Day 27…What’s the worst that can happen?

What’s the worst that can happen? It’s funny in life how often when we ask this question in the face of our biggest fears, the answer isn’t so bad.

I spent the greater part of my life concerned with what other people would think of me. As a child I was afraid that people would think I was stupid or make fun of me…so I was quiet. As I grew up I was scared that girls I wanted to ask out would turn me down or reject me…so I never asked. As an adult I was scared that if I told other people about my goals and dreams they would ridicule me…so I kept them to myself. I’ve even had a bit of a phone phobia most people don’t know about…I have always been scared to death to call people on the phone who I didn’t know. I would even make my brother call the pizza delivery guy when we were younger because I was scared to pick up the phone and make a simple call. Only recently did I ask myself that question…what’s the worst that can happen? And it has changed my life.

I have been working the last year towards my dream of owning my own specialty wine store. As soon as I started this process fear kicked in. What if I fail? How in the name of god am I going to get half a million dollars…I’ve never seen that much money! How am I going to find investors? How am I going to structure a company, work with lawyers and accountants and start a business without a business degree?

One day I sat staring at the phone. I had the number of a multi-millionaire in front of me. A man I wanted to ask to invest in my company and mentor me. A succesful entrepreneur who had basically achieved exactly what I wanted in life. I sat there…I couldn’t do it…I was frozen. Why would this guy help me? Would he think I was an idiot and blow me off? Then I asked myself…what’s the worst that can happen? And I realized…nothing. If I called this potential investor, the absolute worst that could happen was he would say no. *lightbulb* Wait a minute…I do not have this guy’s help or money right now anyway, so the worst that can happen is that I am in the same spot as I was before I called. No big deal. What’s the best that can happen? This potential investor could pick up on my passion and enthusiasm, agree to sit down and talk with me, and potentially give me a swack load of cash! Why the hell am I not picking up the phone!

So I did it. Picked up the phone and called the guy and guess what…the world kept on turning. A lightening bolt did not smite me. A plague of rabid locusts did not descend on me. The guy didn’t laugh in my face or call me an idiot or yell at me…how weird! Instead he agreed to sit down and talk with me. Although he didn’t hand me a blank cheque this succesful entrepreneur gave me something more valuable…feedback!

Well then, that wasn’t so bad. So I started picking up the phone. I called other successful people…and got the same result. No plagues, no universal collapse…in fact the worst that happened was that a few people did not return my calls. Those assholes! In the end I ended up getting priceless feedback from some exceedingly knowledgeable and succesful people…and all I had to do was ask myself “what’s the worst that can happen?” and make the call.

So the next time you are faced with a decision that requires you to take a risk or a leap of faith ask yourself…what’s the worst that can happen? If you apply for your dream job and don’t get it, then you’re no worse off than you were before and you’ve gained new experience. If you approach that guy or girl you’ve been flirting with and ask them out on a date, the worst they can say is no…and once again you’re no worse off. If you step outside your comfort zone and try yoga for the first time and you hate it, then you’ve successfully identified one more activity in life that isn’t for you. In each of these situations however, there is the flip side. You might nail the interview and get the job of your dreams. He or she might say yes and you could have found the person of your dreams. You might love yoga, move to India and become the Tantric grand master…you never know!

The point is so often we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen? Then take the plunge.

*Progress Picture!*

2 days after Christmas...take that eggnogg and ferraro roche!

 

27 days down, 4 days to go.

Jesse

Advertisements

Day 26…Be Responsible!

It seems like no one in our world wants to take responsiblity anymore.

A woman orders a coffee from a drive-thru window at McDonald’s and spills the coffee on her lap because she is careless with the coffee she knows damn well is hot. She blames the whole incident on the restaurant, because obviously they are incompetent for serving hot coffee (what a bunch of idiots). This woman sues McDonald’s for their blatant, hot coffee serving  incompetence and WINS! Woo hoo! Open up the vaults! Let’s start handing out cash to every dumbass who can’t hang on to a cup…better yet let’s vote her into office! What the hell is the world coming to?

A celebrity has a meltdown. They go on a vodka and nose-candy fueled rampage through Vegas, eventually crashing their Range Rover full of heroin, another meltdown celebrity and a lap-dog wearing a dress into the fountains at the Bellagio. Once they have sobered up and before they have boarded the plane for some luxury rehab centre, they give a tear filled speech for the camera’s blaming their problems on the pressure’s of fame, their upbringing and their parents. Give me a break.

It all seems so crazy to me! Everyone wants to blame someone or something else for their problems or their circumstance. If you want to achieve your dreams and your goals, you have to take responsiblity for your life! You must admit that your current situation and everything that happens to you in life is a direct result of your decisions and actions.

When I was fat, no one ever forced a donut into my mouth…or 6 donuts as was the case. No one ever put a gun to a puppy’s head and told me that if I didn’t eat fast food 5 days a week they would pull the trigger. No one ever tricked me into drinking 2 litres of Dr.Pepper a day. I did it. It was me. As much as I searched for a scapegoat at the end of the day I was holding my own leash…I was the master of my own destiny and I only found lasting success when I grew a pair and took responsibility for my life.

Chances are you are an intelligent, sane and rational human being. So don’t be an idiot…take responsiblity for your life! Take responsiblity for your relationships, your decisions, your finances and your health. Make the commitment that the buck stops with you. Any time you get the urge to duck responsibility and blame someone else take a deep breath…and suck it up. Trust me…you’ll be amazed at what taking a little responsiblity can do!

Cheers,

Jesse

26 days down…5 days to go


Day 25…Merry Christmas!

First of all, I have to apologize to those who have been following for not posting the last few days. Unfortunately work and the holiday season caught up with me, but onwards and upwards!

I’ve made the executive decision to extend the 6 pack project until new years for a couple of reasons. First, I do not have a six pack…I do have a sweet 4 pack and am looking pretty good if I do say so myself (I know, I know…so humble) and second I still have a couple of points i wanted to post about that I missed out on!

Today started out with a little sleep in and a hot yoga session which was perfect! A workout this afternoon, then tonight a delicious dinner of French Onion Soup,  Osso Bucco and Panna Cotta prepared by my gourmet brother and a few glasses of wine to wash it all down.

I hope you all have an amazing and wonderful Christmas with your friends and family. Once again I have also been so humbled by all of your encouragement and support, and I love the fact that some people have found motivation and inspiration from my words.

“To surpass the deeds of others is unimportant; to surpass my own deeds is all” – Og Mandino

25 days down…6 days to go

Jesse


Day 21…Embrace failure!

“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it” – Michelangelo

If you want to be succesful, you must first learn to embrace failure. That’s right. You need to not only learn to embrace failure, you need to learn to love it. Become friends with it. Send failure a Christmas card.

Failure is a gauge. It let’s you know you are pushing your limits. Every great person has failed. Everyone who has achieved something worthwhile has fallen…likely more than once. It’s not about whether or not you take a spill and end up on your ass in life, because that’s inevitable, it’s whether or not you get up again.

Too often people are taught to fear failure. That failure is weakness. In truth failure is simply feedback. Failure is life telling you that something you’re doing isn’t working and you need to find another way around it.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts” -Sir Winston Churchill

When I started this 6 pack project I knew there was a chance I could fail. I knew I might get to day 24 and have to put up a picture that proved I had “failed”. This would have scared the shit out of me before and I probably would not even have tried. After all, even at my previous skinniest I didn’t have a six-pack, so what made me think I could get one now? The truth is I don’t give a damn! If I fail so what. Boo hoo. I’ve already managed to lose 6 more pounds at a time of year when most people are busy gaining 10. I am faster, stronger and fitter then I was 21 days ago. Most importantly I’ve got my mojo back! I feel great. I’m wearing jeans I haven’t been able to fit into in 3 years. I’ve got my energy back. I’m spontaneously breaking into the robot at work again…life is good.

Failure is feedback. If I don’t reach my goal, should I just give up and pick up the cream puffs? Hell no. I just need to listen to what that failure has to say. If I didn’t give myself enough time, I’ll extend my goal. If I need to work out harder, I will. If I need to change my eating, I will. Success is a series of failures followed by adjustments. You’ll be amazed at what happens when you make friends with failure!

21 days down…3 to go…3…yikes! Time is flying faster than a high school kid leaping from his girlfriends window when her father barges in…now that’s fast!

Jesse


Day 20…The Antidote

“If you are bored with life, if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things…you don’t have enough goals.” – Lou Holtz

After much searching, deliberation and introspection I’ve finally found it…the antidote.

Disease is an unfortunate part of human existence. Diseases such as cancer and aids are a terrible thing. They can rob us of our health, eat away at our body and may ultimately destroy us.  The effects of these diseases are tangible… they can be seen, monitored and measured.

Although these kinds of physical diseases receive the majority of our attention (and rightfully so), there are another set of diseases. These diseases are different. They can’t be measured and they hide below the surface, yet they can consume us. These diseases can attack our very being, destroy our confidence, create pain and sadness and rip us away from our purpose in life. They work slowly and over time they can grow and multiply until ultimately, like a cancer spreading, they consume us.

These diseases take on many forms. Fear, apathy, procrastination, doubt, guilt…these are some of the silent killers that threaten to quiet our voice and smother our passion. Their symptoms are frustration, sadness, depression and helplessness. There have been times in my life where i have almost succumbed to these  diseases…where I felt stuck and helpless and all I wanted to do was crawl under a rock and hide…where I felt like I was screaming underwater and I was the only person who could hear it.

Then I found it – the antidote, the cure, the path to freedom…goals. In order to find happiness and follow your dreams you need goals. I know it sounds cheesy and that term is thrown around too easily, but it is the truth. I’m not talking about paying lip service and writing some meaningless words down on paper to make yourself feel better. In order to find the real cure to those diseases you need to burrow deep down within yourself…and you need to keep digging until you find the fire.

When we take our aspirations, dreams and desires and we combine them with our unique talents and gifts then we are living our passion. These are the moments when we feel alive. When we are filled with joy and energy and excitement. When we feel like we can achieve anything and that we are unstoppable.

A real goal requires sculpting a vision of those things you really want in life. A goal should be alive…it should contain feeling and emotion and energy. For a goal to be powerful you can’t just be able to see or picture it, you have to be able to feel it and experience it. A great goal is alive and once you’ve created it, it lives within you and like a cancer it grows and spreads. Instead of pain and frustration however, these goals breed hope and courage and faith.

What is it you really want? What is your passion? It can be big or small, but the key is that it is important to YOU. It can’t be about anyone else’s expectations or dreams. It isn’t about what other people tell you that you should want or need.  What is a situation that if you could live and experience it would make you feel alive and happy and content? Now you need to take that situation and give it life.

Let’s take my six pack goal as an example.  On the surface it might seem like it’s about looking good naked (which doesn’t hurt) or showing off on the beach (it’s -20 outside right now and snowing…trust me, there is no beach). In my mind it’s about more than that. When I imagine my six pack goal it’s about confidence. It’s about knowing that through discipline and hard work I’ve created something special. It’s about having energy and feeling healthy and waking up every morning excited and ready to face the next challenge. These feelings and emotions give my goal power. When I’m sore, tired or feeling overwhelmed I can take a deep breath, close my eyes and live that goal. Imagining myself achieving that goal gives me strength.

Find something you really want…a situation or goal that if you were to achieve it would ignite your passion and make you feel alive. It could be landing your dream job, finding the guy or girl of your dreams, having a healthy relationship with your children or it could be losing weight…the key is to take that goal and make it alive. Sculpt that vision in your mind of achieving that goal. Create a specific situation linked to that goal, like being on the beach and feeling confident in your body,  having fun with your children at the park or working in your dream job. Attach feeling and emotion to that vision and keep it inside. Once that goal is yours use it. Close your eyes and imagine it. Before bed, when you wake up, on your lunch break, at the gym, close your eyes and live that goal…you might be amazed at the strength it gives you.

There you have it…a powerful goal is the antidote. The more you use those goals you’ve created the more powerful they become, until eventually they overcome the apathy, procrastination and fear. There is a catch though…it takes work (much like everything I’ve discussed). Like curing any disease it takes patience and persistence, but the rewards can be amazing. The beauty of goals is that they are fluid and as you change and grow and achieve your goals you can constantly create new visions of the life you want to lead.

The antidote is there for you…it just takes a little digging to discover it.

My day

Eating

– 8 am – Pork chop, handful of almonds, 1 mandarin orange

-10 am – 3 scoops whey protein isolate

-2 pm – Chicken breast, apple

– 5 pm – Stir fry, spinach salad with quinoa and yellow pepper

-10 pm – 2 eggs, 6 oz. baseball sirloin steak

Workout – Mount Royal College

5 sets of 5 x dumbell bench press (100 lb dumbells) and 5 x squat clean (155 lbs)

– 200 double unders for time (6 minutes, 31 seconds) See a video explanation of double unders here

-20 minutes interval training on the eliptical trainer (1 minute work, 1 minute rest)

20 days down…4 days to go


Day 19…Excuses

Making excuses is like tying bags of manure around your neck…they weigh you down and they are ultimately full of shit. No matter what it is you want to accomplish, there is a pretty damn good chance there is someone out there who has already done it. If someone else has already accomplished that goal in their lives, whether it is weight loss, financial freedom or landing a triple sow-cow, then the goal is possible…plain and simple.

What’s your excuse? I know I sure as hell had my list when I was overweight. “My metabolism is slow”,  “I am naturally big-boned”, “This is just the way I am”. What a bunch of crap! The truth was I was scared. Scared of the hard work it would take, scared of what people would think of me, scared of failure and embarassment…just scared. Instead of facing these fears in my life I used excuses to avoid them. It wasn’t until I decided to cut out the crap and take responsibility for my life and my actions that I got the results I wanted.

Responsibility is a difficult thing. It takes courage to stop blaming everything and everyone else for your circumstance and to commit to your goal 100%…regardless of obstacles and challenges. Remember that someone has done it before you and as such it is possible. Not only has someone done it before you, but you can bet there was someone with less time, less money, less opportunity and less ability than you that threw out their excuses and succeeded.

Today I am throwing down a challenge. Get off the bench and get into the game. Take a good, hard look in the mirror and take note of the excuses that are holding you back and get rid of them. It’s not easy, but it sure beats walking around with those bags full of manure holding you back!

19 days down…5 days to go

Jesse


Day 16…Random Advice

For today’s post I thought I would kick it with a couple more weight loss tips that have worked for me.

1. Weigh yourself once a week max! – Too often I see people getting obsessed with their weight and weighing themselves every day…and sometimes several times each day. Trust me…this is a recipe for frustration! Everyone’s body weight fluctuates throughout the day due to a number of factors, including the time of day, water levels, sodium levels, etc. To illustrate this I weighed myself tonight before hot yoga and was 202 lbs. After hot yoga, I was 197 lbs. Should I be ecstatic and indulge in some celebratory Christmas cookies and eggnog? Hell no! Alternatively should I get upset when, an hour later after rehydrating properly I am bag up 4 pounds and gorge on eggnogg and Christmas cookies in anger? Hell no. Weigh yourself once a week max, and make sure it is at the same time of day (when you first wake up is probably easiest).

2. Learn how to read a nutrition label! Everyone should know how to read a nutritional label. Thanks to improving regulations almost every food or beverage product now has a nutritional label. Watch for things like ingredients, serving size, calories, sugar content, carbohydrate content, protein, etc. Even though companies are forced to include nutritional labels, it doesn’t mean they still can’t try to be tricky with their information. For an example sugar comes in many forms. Some companies will try to hide the sugar in the ingredients by listing things like pure agave syrup, organic cane juice and brown rice syrup. Hint…although these may sound nicer they are still forms of sugar! Another important factor is serving size. I have seen a single serve soup container (the kind you would add hot water too and eat for lunch) which listed the nutritional information for half a serving. Who the hell eats half a single serve soup? On first glance the info doesn’t look half bad…until you realize you need to double the sodium (salt) and carbohydrate content. You may not even realize you are heading for a bloated mess until you read the fine print! Another example…and my mother loves that I share this…one day my Mom came to me in a state of frustration. In an effort to eat healthier she had bought a package of trail mix from a grocery store and had divided it up into single servings that she could quickly grab, take with her to work and snack on throughout the day. She told me each serving only had 300 calories and although she was eating well she was still not losing weight…in fact she had gained a little. I asked my mother how much trail mix was in each ziplock bag she ate in a day and she replied that there was one cup. Upon picking up the package, I noticed with alarm that the nutritional information, which my mother was referencing, was for 1/4 cup, not 1 cup! So in reality my poor Mom had been ingesting 1200 calories with each bag of trail mix! Needless to say after we cut this down to a proper 1/4 cup things improved drastically.

Start paying attention to nutritional labels…you might be surprised at what you find!

Those are my two pieces of random advice for today. Now off to bed! Wait…on that note here is a third piece of advice, get lots of rest! Getting a minimum of 7 hours sleep can help to regulate hunger/cravings, stabilize your blood sugar, repair your muscles, make you stronger and give you more energy (there is a surprise!).

Now that’s really it…goodnight…for real this time…I mean it…

Jesse

My Day

Eating

– 7 am – Bran muffin, coffee (I normally do not eat muffins and am not advocating them, but I slept in…no excuse, but at least I’m being honest!).

– 9 am – 3 scoops whey protein isolate, 1 apple

– 12 pm – Persian stew from a local restaurant containing chunks of sirloin, kidney beans and a blend of spices. Had with 1/3 cup rice.

-3 pm – Handfull of mixed nuts

-10 pm – 2 eggs, porkchop

*Note* Had a crazy 12 hour shift at work. I should have eaten more often and eaten more greens and protein. Christmas in the wine business is insane!

Workout

Schlepping dozens and dozens of cases of wine to and from the warehouse, into restaurants and out to customers cars.

-65 minute hot yoga class

16 days down…8 to go