in an office writing electronic batch records for one of the largest animal health company’s in the world, I have no idea what I would have done if I had a boy, I’m divorced and that small family looks much different than I expected. I am dating a wonderful woman that also has 2 daughters. So the plan didn’t go exactly as I had envisioned lets just say.

The illusion that we can plan for anything is nothing but a lie we tell ourselves to comfort the thought of the future. I’m not saying any of the events were “good or bad” they are simply events that have happened that I surely didn’t plan. One thing I have learned is to have a dream, a goal and just glance at it every once in a while. Don’t set your eyes on it and miss everything that is right around you. More importantly don’t look so far ahead in life, stay in today, glance at tomorrow and let yesterday go as quickly as it happened.

Sometimes I feel like I carry this little bag with me holding onto all these little events of the past; let me tell you that bag was getting heavy and hard to hope for tomorrow when all you see is another piece that you may add to the already heavy bag.

You may not seem able to change some outer circumstances
but you can start by changing your inner experience of life and yourself.
– Joy Page

I no longer have to carry this heavy bag around holding on to the little pieces of the past. I am living now; I may not be living tomorrow. When you can truly believe that, life changes, when you can look at what is happening today and say to yourself what if I went to sleep tonight and didn’t wake up?  The absolute truth is one day will be our last; I want to feel in my heart that I lived the best I could, loved as deeply  as possible and regretting less than I did the day before.

I had a plan once.

Today my plan is to live free from regrets, love naturally and expect less from everyone in my life, its simple, love me for who I am and I will love you for who you are. Don’t expect anything from others, the expectation is yours not theirs.

I never planned to be where I am, and now that i’m here I’m glad I wasn’t in control of the journey I am on today. I may not have what I have today.

Our Wounds, Our Scars


When I woke up in the hospital this picture was on my wall. Not knowing fully what was going on, how bad it was or that I was literally fighting death. All I knew was something happened and I was clearly not in my bed. 

What does a scar mean to you? Is it something that you try to hide or try to cover up? Does it hinder your joy for a day at the beach? 

What about the scars that can’t be seen? How do they affect your life? Do you carry them tucked away as to say “I’ll never do that again” or do you use them as motivation to see how you acquired that scar. I’m not talking about blame, I’m talking about seeing and learning the part you had in creating the wound in the first place. 

We all have them, some from surgery, trauma or a life event causing our body to hold the memory of what happened. Some are on the inside causing our lives to change directions and how we respond to others. 

I’m learning to see the scars on my body as a representation of something I lived though and one in particular comes to mind, my stomach scar. That was a very close call, and could have been a very different outcome. It could have left my girls without a father is the first thing that hits me. 

The scars on the inside, now those are a different story. Those are hidden from most yet my responses and interaction with those in my life make it clear I’m still healing from many of them.

So how do we heal? Sometimes walking away or cutting something out of your life is the first step.  

What is is that causes the scab of our scars to be reopened? For me its always giving chance after chance to people that will clearly never reach the expectation I have in my mind for them. 

So do I lower my expectation or do I cut them out? Are my expectations even reasonable?

Today I really feel like I’m standing still, and going back and forth, looking at my past and future. As to say “ok, that clearly didn’t work” how can I not do that again? 

Maybe I’ll try something new, maybe I’ll give it another shot. What if I tried something I’ve never done before!

But what if that doesn’t work either; what then

Do I focus on schedules, details, and routines or do I just let life flow naturally. Letting life flow naturally has really spoken to my heart. So many things have came into my life by simply letting life happen. 

Deep in my heart I feel I’m heading in the right direction, not because my life is easy, but because I feel peace with my decisions, even the hard ones. I also have faith that the scars will heal and fade away becoming nothing more than a reminder of life change that I made it though.

I’m learning to embrace the pain of an open wound and not to cover them up, let them breathe let the sunlight hit them and let them heal. 

How Life Changes


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Finding the balance in life is often the hidden struggle in the background of life. The little uneasy feeling that nags at our soul and is often confused as many other things.

I have felt so many emotions in life that when looked a little deeper into have been nothing more than an unbalance in that area of my life.

“Life is a balance between rest and movement”. – Osho

One way I have learned to make the unbalances in my life apparent is to see what it is that I’m clinging to the most, is it money, fitness, a loved one, maybe it’s your job, or even your car.

Whatever it is that you are clinging to the most is where you are placing the most value. Sometimes taking a step back to see other areas you may be neglecting can be useful in seeing areas of your life objectively.

Fear is often a powerful persuader to an unbalanced area in life; the fear of losing something or someone can be so overwhelming that you may fail to see anything else in life, even if they are screaming for attention. Letting go of that fear has more power than I can explain in the small writing and can be the hardest thing you may ever do.

“Balance activity with serenity,
wealth with simplicity,
persistence with innovation,
community with solitude,
familiarity with adventure,
constancy with change,
leading with following”.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

We cling so tightly to some of the things in life; what if you let it go. What do you think would happen? The thing I struggle with the most is letting go of the past, forgiving, moving on and allowing scars to heal. I have a list in my heart of “never agains” and scars that I keep fresh as a reminder of the pain. For some unknown reason I cling to the past like my life depended on it.

Here I am today, poco a poco (little by little) I’m seeing my future open as I close doors to the past, and like the changes of seasons new life blossoms from the dead soil of areas in my life that were off limits for so long. I see now that I am my own enemy, I limit so many areas and my unbalance is between fear and curiosity for what could be.

I would love to say that my life has been a great success, has gone perfectly, gentle; being fully transparent it has been full of difficulty, pain and has been far from perfect; today I feel that with that said my life has turned out okay with plans to become much better.

Life is nothing more than lesson after lesson, choice after choice as we walk through the path of life. Having perspective and balance with life is the big lesson, and contentment is the goal.

Who knows what the future holds, and today I have no fear of any of it. I have what I need in my life and the best part is I’m not relying on anyone to get it. That leaves room for so much more, and maybe as time continues crossing some of the items off my “never again” list.

 

“Today my future has no limits, today my love has new blossoms, today my life has new balance, and today I’m excited to see what tomorrow holds”. – Scott Jenkins

18 years later


When I was 18 years old I took a huge leap of faith that to this day I see as a pivotal moment in my life. No college degree, and armed with nothing but young passion for life I jumped off the cliff of life. 

18 years old, planning on getting married, having two children and in a part time janitor position making $9.50 an hour, I was crazy. That is far from the money needed to support a family, but I do not let go of my goals when I set my mind to them. 

So it began, I quit my job as a janitor on the spot one day after being fed up with not feeling I was appreciated. I walked out of the only income I had and without even knowing that the test I took  the week before was a high enough score to place a position with a great pharmaceutical company.

I was completely overwhelmed with the thought of not being good enough to succure a position but motivated just enough to become more in life to not care. Imagine the surprise to hear that not only did I pass the test I received one of the highest scores in my group and a day shift position off the street.

Fast forward 18 years and I’m still here. Although the name has changed many times, most if the company has split and separated into human and animal health I’m still here. 

I have been in so many positions I can’t even explain in this post, but the one I’m in today takes the cake. I have never in my entire 18 year career been with a team like the one I’m a part of today. 

Over the last couple weeks we have been working almost non-stop, crossing over multiple shifts, lacking sleep, sacrificing in our personal lives and we still have time to laugh so hard out stomach hurts. The 5 of us have reached a level of friendship that travels outside the walls of our “bomb shelter” of an office space. 

I can call them friends 

We have cried, screamed at one another, walked out of the meetings so mad we couldn’t breath, we have said words I’m not going to write to keep my PG rating on here and with all that said, I would help any one of them with anything they needed, and they have helped me many times. 

I have formed so much more than a work friendship, I miss the laughs when we split up to complete different tasks.

I have had my share of work friends, and with this team I enjoy getting out if work and going to “study group” or any of the places we choose to meet up and talk crap about everything we have going on in our crazy lives. 

The last two weeks have been one of the most taxing times I have had, however due to our friendship we all show up at insane hours of the night, answer tesxts, emails and gladly help one another out. 

All I can say is I love these guys, all of them. Sure, maybe not all the time but in perspective there’s not much we wouldn’t do to help another out. 

This is how teamwork should be, this is how friends should be. After 18 years, some great years and others terrible, with losses and sucesses I see a future that for once isn’t intimidating or that I’m fearful of. Is it that im finally growing up, or is it the support of teamwork. 

Take Control of What You Can Control


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What is it that motivates you in life, what is the fuel that makes you do the things you may not necessarily want to do? What are the thoughts that push you to fight through the muscle pain and go to the gym? Is it fear of failure? Is it addiction, is it dedication or the desire to becoming a better version of who you are today?

I guess it really depends on what aspect of life we look at. I do not feel the same regarding work as I do my daughters, and as for my fitness and healthy living journey I would say it’s a fine line between addiction and desire to feel better and healthy.

My motivation is partly vanity, I admit, but mostly the desire to feel good and to do everything I can now to add length to my life. Being able to move is probably something you may not think much about. What would you do if slowly over the years you began to weaken, your bones becoming more and more brittle, your movements more of a struggle or even so painful that you chose to limit them all together, reducing the rate of mobility further.

The worst thing we can do is give up on living healthy by sitting around and it begins with the little quiet thoughts of procrastination, I’ll do it tomorrow and honestly I’m the worst at that! If I say that for more than 2 days for many topics in my life there is a pretty good chance it’s not going to happen. So when people ask me why do you post and go to the gym every day? There are two reasons:

  1. I post my check-ins for accountability, I have friends that do the same thing and it’s a way of saying (I’m here guys).
  2. I know that if I skip more than 2 days there’s a good chance that will turn into a week, a month and the slow declining desire to move and eventually eat healthy all together. I know me!

A quick update, inspiration and hopeful motivation.  

Still Intermittent Fasting (18/6 or 20/4) and I’m pretty sure that will be something I have in my tool box of healthy living for the rest of my life and don’t see any reason to stop. Today I weighed in at 174 lbs. (79 kg) a new low for me. With my weight being measured from a scale and leveling off I’m looking into getting a body fat % reading done soon as a way of tracking my fat loss. My “diet” is not really something I am naming anymore, its just not important to me to label my food. I eat as many whole foods as I can, and try to limit processed foods and supplements as much as possible.

“The strength of a man’s virtue should not be measured by his special exertions, but by his habitual acts”. – Blaise Pascal

I hope to show by example in all areas of my life the possibilities that a positive mind can have in overcoming struggles in life. I hope my life represents power, gives hope and strength to the many people that are suffering and experiencing hardships in life.

We are all fighting something in life, you are not alone, don’t fight alone. I have someone that has been on my heart lately that is facing the fight of their life. Please stay positive, fight the little battles one at a time, never lose your smile and know that there are many people that care about you and that need you.

What if we All Gave A Little More Than We Thought We Had?


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There is so much pain in life, season after season. There are seasons of joy, peace and comfort and season of struggle, turmoil and pain. I’m learning to cherish so much more as I get older and at the same time see the pain all around more deeply.

Everywhere I turn there is destruction, hatred and terror. Even if I try to not watch the broadcasts, filter my internet, and spend less time on social media, there are my circle in life.

So many of my friends and family are struggling with their lives, relationships and family issues right now. It really discourages my heart to see so many people in my circle suffering knowing that I too have and not offer a hand.

I don’t have the power to promise forever or give security that I’ll always be in anyone’s life, but I can try my best to work on what’s in my heart and hope that it inspires change in those around me.

Too many people feel they have the power to change the world by force, the secret is we do have the power, However it’s not by force, wars or protests. It’s by being an example of love and respect and and having an open mind to things that are different than what we believe.

Think about it, have you ever changed something in your life for the better because you were forced to? It’s a much better outcome to feel your heart move and desire to change. 

I want my girls to know that I did my best, not just what had to be done. I want them to feel and see that we all have power to help improve our circles.

It begins with being open, honest, respectful and willing to change the things in our lives that build up walls and close off hearts.

I once believed with a deep seeded pride that I had the power to offer forever, to give security and that I could control my future. It breaks my heart today to see I have never been in control of anything other than my actions, beliefs and how I treat others.

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I want to give my forever to Jennifer; I know deep down she deserves it, unfortunately I don’t have that kind of power. I want to provide security that everything will be perfect in life for my girls, but it would be a lie. Everything is not going to be perfect, but it will be okay.

There will be loss, headache, and things that happen that we will never understand. We can choose to let it harden our hearts and build walls or open our hearts more to show love past the pain we feel and tear down the walls we put up out of fear for the pain we faced in the past.

I have felt the biggest heart breaking, soul changing experiences I could ever imagine. As many of us have, and I learned to love again, but not the same. I have felt loss of a loved one that I never thought I would make it through, and I’m still alive to celebrate their lives they had.

We have all seen some terrible things and been through some things that we just knew we wouldn’t make it though, and here we are to read this.

In the midst of the storm we often fail to see past the clouds; that doesn’t mean the sun is not there. It means our perspective is focused on the storm we are facing not what is on the other side. The choice is ours to allow our hearts to open or close and our walls to go up or come down when we get to the other side of the storms we face.

I would love to stand tall and proudly say I’m not afraid of anything, but I am. I’m afraid that my daughters will feel the pain I have felt in my life. I fear that I may not be able to offer what Jennifer needs due to the past heart breaks I have had. I fear that I will let my day after day life take over and not give my family the love they need before it’s too late.

The Flavor of the Day


Hello, I am Scott and I’m addicted to diets. Ok, now that I got that out if the way. I feel I may be a little more addicted to labeling and structure than diets. 

Tell me if this sounds familiar.

I had a Greek yogurt, a black coffee and an egg for breakfast. For lunch I had a salad with the perfect amount of grilled chicken. My mid day snack was a 1/2 A cup of almonds. When I got home from work I ate the entire kitchen and cleaned out the leftovers from the fridge“.. 

That’s what is referd to as a crash diet.. 

I am totally frustrated with the word “diet” and seeing that no matter which direction you turn there is something that is limited or with some diets completely off limits. I began Intermittent Fasting about a year ago, and still absolutely love it and do it daily, I do not consider that a diet. 

I began what’s called the “Keto diet” about 3 months ago and I really messed up in the first couple weeks making the adaptation period less than pleasurable. I finally reached what’s called Ketosis and that is where my fat loss took a huge change. I was dropping about 2 – 3 lbs a week without trying. It was very surprising to say the least. Quickly dropping body fat and increasing energy. You could say, “so what’s the problem” well, nothing, other than I wasn’t enjoying the limited food I was able to consume. I really missed fruit, as in the kind of missing that caused dreaming about bananas. 

So over the last few days I have started to look into other eating habits that may include fruit and I came across something that appealed to my love for healthy eating, it’s the Palio diet..  

Great Scott’s on another diet. Not so fast! 

No, I’m not starting it, for once in my life I’m not going to rely on so much structure and guidelines. I realized I have to put a label on it, and I have to label most things in my life now that I think about it. I crave structure and rules, guidelines and black and white thinking. 

Well, what if I didn’t follow a diet or a way of eating and took complete responsibility to not label my fitness or diet.

So what did no really eat today.

I fasted from 6pm last night until noon today (like most days) and lunch was at a fantastic local Mexican resteraunt of ours. I had a non-diet, non-keto lunch with my girlfriend for the first time in while and it was great. 

Fat loss is so simple, burn more calories than you consume and understand what Carbs, Fats and Proteins are only helps. So today I’m giving up on saying “diet” and taking responsibility and action for the way I eat. We complicate so many things by adding stipulations and in some cases unreasonable expectations on things in our lives. 

As I finish up my 5 mile walk before the gym I hope that if you are reading this and you began the Keto diet because of me please do not stop unless you want to. I do think that it has amazing benifts it’s just not something I desire to do long term.

Again, consistency is far more important than the diet you choose, the workout program you do or the gym you have a membership to. 

Find what works for you, and find internal motivation to be the best version of yourself that you can be. 

Pride is the Mask We Use to Cover Our Failures


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I see now that I have been so proud in my life that I was too proud to even admit it, let alone change my ways. How much in my life would have been different if pride wasn’t so prevalent in my life? It is all very clear now that what I have lost in my life may be partly my fault. Over the last few yeas I have allowed humility to take over and beginning to dismiss the boastful pride in my life.

“It was pride that changed angels into devils;
it is humility that makes men as angels”.
– Saint Augustine

I had so much pride in my life for the appearance of everything. I had pride for a broken marriage that appeared perfect from the outside, the image of a perfect life with two beautiful daughters, what appeared to be a successful job yet I financially struggled, had to have the nice cars to uphold the “I’m doing well” look. I was SO proud, and social media was a way to show off.

“The proud person always wants to do the right thing, the great thing. But because he wants to do it in his own strength, he is fighting not with man, but with God. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Pride is pleasure arising from a man’s thinking too highly of himself”. ~ Google (pride)

Almost 3 years later I desire to connect with people more and things less; I live in a small 2 bedroom apartment but completely satisfied because its mine and I work hard to pay for it. I have an opportunity to love again and seeing that love can be so different than the image I gave so much power to. I have far more with far less than I ever have had and I see now I was nothing more than a prideful man with a beautiful smile and Instagram filter.

The truth about where I am today, I am right here where my heart meets my path into the future. I don’t really care to label so much, plan every detail, or live so far from the day I am in. I cherish the little things more, and the time we share that only we know about. I spent so much time in the future that I truly fail to remember much of the last 10 year other than the big things like vacations; even those are foggy in my mind.

“Things turn out best for the people
who make the best of the way things turn out”.
– Art Linkletter

Yes I do post quite often on many forms of social media however it’s from a different place in my heart. I am proud of my life and my accomplishments but only proud for what I have done not how it appears. I’m proud in my heart not from my mind and smile. I’m ashamed of the pride that has driven so much of my life, and yes I have more areas to shine a light into.

Admitting and shining a light on my pride only humbles my life further. I really wish I could take some things in life back, all I can do today is not repeat the past and live fully in the day.

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