Category Archives for "Mindset"

What’s A Postage Stamp Good For?

Coach Dean , Mindset

When I was a kid, I was a terrible "finisher".

For instance I liked to build model airplanes and cars, and I'd do one of two things;

  • Rush through it so fast in an effort to get it "done" that I did a really crappy job, or...
  • Start it, get bored because it wasn't going fast enough, and leave it unfinished.

So what's that got to do with postage stamps?

A stamp is only useful when it sticks to the envelope long enough to get it to its destination.

It might surprise you that over the years I have tried and failed at many diet and exercise programs. The problem usually wasn't the program, it almost NEVER is. The problem was that, just like with my model airplanes, I either just wanted it to "get it done", so never really committed to following it in the first place, or didn't lose 20 pounds the first two weeks, declared that the program "doesn't work", and went looking for "next".

Have you ever put a stamp on an envelope, messed up the address, and tried to get it back off so you could reuse it? It's crazy how sticky those things are!

It was only when I finally stuck with a good nutrition and exercise plan, through "snow and rain and heat and gloom of night" that I finally reached my initial weight loss goal. 

We are getting into one of the busiest times of the year. A season that is supposed to bring joy and happiness often times seems to just being stress and hassle.

Stick with it. Don't let circumstances derail what you want. Keep training consistently, keep chipping away at better eating habits, get some sleep. Your family at Cr8 Fitness has your back. If you need help, let us know.

Keep making it happen,

- DC

Showing Up is Hard Work

Coach Nancy , Mindset

I know often it is hard just to show up for things. Those Christmas parties that seem to be one right after the other, a dentist appointment right in the middle of the day, or even taking the dog to the vet can become a tasking chose. But what about change?

Change is hard too. Changing your routine from summer time to school schedule can be difficult. Changing from getting up at 6am to rolling out of bed at 4:30am is a big difference. Eating 1-2 serving of vegetables a day to 5-6 can seem near impossible. Daily life seems to get in the way of the change.

It reminds me of my first few months at the gym. I could barely do 5 pound weights. It was all they had in my size. (or so I thought). I used those weights for months. Over and over I'd pick them up. Then a new person showed up and took my weights before I could get there. I had to go the the ten pound weights. To my surprise I could do them. It wasn't that the day was special, it was all the reps I had already done. 
Keeping your focus is hard work. Keep showing up, the focus gets easier and then soon you'll be staying focused on your habit without even having to put much thought into it. 

Change is hard.

Show up. Do some reps. Those first repetitions could be very hard. Keep going. Keep on showing up.Those reps will get easier with more practice. Soon your routine will include those repetitions. ​

So if you're trying to add more veggies into your day, add them. Keep putting them on the menu plan. Keep buying them at the store. Keep making recipes that include them. The more they find their way onto your plate, the more it will become normal. 

It works. Show up and try it.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Mind Tricks to Eat Just the Right Amount

Coach Nancy , Mindset , Nutrition , weight loss

In nutrition, it is suggested that you eat until you are 80% full or until you have eaten just enough. Its like Goldilocks. You don't eat too much and you don't eat too little but just the right amount of food for you. When your desire is weight loss then adjusting the right amount or the right foods is the trick.

I often have a struggle when trying to decide when 80% full is. True confession: "I eat too fast and nibble too much." 

But if I think to eat just a tad bit less than usual, I accomplish the same thing.

I've tried the mind trick of using a lunch plate instead of a dinner plate for a few days. And it does work for awhile. I am smart enough to know I can push the food together a bit more or pile it a bit higher to FILL my lunch plate. 

I use that trick, but once I realize it isn't working, I play another one. I eat just a bit less. I don't leave food on my plate because that goes against my frugal no wasting policy. I just tend to take a smidge less of each serving of menu items at each meal. 

I eat 20% less. It almost doesn't even show on my plate. Three to four bites less at each meal for the whole meal. Easier to do for me than to try to figure out 80% full. 

There are times, like holidays or vacations, when I focus on 'No Seconds'. By doing that I can enjoy what I would like but I limit the amount by keeping to one plate full. 

I'm hoping these Mind Tricks help you like they do me.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

PROActive Aging: The Foundation

Coach Dean , Mindset , Nutrition , Training

Why I Wrote This Article Series

When I first started coaching, I didn’t think all that much about “Active Aging”. But as a 52-year old on the front side of Generation X, it comes up a bit more in my mind now. And as a coach and personal trainer, I see more and more clients in their 40’s, 50’s 60’s and even 70’s walk through our doors.

No doubt about it. Our clients (and I) still want to look good, but more often than not we want to feel good, and we don’t want to give up doing the active things we like doing. Who says you can’t keep hiking, biking, skiing and snowboarding just because you added another number to your age? I want to keep throwing the football as far as I used too, and I am working hard to stay ahead of my 15-year old in the weight room. 

At my last birthday I found myself pondering this thought:

"I know I am a year older, but I really don't FEEL any different than 10 years ago, in fact in a lot of ways I feel better. Do I really have to accept that getting older comes with unavoidable aches, pains and weight gain?"

Now don't get me wrong. I have noticed some physical changes that have come with the passing years. But they have more to do with recovery than they do with ability.

I have continued to get stronger in the gym, but he fact of the matter is I just don't bounce back from training or injury as fast as I used to. I spend more time on mobility work than I used to, and I can't pound quite as many calories as I used to and stay lean. When something gets tweaked, I am careful about addressing it, not ignoring it, confident it will eventually "go away". Part of that has to do with a little wisdom gained over the years from doing stupid things. 

Many of us are at the stage of life when we see our parents starting to struggle with the aging process too, and we want to help them as well. The fact of the matter is the more proactive we are with our physical fitness and healthy eating habits now, the far better off we will be in the next 10, 20, 30 years and beyond.

I read an article recently on this subject, and this sentence caught my eye;

"It's not the number of years you live; it's how you live them." – Jennifer Broxterman

The author then wrote something that really drove the point home. It's not about lifespan - it's about healthspan. It's not how long you live - it's how well you live. That’s our goal.

The Gap In Our Thinking

What is “Active Aging” anyway? In 2015 the World Health Organization actually replaced that term with “Healthy Aging”, and they define it this way:

“The process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age”. That’s a pretty solid definition. It’s what I like to call PROactive Aging.

No matter what you call it; Active Aging, Healthy Aging, Successful Aging, or Functional Aging the premise is the same to me; I want to live as actively and productively as possible, for as long as possible.

I wrote this guide because too often I see a gap in the way public policy addresses the issue.

The following were the topics at a recent Active Aging Conference in my local area:

Overview of Retirement and Social Security; What You Need to Know

The Basics of Memory Loss

Aging At Home

Proper Nutrition

Now to be sure those are all relevant topics in the discussion, and I was thrilled to see nutrition included.

But there are some glaring omissions I just couldn’t ignore.

It’s a conference on active aging that has absolutely no speakers on the subject of staying active – in other words keeping that body moving!

I am all for having an maintaining an active mind, but that head functions best when it’s sitting on a heathy body. And that requires physical activity. You don’t have to run marathons (actually please don’t), but you do need regular exercise and movement.

There are other strategies we need to consider and adopt as we work toward our best healthspan too

  • Stress Management 
  • Good Sleep Habits 
  • Having A Positive Outlook On Life
  • Surrounding Ourselves With Positive People
  • Finding Meaningful Work

And many others…

The bottom line is that good nutrition and lifestyle habits - regular appropriate exercise, healthy amounts of sleep, and stress management strategies, are the best tools to improve healthspan.

The good news? Those things are in your control. While we can't always change what happens to us, we do have a choice on how we are going to deal with the mess that life throws our way.

One of my favorite words is "resilience". One definition is; "the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness."

We hit the gym to build resilience in our bodies. A strong, flexible (dare I say "pliable", TB12 fans?) body is less prone to injury and recovers more quickly from injury than a detrained body.

We nourish our body with healthy foods to support that training, to promote healthy cell function, and to build a rock-solid immune system that fends of the ravages of illnesses and the stress of life.

We practice stress management, have good sleep habits, and having some fun as part of enjoying a happy, healthy life.

Resilience doesn't happen by accident. There is daily effort and struggle involved. But it is worth it.

The focus of this article series (I know, finally!) is to show you how to turn your happy and healthy on by learning to Eat Well, Exercise Smart, and Enjoy Your Best Life.

Next Article Focus: 

Strategy 1: Eat Well

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What Would Life Be if There Were No Challenges to Conquer

Coach Nancy , Mindset

Has this thought ever gone threw your mind: "I'll do that next week when things calm down a bit?"

I know I feel like that at times. I look at my To Do list and then at my watch. There are just not enough hours in the day to get all of the list done. I get that knot in my stomach and I haven't even started yet. 

While I would rather throw away my To Do list and go to the beach; I just start. That's right I pick one thing on my list and work on that ONE thing. Then I go to the next item, get it done and so on and so on. Soon I have much of my list completed. I usually run out of working hours but my list for the most part is checked off. The things not done I move to the top of my list and work on them next time. 

What does that have to do with YOU? Everything. I know you have moments like that. In fact some of you have moments like that at the gym. There are days when you walk in the gym after a bad night's sleep, your neck has that crick in it, your knees are aching from that ski trip you took as a teen that ended up in the ER, and at work you bent down to pick up your pencil, now your back hurts. You're feeling like you won't be able to get anything done in the gym. With me at your side, we rearrange a few thing and you leave feeling accomplished and successful. 

More often than not its your eating that causing stress. You rush out the door without breakfast, also forgetting the lunch you packed. Now you're late and hungry. Your co-worker had a birthday yesterday so you head to the break room hoping there is a piece left. Score! the janitor left you a piece and someone brought in donuts. Since you already ruined the whole day by being late, why not add two donuts to it? By the time you get to Cr8 Fitness that afternoon you feel defeated. All those wonderful things you had planned to eat, didn't get eaten. Instead you chose to eat all the foods you had said you wouldn't. Sound familiar? How can you get yourself turned around? Do one thing, start with one choice and get it done. Then move onto the next choice- do that, and keep making it happen. What could have been a totally unsuccessful day, turns around quickly and you lay your head on your pillow knowing your dinner and snack choices were fantastic. 

Here is your take away. Do one thing, do it well. Relish in the success of that one thing then repeat. 

Every challenge we face can be conquered by taking it one step (or one bite) at a time.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Sugar Free Me- Easy? Successful? Challenges?

Coach Nancy , Mindset , Nutrition

Coach Dean posted this question on Sugar Free Me's Facebook page.  "First Weekend of Sugar Free Me is in the books. Easy? Challenging? and Why? 

The responses are varied, all over the place, and AWESOME at the same time! Read through them if you are doing Sugar Free Me and if you didn't take this challenge I guarantee you'll be grateful you took time to read these posts. 

 "I tripped up over the weekend a little bit back on track now."- Bonnie

"Hard but the first two weeks are always for me. Then my body adjusts and the cravings disappear and it becomes easy! Yes easy...and I am the biggest sugar addict ever." - Lorena

"I’m with Bonnie" - Tom

"While traveling, a lot of looking around to find the right food choices. I did it though." -Lori

"I was not 100% but I’m happy with not going over the deep end. Traveled for 3 days. My big WIN was not snacking in the truck. (Usually box of cheeze it’s by my side)" - Stacy

 "It has been tough!" - Doreen

"Struggling!! The temptations have been everywhere as I haven’t been eating at home. Stress makes me crave it and I’ve had no willpower. I’ve messed up two days so far. Tomorrow is a new day." - Laurie

"I did good. I went to the SPCA walk and I knew they would have I like at the vendor and I did not have any. Win for me!!"- Deb

"The apple crisp got me over the weekend...soooo good! AND it was warm:) I did resist the ice cream however"- Lisa

Little wins, big wins, struggling, doing well and then not, making great choices for most of the meal- all success. Why?


Because doing something is better than doing nothing at all. Everyone had their eye on the prize, The bumps in the road will happen, its not that we make it to the finish line, its that we keep trying until we do. 

Never Give Up

To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

If you want to read all the happenings on Sugar Free Me's Facebook page check it out. 

Fair Winning Pumpkins are For Everyone

Coach Nancy , Mindset , Nutrition , Uncategorized , weight loss

"Just one pumpkin", that is what I read recently in a book. The author was talking about growing an prize winning pumpkin. You know the huge kind that take up an entire back of a pick up truck and have to be lifted there by a crane. HUGE.

As I was reading that I immediately thought how could I apply that principle to my nutrition?

The author went on to say it could be just one pound that separates the grand prize from all the rest but that one pound was the key. 

I was hooked by then. My brain was racing. Of course this applies to eating and health and nutrition and building habits. All I needed to do was to find my 'pumpkin'. What did I want to increase in my life so that it shined. I wanted that prize winning pumpkin. 

Well I don't really want to add weight onto my body. That certainly wasn't what I was going to focus on. I did want to increase my strength. Could I do that? Of course, I needed to focus on picking up heavier weights in training with good form. CHECK

That 'pumpkin' didn't really sit well with me. I always try to increase my workload while in the gym. I wanted to win a prize mentally. I want to do something that I find difficult. I wanted to lose body fat while getting stronger. Now that really strikes a cord inside me. I want to be totally happy with how I look for me. This was going to be my 'pumpkin'.

Now back to growing an actual award winning pumpkin. After the farmer finds the pumpkin (my body composition change) he puts all his energy and focus into making that one pumpkin prize winning. He develops and executes his plan.

In other words, as the farmer of my pumpkin, I am going to create a plan, prepare, and focus daily on changing my body composition. I gave myself four weeks of focus time. I was going to do one thing each day to make myself reach that goal. I was going to mentally achieve and physically strive towards losing body fat. 

Here's my plan: Daily I am going to eat Protein, Produce, and water at each meal. (PPW). I am choosing to leave everything else off of my plate if it doesn't fit that criteria. My new mantra: PPW only. 

Here is what you can do:

Linus welcomes the great pumpkin

  1. Look inside or out for your prize winning pumpkin. Remember it needs to sit well with you and your values. What do you really want to win a prize at doing/being?
  2. Cultivate that pumpkin. Develop a plan that you can execute daily in order to reach your goal. Remember your goal is to grow your pumpkin so your plan is the actions you'll consistently do to get there. 
  3. Daily deliver your plan to your pumpkin. Getting side tracked won't help your focus so do  one thing and do it really Really REALLY well
  4. The growing season doesn't last forever. Give yourself a time frame when you'll measure and obtain that prize. 
  5. Seek help and get some accountability. The best farmers have already asked others for their advice and done loads of research. You too need to develop a plan that will help you best. Find a coach. (pssst..... that is what I do best- ask me)

I plan on winning my mental prize this time around. I don't just hope to win, I'm planning on it. I know its going to take work. I know if I miss a day, it will set me back but I am choosing not to let a setback stunt my pumpkin patch from winning.

What is your pumpkin? How are you going to make it a prize winner?

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Make It Harder?

Coach Dean , Mindset

​If yo​u have been around us (Nancy and/or I) very long, you have probably heard us say at some point something along the lines of "If you want to be successful, ​make things easier."

it makes sense. If things are easy, you are more likely to actually do them.

But then I realized that could be a double edged sword.

​As I was thinking (dangerous I know) about the eating habits of our clients who have had great success with reaching their weight loss and body comp goals and what got them there, I realized that in many cases, making things harder actually works better.

Principle: We consume less when it's harder to consume.

​Here's  a simple illustration. I love potato chips. If there are potato chips around, Dean is going to eat them - lots of them. My strategy to not eat them? ​Don't have them in the house and available to eat! If I am REALLY craving those crispy kettle fried delights, I have to get up, put my shoes on, go out in whatever weather we are having, get in the car, drive to the store and back - the whole thing. I can tell you that 99.9% of the time, it's not worth the trouble, so I don't do it.

​This weekend I was giving a presentation on cash management to about 60 of my peers in the fitness industry, and it dawned on me th​e strategy I was outlining works exactly the same way. Many business owners have difficulty coming up with their quarterly tax payments. They know they need to save for taxes, but don't have a good strategy of regular savings, so it doesn't get done. So here's what we do; ​have them take the money they need to save out of their Operating Expense account and put it into a separate savings account. But NOT at ​the same bank. We have them set up ​a savings account at another bank, and transfer the money ​to that "offsite" account. Why? Because if it's in the same bank as their Operating Expense account, it becomes very easy to "borrow" it if they run into a cash flow crunch. Because it's in another bank, and will take at least 3 days to transfer back in, that slows the process down enough to allow them to realize the​re is most likely another way to take care of the "crisis", which in reality the present situation rarely is. By making it harder to access the cash, it encourages that habits they wanted to create in the first place. Paying their taxes and staying out of jail - BONUS! 

For my birthday last week Nancy bought me a "pour over" cone ​to make my morning coffee. Besides making a​n incredible cup of coffee, making ​it this way has the added benefit of reducing my coffee consumption, simply because it takes awhile to complete the process. You have to heat the water to the correct temperature, grind the coffee, and do the "pour over", which takes 3 to 5 minutes in itself. A lot more complex than turning on the drip machine! The result is that I am making less coffee, and thus drinking less coffee. Making the process harder helped me achieve the results I was looking for; drink less (more delicious) coffee.

You could apply this strategy to just about anything food related. Love pizza but want to eat less? Don't eat pizza unless you make it yourself.  ​​Ice cream? Buy an ice cream maker and only have it when you make your own. You get the picture.

So while the "make things easier on yourself" shouldn't get thrown out the window (Want to eat more veggies? Make it easier by having them in the fridge, for example), sometimes harder is the way to go.

How could you apply this strategy in your life. Love to hear your thoughts!

​- DC

Back To School

Coach Nancy , Mindset

In my school days I was pretty much on cruise control.

I didn’t study.  I was proficient at cramming. Nose in the book 15 minutes before test time and wow, a fairly good grade was the outcome.

My motto in school was to enjoy life. I had more important things to do than be stuck in a library studying.

Even with that laid back attitude I still kept my 3.5 through high  school and in college a 3.65 (just shy of what Dean achieved). 

Schools don’t really require you to learn to be disciplined.

You can get by and do just fine.

However – personal health and fitness are another story.

Try going through the motions in a sport practice and you’ll never see the field in  a game.

Fail to perform for a couple of weeks and someone else gets your position.

Sports/Fitness training require the same type of discipline that a long healthy life requires.

You can’t just squeak by. You have to push and push hard. You have to be spot on with your skills and dedication. You have to eat to ensure the best performance in practice so your coach notices and puts you in the line up for the big game. ‘Slacking off’ is not in an athlete’s vocabulary.

So what does that mean for you and me?

Lets apply that to our overall health and well being. How do you want your life to be? Would you like to sit on the sidelines and watch things happen or do you want to make it happen? Each training day a challenge. A challenge to push harder, lift more, be faster.

What about our eating and nutrition? Sure you can go for a while eating sugar and fast food. It will catch up with you. That is the danger. Our bodies are so good at handling toxic substance that the wear and tear and mushroom top doesn’t show up right away. We’ve formed bad habits and we don’t see the pain immediately.

Here is where you need to realize food is fuel. Give your body everything it needs to perform at peak performance and you’ll be rewarded. But the old saying applies, “garbage in, garbage out”.

What are you training for? What are you eating for? For me I am training to live and live well.

No guarantees, but I am doing my best to stack the odds in my favor.

You coming with me?

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Cr8 Happy- Starting with Yourself

Coach Nancy , Mindset

Be Happy With Yourself!

Don’t live your life trying to be perfect, because you’re not!

There is a philosophy that permeates the Japanese culture – “Kaizen”.

It means “Constant and Never Ending Improvement”.

It doesn’t mean perfection…

But it doesn’t mean satisfied with mediocrity either.

To me it means never letting your highs get too high or your lows too low.

To evaluate what you are doing right and to keep doing it.

To discover what needs improvement and getting better at it.

To live each day with purpose and make a difference in the lives of those around you.

I challenge you to live “Kaizen”…

I challenge you to focus on the positives…

I Challenge You To Be Happy Today!

Can you Cr8 Happy?

​To Your Best Health,

​Coach Nancy