Motivations of Expectations

Let's talk about expectations.

We all have them and they can be very motivating.The motivations of expectations are where the problems lie, especially when it comes to health and fitness. You would think that something that motivates someone would be a good thing. Normally it is. The problem is motivation built on false expectation ends up becoming demotivating.

Bare with me here.

When it comes to fitness and losing weight we often hear things like "drink this tea or wear this wrap and lose up 20lbs in a month." There is absolutely nothing true about that statement. Again, to be clear, there are no teas or wraps that will make you lose weight. This sets is a false expectation.


If you didn't know any better (which you now do) that would sound like a awesome deal. Who wouldn't want to lose 20 pounds? In a month no less. See super motivating.

Until you don't lose the weight. Then you're like what happened. You drank all the tea. You drank it exactly when they told you to drink it. You only lost 8 pounds. That's no where near 20. Now you're thinking why'd you even bother? Not so motivated anymore right?

Here's the thing though: 8 pounds is a great and very sustainable amount of weight to lose in a month. It should be celebrated. It would've been celebrated if the expectation wasn't 20 pounds. The false expectation turned success into failure. That sucks.

(By the way, the made-up person above didn't lose weight because of tea. They lost weight because they ate less and exercised/moved more. For God's sake, teas don't make you lose weight.)

Whenever you're ready... here are 3 ways I can help you reach your health & fitness goals

1. Join My 28 Day Online Fitness ChallengeNext challenge begins June 3rd. You'll get daily accountability, nutrition plans and even a FREE cookbook. These challenges run once a month. If you want in just reply to this email and say challenge.

2. Work with me One-on-OneIf you're in Brooklyn or Manhattan you can schedule a complimentary training session in which we'll outline your goals and lay out the plan to help you reach those goals.

3. Grab a free copy of my e-book, Fitness 101: Get Started Lifting now.Use the book to learn all the equipment you'll find in the gym, how to use that equipment and all the exercises that you'll ever need to know. Let me know if you want it and I'll get you a copy.

My Boys Weekend

I spent the weekend with my boys. All by my lonesome, no mommy in sight. Alli left Thursday morning and didn't get back until last night after both of the boys went to bed. In that time, I had to get them both to daycare on Thursday and Friday and then keep them fed and entertained all weekend. Luckily, some friends invited us to meet them at the Botanical Garden on Saturday and we had a birthday party that I had forgot about on Sunday. So the entertainment portion of the weekend was pretty much taken care of.

Every adult I came across was like, "wait, your by yourself...with both of them...all weekend?" People were treating me as if I was one of the Avengers. I was surprised at the level of praise I was getting (don't get me wrong, I deserve and will accept all praise hoisted upon me). I mean they are my children.

Now this isn't going to be a post about parenting double standards even though I did get the feeling that if Alli & I switched roles this weekend she wouldn't have gotten the same treatment. It's a post about the parenting stress and stress in general.

Parenting really boils down to, like I said above, keeping them fed, entertained and well rested (which will play a part in their entertainment). It doesn't seem like it should be hard. We spent the majority of weekend either home or in places where they could run freely. Easy enough right? Well that becomes, I haven't seen Graham in 15 seconds where is he? Or what's in Charles' no don't put that in your mouth. Then feeding: with one it was "oh my god, I wish you would just focus on eating" and with the other it was "oh my god, you've eaten so much you can't still be hungry".

I found myself living for nap time. Not for the peace and quiet it afforded but so that I could take a nap myself. Even that was ruined that too as one would invariably not sleep long enough or sleep too long. Yes even sleeping too much is stress inducing: is everything ok, is he sick....

The point is life is full of stressors. Everyone always talks about the stress of that big project at work. You should talk about those. You should also realize and recognize that your everyday life couple be, and probably is, stressing you out.

Unexpected Benefits to Working Out

I haven't had a proper workout since last Tuesday. That's almost a week ago. I did do my third ever Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class on Wednesday but I'm not counting that (not because it wasn't a workout, because it doesn't work for the point I'm eventually going to make). I had planned/wanted to get some other workouts in but life and work had other ideas. ASIDE: Actually had I properly planned out my time, life/work wouldn't have had a chance to mess up my schedule. I tell clients this all the time so I guess I should hold myself to the same standard. Back to your regularly scheduled blog...

Anyway this isn't the first time I've taken a week or more off from the gym. Hell I've taken months at a time off. I've said it here before but the truth is I don't love working out. I'm not one of those trainers/people that HAS to get a lift in. I don't mind the actual working out part; it's the getting to the gym and getting ready and blah blah blah. Once I get going (depending on what I'm doing) I'm good to go. And once I finish a workout, 99% of the time I feel better.

Which leads to the point, working out isn't about getting immediate benefits during the workout, for me anyway. Like I said, I always feel better after the workout. Better means a sense of accomplishment from completing something I had to do but didn't necessarily want to do.

That's not the only thing though. I notice that when I'm in a good workout groove, I'm less irritable, I sleep better and I'm more mindful of my diet. The latter two are direct result of the working out itself. The irritability always comes as a surprise because I don't notice how irritable I am to begin with. It's not like I'm flying off the handle at people on a regular basis. I just notice that things that might normally annoy just kind of roll off my back.

There's other stuff also like the progress I see physically and the mental acuity I gain. The  acuity comes from planning workouts (unlike last week). At this point I've done 36 workouts in 2019. If I keep up that pace I'll get in 144 workouts this year. I only know this because I've recording all of my workouts. This is something I haven't always done but I notice when I do it's easier to schedule and actually complete my workouts. Something about seeing progress and tracking workouts motivates you to keep doing it. Weird right? (#sarcasmvoice)

Anyway, if you're like me and working out isn't your favorite thing to do there's probably some benefits you could be getting that you're not considering. The actual benefits may not be the same for you as they are for me but I'm certain they are there.

Stop Falling For Complexity Bias


This weekend at music class w/ my boys (every Sunday we go sing Spanish nursery rhymes), a group of parents were talking about a documentary they had seen on Netflix (red flag #1). I think the doc was called Fed Up. I've never seen it (and probably never will). A quick Google search just showed me that Katie Couric and Bill Clinton are involved in some way.

Anyway the parents were saying how this documentary demonized sugar and advocated for some sort of 30 day sugar purge (red flag #2). In researching this "no sugar challenge" these parents realized that high fructose corn syrup in just about everything.

Now none of these people know that I'm a personal trainer or nutrition coach. So I was able to eavesdrop freely. It seemed that while health was a concern most of these people would just like to lose some weight. I know the simplest way to do this would be to eat less and move around some more. I'm sure they know this (at some level) also. This means if they simply restricted what they ate to what can fit on one bread plate vs an entree plate they would lose weight without changing anything that they actually ate.

Instead these people are going to spend time and effort searching out foods without sugar and then extra money to buy these foods. Now by the way I've presented this hopefully you get that the 'no sugar challenge' is unnecessarily complicated.

Thing is if I would've started this blog by asking, "what would be more effective for weight loss: using smaller plates or a 'no sugar challenge'?" The 'no sugar challenge' would win hands down.

This is known as 'complexity bias'. A client introduced me to this term. She was referencing a blog she just started reading called Farnam Street. The blog post explains that people tend to choose complexity over simplicity.

I'm glad my client mentioned this to me and that I read the blog post. I'm glad because I was beginning to think I was crazy. I try to get people to do the simplest thing for them all the time. I'm always met with skepticism and doubt that it will work. Doesn't matter what it is but it's always "too simple". Along the same lines, I ask clients what's the one thing they'll do this week to help their health and/or fitness. They will always list off 3 things. Always. Then they'll get mad when I make them pick one.

The blog explains that choosing complex over simple is actually a way to get out of solving the problem. When it's complex it's easy to say you don't understand and eventually give up. That's the biggest takeaway I got. Now when clients begin to overcomplicate things I'm just simply going to ask them if they want to solve the problem or not.

If they do I'll gently encourage them to try the simple solution first. If they don't that's cool too but they'll have to own up to that.

Could vs Should

You've decided you're going to lose weight. That's awesome. You've taken the first step. Now I need you to slow down and possibly stop. Hear me out.

After taking that first step the tendency or the desire is to take a whole bunch more right after.   I can pretty much guarantee that by doing this you'll end up not taking any more steps. A better approach would be to take your time and carefully consider what you want/need the next step to be.

We all know there many steps that you could take. I'm asking that you figure out the steps that you should take. The difference between "could" and "should" may be the reason why you're not seeing the results you want to see.

Now I know there's someone reading this that's saying, "well what step should I take?". I have no idea what step you should take. This is the part where you have to carefully consider what will work best for you in your life. The Keto diet might've worked for your bestie but that doesn't mean it's going to work you. Again I have no idea. YOU have to figure out what will work best for YOU.

The main thing to consider when you're deciding on your next step is: is this something that I can easily do everyday? This is why you shouldn't be focused on all the things you could do. Trust me you can't do them all everyday.

The one thing you can do the easiest everyday is the thing you should be doing. Figure out what that one thing is. Then do that. Do just that. Everyday.

The Three Parts of Change

If you've been reading these blog posts for a while you may know that I have 2 sons. A 10 month old and a 3.5 year old (he would get very mad if I didn't add in that half a year). At some point I've probably mentioned that getting the older one to eat is one of my biggest daily frustrations. It's not that he doesn't eat, it just takes FOR-EV-ERRRRR (#Squintsvoice). He likes to talk and have stories told/read to him and play with whatever is in reach. Left to his own devices, a meal could easily last over an hour. My wife and I have tried just about everything to get him to eat faster. We've told him if he eats he'll have more time to play. We have a countdown clock where as time goes down it's shown as a red area that gets smaller and smaller. We've begged and pleaded. All of these techniques may work for a minute and a half. Then he's right back to doing everything but eating.

All our techniques focused on what Dan & Chip Heath would call the rider from their book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. The rider is described as the rational part of the brain. As I type this it strikes me that expecting a 3yr old to act rationally probably was never a good plan to begin with.

In the book the Heath brothers explain that there are two other ways you can affect change: the elephant and the path. The elephant refers to the less rational, more emotional part of the brain. As the name suggests it's much bigger than the rider. The path refers to all of the outside factors that are in play.

When it comes to Graham's (my 3yr old) "elephant" we try to coax along the path by having food choices for him. Having choices allows him to have a say in the process which helps.......most of the time. We also try to have at least one thing we know he'll eat, usually a fruit, to get the process going.

Then there's the "path". Things go best when we can all sit down and eat at the same time. Unfortunately, this doesn't work out most days for us timing wise; he just eats too early. One thing we're testing out right now is we've turned his table so he can see us and still be eating. Before he would be turning around to talk to us if we were in the kitchen or wherever. This leads to falling off his chair and food all over the place. By turning his little table 90º he's been able to see us and still eat. So far it's at least led to a little less clean up.

All of this is to say that when we're trying to change something (exercise or eating habits, sleep patterns, anything) our first strategy is often to attack the rider; to try to think of ways to change. However change is usually highly irrational (the elephant is always going to be bigger than the rider). So you're going to need to figure out the emotional reasons why change is beneficial. And even before bothering with the rider and elephant you'd better make sure there is a clear path.

The 6 Steps to Change

Making a change is difficult. Most of us know that. Most of us think we just decide to change and then go about making that change. Most of us don't really know there are steps that lead to a change. This is true for every change that we make and if you look back at changes you've made I'm sure you can see these steps. If you know what to look for. To help you realize this, here's a story about something that happened in my household over the weekend.

  • Step 1: Inspiring Event- For us this event happened Saturday afternoon. I was at the gym and Alli has taken the kids to a class at the YMCA. When they got home, they were greeted to the sound of our carbon monoxide/smoke detector going off. This wasn't a low battery situation, it was legit alarming like something is wrong. Thankfully there was no smoke but that didn't rule out carbon monoxide (CO).
  • Step 2: Immediate Resolution- After checking on a couple of things and opening some windows and the alarm still not stopping, Alli called 911. The fire department arrived very quickly. Shoutout to the FDNY. Fully geared up firemen came into the apartment and checked on things, including using a CO meter.
  • Step 3: Realization of an issue- Turns out we just had an old alarm that needed to replaced. Had it not been for this we probably we would've never checked. (Yes I know I should be checking these things periodically...yada yada yada.)
  • Step 4: Plan to resolve issue- All of the above happened in a span of about 15 minutes. Alli had called me & told me what was going on. Before I could get home (a 10 minute walk) she was calling me to tell me the outcome and tell me to stop at a hardware store to pick up a new alarm.
  • Step 5: Enact plan to resolve issue- Now I've made it home with a brand new alarm. The emergency is over but I've still got to put up the new alarm. I thought I could just put where the old one was. Turns out I can't even reach that spot and the new alarm won't fit there even if I could. Now I'm going to need tools and a drill. I get out everything I need. Then I sit there for at least an hour doing absolutely nothing.
  • Step 6: Actually enact plan- I didn't do absolutely nothing: I ate lunch & watched Duke pull out a college basketball game. Once I actually got around to putting up the alarm, it took about 15 minutes and that was that.

Now this was me having to change a CO/smoke detector. These steps are involved in every change we make. Take losing weight: maybe you go through a break-up or your favorite piece of clothing doesn't fit anymore (step 1); you get new clothes or have a one night stand (umm, to each their own...) (step 2); turns out you can't afford to keep buying new clothes & sleeping with random people is not that fulfilling (step 3); you decide to join the gym (step 4); you go to the gym with no real idea of what you're doing (step 5); you make a real plan for the gym, maybe hire a trainer (step 6).

The first three steps can/do happen relatively quickly. These are the reactionary steps. You don't have to do anything to get started taking them; things happen to you, you respond accordingly. The next three steps are where things can get tough. These steps require you to be proactive. This can be/is hard. Especially if the momentum from the first three steps has worn off.


"Don't Yuck my Yum"

I did a bad thing. I didn't mean to do it but nevertheless it was a bad thing. I yucked somebody's yum. Now unless you have a three year old you probably don't know what it means to "yuck someone's yum." So let me explain. To "yuck a yum" means you're expressing your dislike for something that someone else likes.

My son was taught "don't yuck someone else's yum." It's a preschool/daycare lesson taught to toddlers to show them that people can/do like different things and that's ok. It's taught during meal times inevitably when one kid says something another kid is eating is gross. See, yuck & yum.

And as with most preschool lessons, this lesson extends well beyond its intended purpose.

Ok, who's yum did I yuck? (Aside: I'm having a lot of fun typing yuck & yum over and over. I might belong in preschool.)

Here's the story: My wife and I were sitting on the couch watching TV when she looked at her phone and expressed glee. A friend had sent her a post workout picture in a sports bra. I was like "what's the big deal"? Turns out it was a bucket list item for this friend to workout in a sports bra.

Here's the yuck: I stupidly stuck to my guns wondering what the big deal was. This is someone I know that works out regularly and is thin and attractive. I see less thin and less attractive women working out in sports bras all the time. (And to be clear, that's ok.)

Here's the yum: my wife explained that this had to do with confidence. Particularly her friend having the confidence to take a step she'd been avoiding for a long time. This shouldn't have needed to be explained to me but as I said I might belong in preschool.

I yucked her yum. That was bad. This was particularly bad considering that a really, really big part of my job is helping people find their confidence and realize they can and should do all sorts of things. I should've immediately realized what was at play here and been just as delighted as my wife. I blew it. Preschool.

I'm telling you this because there are probably a lot of new people in your gym right now. A lot of these people are stepping out of their comfort zones and trying stuff they've been scared/uncomfortable to try for a long time. Keep that in mind. Realize what may seem insignificant to you could be huge for them. Don't yuck their yum.

How much do your thoughts cost you?

I've always thought that the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's (aka the holiday season) would be a terrible time to try to lose some weight. We all know the reasons why I should've been right: lots of parties, big family meals and catching up with old friends. I thought the best use of this time would be to maintain your health and fitness. So, to be completely honest, I was a little reluctant to do my 28 day challenge these past four weeks. For all of the reasons that I listed above. To add to the reasons, all but one who participated in this round of the challenge traveled for at least 3 days. The other person had major eye surgery two weeks before the challenge began and couldn't workout until the last week of the challenge.

I'm obviously telling you this because I was prepared for my clients to not get great results this time around. I was hoping that everyone would at least maintain their starting weight.

Boy was I wrong.


These are just a couple of the progress reports that came in Saturday morning. Full disclosure this is Kerry's 2nd round of the challenge and Larry's 3rd. That being said they're both averaging 5 pounds lost each round.

That's really good. Really good.

Now I'm not telling you this to pat myself on the back. Well not only to pat myself in the back (truth be told, the clients are ones doing the work and making the changes, I just provide guidance). I just want to point out that what I was thinking was clearly not the reality.

Our thoughts can be our best friends or or worst enemies. To add to it, you usually can't tell if your thoughts are friends or enemies until after the fact, if at all. I say if at all because a lot of times or thoughts lead us to inactivity. Think how many times you've thought something wouldn't work so you just didn't even attempt it.

Well what if it would've worked? You would never know. In economics this is known as 'opportunity cost'. (I have old high school teachers who can't believe I just typed that sentence.) It basically means you'll never know what you could've gained if you would've decided to try.

Notice I said "gained if you would've decided to try". You don't have to succeed to reap benefits. There's plenty to be learned in the attempts alone. Also if you speak with high achievers from just about any area/arena most of them will tell you they learn more from the failures and defeats.

The point here is when you think you can't do something or things won't work, remember lessons are learned when you at least try. Stop thinking about the outcome. Stop thinking about whether you can or you can't. Stop thinking.

Success in 2019 begins today.

It what may have seemed like a blink of the eye, 2018 is pretty much over. Thanksgiving is long gone at this point and Chanukah started last night. So now begins the time when you should be reflecting on how the year went for you. What went well and what didn't. Is there anything that you can improve upon? Is there anything need or can do without? Ok, now that we got that out of the way. What's the plan for 2019?

I'm all for reflecting on the past and all but here's the thing: there's not much you can do about it at this point. So do some reflection and learn as much as you can from the past year but don't linger too long. Use the time that you've spent worrying about that thing from 6 months ago (that no one else remembers) to start coming up with a plan for how you're going to spend the next 6 months.

I feel like what usually happens is New Year's day arrives and people start making resolutions with no clue about how they are going to make them into reality. Other than using grit and resolve. Spoiler alert: that doesn't work. (Which is why half the people reading this are thinking about or even trying to remember what their 2018 resolutions were.)

So instead let's try to make 2019 different. The way to do that is by coming up with an action plan now. Don't wait until January. If you do, you'll lose half of the month just trying to figure out what you want to do and the logistics of how you could possibly do it.

I'd also say if you want to be successful at 2019 resolutions, think beyond 2019. What do you want your life to be like in 2020 or 2025 even? Thinking about and having long term goals (l year plus) gives you something to work toward and a way to measure progress.

The measuring of progress is key. When you only have short term goals, it becomes a "did I" or "didn't I" situation. Either you accomplished the goal or you didn't. If you didn't you that can be stressful psychologically which can affect how you handle the next goal.

Having long term goals allows you to ask if you got closer to accomplishing them. Even if you miss a short term goal you can get closer to long term ones. This relieves some of the stress and allows you to keep momentum. Having a long term goal also allows you to change direction. Meaning you can scrap a short term goal for something else that will get you to your long term goal faster.

All of this is to say that, if you want to be successful with resolutions in 2019 then that process has to start now and you have to consider well beyond 2019. Like I said appreciate all that went well in 2018 and learn from whatever didn't go so well. Just don't let time spent doing that slow down your success in 2019.

#MotivationMonday is dumb

This morning I posted this picture to my instagram.NO MOTIVATION MONDAY If you spend any time on any social media platform on any Monday then you'll #motivationmonday posts. They are usually quotes or pictures of people/animals doing extraordinary things. Their goal is to give you the extra push you need to get out there and get shit done. They are dumb.

Well the quotes and pictures aren't dumb. The idea of #motivationmonday is dumb.

Looking to social media for motivation to do something in the moment is useless. It's already clear you don't want to do it (or else you wouldn't be on social media) and even if you do muster up the will to do it, it will be lackluster.

I'm purposely saying "it" because it doesn't matter what the "it" is.

I'm not saying that motivation isn't a thing. Motivation is definitely a thing. I'm saying that if you need inspirational quotes or a cheerleader to hype you up then you're not suffering from nothing other than a lack of motivation.

#Motivationmonday might serve a purpose when you're trying to decide if you can/should make a change in your life. Once the decision has been made, you no longer need motivation, what you need is a plan. A good one.

A good plan will eliminate the need for any other motivation. It'll do so by telling you exactly what you need to do, how you need to do it and when you need to do it by. If you have all of those questions answered you won't have the opportunity/need to be actively searching for motivation.

So if you find yourself searching the hashtag "motivation monday" so you can do the damn thing, I say just forget the damn thing. For today anyway. Instead use today to come up with a plan so that you don't end up in the same place tomorrow.

You can only sprint so far...

If I told you to run as fast as you can, I can guarantee that after 1 minute you will be running slower than you were after 10 seconds (assuming you're giving max effort through out). That's just how sprinting works: the longer you go, the slower you will get. This is why Usain Bolt's fastest 400m time isn't just 4x his 100m time, it's slower than that. This example extends beyond physically sprinting and goes into all areas. I once had a client say "go all out or go home" during a session. I told her I didn't like the saying because most people end up going home. Most people can't handle the all out mentality...for an extended period time anyway.

The times we're living in suggests that the only way to do anything is to "go balls to the wall" and give 100% commitment and effort. I agree with the 100% commitment and effort parts. I take issue with the "balls to the wall" part.

You can only go "balls to the wall" for a week, two max. After that you're going to crash and burn. So I'd rather see you give 100% commitment and effort to less stuff. Instead of trying to change everything all at once, just pick a couple. Actually I'd say pick just one. Commit to doing one thing to the best of your ability. Keep doing it until you master it. Mastery means it takes minimal thought to accomplish. Mastery may take 2 days or 2 months or longer. Do it for as long as it takes. Then commit to something else and master that.

I know that this process will work for everyone. 100%. That being said, most people will opt for the "all out" strategy. The one we know doesn't work. Why?

The main reason is because mastering one thing at a time just isn't that sexy or exciting. It's actually kind of boring. Working out 2hrs a day everyday and doing the carnivore diet (that's a real thing) sounds way more hardcore than "eat 2 more servings of vegetables each day". Remember more is not better; better is better.

Another reason people choose "all out" is (I think) they know it will end and it will end relatively quickly. To go the 100% commitment route requires patience. Patience is one of the things that is in the shortest supply nowadays. You have to be willing to accept progress at whatever rate it comes. Most of us see progress and we want to speed it up. We should stop doing that.


The Best (& boringest?) Advice I Can Give

Yesterday a friend hit me up on Facebook. She has two kids under 5 years old and hasn't worked out regularly since before the first one. She says she does Zumba about once a week. She wanted to know what she should do to start getting back into shape. In my head I was like, well she needs to start lifting immediately. Also she's certainly going to have to get to Zumba or some other high intensity type class at least 3x/week. And then she would need to add in 1-2 days of low intensity cardio. You know for recovery and stuff. And obviously she's going to need to become a keto-vegan.

This would be an excellent plan for her provided she either quits her job or gives up her children. (They're cute and all but....GAINS!!! Know what I'm saying.) This is the price to pay to get back into shape.

Hopefully it's clear I'm being facetious.

This is not the advice that I gave her. The advice I gave her was to try to make her way to Zumba 2-3x/week. I told her if she could consistently do that for a month or two then she could start thinking about adding in some lifting weights. That's it.

That's it?

Yep.  Oh you want to why? Got it.

The reason for ditching the plan I came up with in my head isn't because it isn't a good plan (maybe except for the keto-vegan diet, I'm not sure that's actually a thing). I ditched it because it's probably to good for her (right now anyway). This is a case of more isn't better. It would've been too overwhelming and I'm pretty sure she needs her job and loves her children.

Suggesting she just up her Zumba gives her a chance to get used to working out more. This will be good for her physical well-being but also her life well-being. Working out more means giving less time to something else. You need to prepare for this.

What if just two extra Zumba workout sessions is too easy? Well it's easy to add stuff on. It's much harder to take things away. Taking stuff away from people is psychologically difficult for them. You're basically telling them they weren't good enough for all they were given. On the other hand, adding on stuff is a reward. Who doesn't like a reward.

So basically my advice for most people (after I go over the super plan in my head) is to just do a little be more than you were doing before. This is super boring. Whenever I give this advice people are like "that's it?" (like you did above.) People expect it to be more complicated. Here's the thing though, it's not. Most long term success is super boring.

So if you're just getting started again, do a little more than you've been doing. Once you've done that consistently, add a little bit more. Then rinse and repeat.

Logic Your Way to Answers

Over the weekend I was introduced to Logic Puzzles. At first I thought it was "logic puzzles" which included things like Ken-Ken and Sudokus. Turns out Logic Puzzles are there own thing. Being the nerd that I am, I looked them up and was immediately hooked. Logic Puzzles are puzzles where you have to figure out groups of things correlate with each other. The thing about the puzzles is that you're given all the information that you need to solve the puzzle. There's no need to make any guesses, the clues given are enough. So you would think these puzzles are easy. They're not.

logic puzzle 2

I haven't progressed past the easy 3x4 puzzles yet and of the puzzles I've solved I've been ranked "very slow".

Anyway I'm telling you about me doing Logic Puzzles because they're a good representation for what it can be like trying to find answers to fitness on the internet. The right answers are definitely on the internet. You just have to use logic to find it.

The difference between the internet and Logic Puzzles is that the internet will definitely give you some wrong info too. That being said you can/have to use the same logic to figure out what's good info and what's not.

The first thing you need to do is consider the source. If it's coming from a magazine or newspaper with a crazy headline, you should probably be a little skeptical. The more sensational the headline the more untrue the info probably is. I don't have empirical data on that outside of the number of links I've clicked on.

Another thing to look for is if there is a specific product mentioned. If the product gets mentioned multiple times you can be sure the article is biased. The article is either trying to sell the product or discredit it.

On the other end of the spectrum, the article you're checking out could come from a scientific journal or university. You can (usually) be sure info from these sources is true and biased. The thing you have to consider with these sources is that the info is presented without context. Or at least without context beyond the measures that were actually studied.

These are just a few ways you can use logic to figure out if the info you're reading can be trusted. So the next time you're searching the internet for health/fitness answers try them out. Then you'll have more time for doing the stuff that really doing Logic Puzzles.

The 2 Areas of Change

When it comes to make a change- diet, exercise, lifestyle, any kind of change- there are two areas that you have to be in control of. I'll get to the two areas in a second but before I do, a couple of thoughts. The first thought is that there are millions of steps a person can take to make a change. I'm not saying there are only two things that you have to do to make a change. I'm saying the millions of steps usually fall into one of these two areas.

The next thought is that simple always trumps complicated. If change were easy I wouldn't need to write a blog about making changes. So I'm not sure why people always seem to choose the craziest options. (Actually it's probably because people don't believe the simple answer is the best answer: spoiler alert it usually is.) The thing to remember about simple trumps complicated is that simple for me may not be simple for you.

So when it comes to the millions of possible steps you can take to make a change, choose the simplest one. So let's talk about the two areas all of these steps mostly fall into. The areas are awareness and mindfulness.

The first area you have to tackle is awareness. Most people have no idea how bad their problem is. For instance, when you ask someone how many calories they eat in a day they'll say something like 2500. Then when you have them actually track the calories it's more like 3500. This same person wonders why they aren't losing weight but gaining.

So the first steps to change usually revolve around becoming more aware of what it is you're trying to change. How big is the problem for you? When does the problem come up for you? How does the problem present itself for you? Who are the people that bring this problem out for you.

These are all awareness questions. In order to have a long lasting change (i.e forever) you have to answer as many awareness questions as possible.

Once you've answered the awareness questions you have to be mindful (the second area) enough to recognize when you're entering situations in which the problem may arise. So the next change steps you take will usually deal with how to deal with those situations.

For instance take the person who was eating too much without realizing it. Let's imagine this person is going out to eat with friends. A situation where he/she may usually overindulge. They know this now because it was an answer to an awareness question. A couple of mindfulness steps he/she could take is possibly decide a healthy option before getting to the restaurant. Or they could challenge themselves to put their fork down between each bite (doing so allows you to actually chew and realize how full you actually are).

Mindfulness steps fix the problems that the answers to the awareness questions represent. This is where the simple trumps complicated comes into play. It is at this point you want to pick the simplest step.