PREPARING TO EMBARK ON A 12-WEEK JOURNEY
Over the next 12 weeks you'll have the opportunity to take a journey inward to reconnect with self-awareness. Your instructors will guide you to the path but taking the first step and continuing to follow it are up to you.
This isn’t yet another fitness “challenge.” This is a journey of going deeper inward that will bring you to a simple, more instinctive lifestyle with the purpose of improving our fitness, movement, energy levels, self-awareness, and longevity.
You probably noticed I didn’t mention body composition in that last sentence. Undoubtedly, one of the primary side effects in this journey is an improvement in body composition marked by a decrease in body fat with an increase in lean tissue, but that’s a result of changing behaviors and habits that directly impact your health and fitness.
Your current body composition is a reflection of the sum total of the way your nourish, or poison, yourself with food, movement, rest, community and present moment awareness (more commonly referred to as mindfulness.)
All of these things impact your METABOLIC HEALTH. Understanding this is an essential component of this journey.
What is METABOLIC HEALTH?
Metabolism is defined as the chemical processes that occur within a living organism to maintain life.
A person is considered healthy when their mental and physical condition exists in a state free from illness or injury.
METABOLIC HEALTH means the chemical communication systems within body are working in synergy for optimal performance.
A lean athletic physique is a clear indicator of good METABOLIC HEALTH. But it’s not just about how you look naked-
Other indicators of your Metabolic Health are your energy levels, mood, cognitive function, sexual desire, digestion, immune functions, sleep cycle and skin tone.
If you want to make a sustainable transformation you must address your metabolic health. Optimizing metabolic health unlocks the body you want along with abundant energy, vibrant health, longevity, strength, and performance you want in life and the gym.
Making a “result oriented” goal to simply improve your body composition is an exercise in futility because the goal doesn’t address the root habits and behaviors that impact Metabolic Health.
Instead, set your intention to eliminate toxic foods, movement (or static positions), negative thought patterns, negative people, while at the same time slowly replacing them with nourishment.
These are habits and behaviors that determine the form your body takes.
Begin this journey by setting the intention to be more compassionate to yourself. Our negative behaviors, the vicious cycles that we continue to replay throughout our lives always seem to put us back to square one, usually just as we're on the cusp of a breakthrough, are ultimately rooted in feelings of unworthiness that we hold for ourselves. So let’s begin with the intention of unconditional love for ourselves.
This process also requires that we set the intention to integrate a holistic approach to caring for ourselves. Modern conventional approaches to improving health and fitness rely on shortcuts and focus too heavily on one or perhaps two behavioral patterns, if any, while ignoring the whole (holistic) picture. They can’t see the forest for the trees so they’re unsustainable.
These conventional approaches, particularly short-term challenges, also fail to change the way you feel about your habits regarding: nutrition, movement, rest, community, and self-awareness.
By its very definition, a challenge forces you to do something you dislike for a time that seems manageable so that you can reach an end-goal. You likely haven’t changed the way you feel, so any change requires great effort and is unsustainable in the long term.
It’s likely you feel even more averse to the routines you forced yourself through because the challenge was a struggle that required constant management. Also, completing the challenge is an end rather than a beginning.
Once you’ve reached your destination there’s nowhere to go, no direction.
If you’ve done a challenge like this in the past you may have lost the results of your efforts soon afterward, and perhaps ended up worse off than before you began the challenge due to the “rebound” or pendulum nature of forcing yourself through routines that feel extremely restrictive. Forcing yourself through a challenge implies rigidity, a hard approach, when what we need is to become more fluid, a softer approach, meeting life as it comes to us.
My final words of wisdom before going into the practical application of this guided journey is to respond to whatever comes up with equanimity and without judgment.
If you’ve set your intention to be compassionate and to integrate holistic change then whatever you go through is valuable and valid. Whatever you experience is what’s required for you in that moment. We’re here to make progress on our journey, not perfection.
Over the course of the next 12
weeks you’ll slowly begin to address habitual behavior on a weekly basis. Every chapter details the steps you should integrate into your experience. As you progress on this journey you’ll address habitual behavior with greater frequency and intensity. As such, the journey may get more uncomfortable as we go, so we intend to move through it rather than around it with equanimity and without judgment. Whatever you experience is what’s required.
Elimination: Beginning with Addition by Subtraction
Addition starts with subtraction. Removing toxic elements in your life will have a far bigger impact than anything you can add to your life. Before we get started with week 1, let’s make a clean slate in some important areas of your life.
"Zen-ing" your life, means clearing chaos. These activities can take anywhere from 5-minutes to hours depending on how far you decide to go with it. Take the rest of the week to address these key areas.
Zen Your Life - Ideas to get you started
• Take out your wallet right now. Lay out everything on a table. Organize any receipts you need. Put information from business cards or other pieces of information in your phone. Now throw away everything that isn't absolutely necessary to have on a daily basis. The rule of thumb is that if you forgot you owned it you don’t need it. Now organize all of your cash from highest bills to lowest with the Presidents facing out and right side up, or whatever logic inspires you.
• Get a legit car wash. Make sure you don’t leave any trash or junk inside the car. Distill everything down to only what’s necessary. Don’t forget the center console, glove box, and trunk.
• Clean out your refrigerator!
• Discontinue synthetic vitamins and supplements for now. If the supplement isn’t derived from whole food sources it’s synthetic. Research shows that some synthetic nutrients are not absorbed by the body in the same way as ones from whole food sources and they may even rob your body of it’s existing micronutrients leaving you at a net loss as a result of taking them. There is a time when these types of supplements can be beneficial, like taking L-Glutamine for gut repair, but let’s just start with a clean reset.
• Spring clean with extreme prejudice! Go through your house and car throwing out anything that isn’t absolutely essential. Pretend you’re Genghis Khan leading a Mongol hoard that’s bent on laying waste to clutter, junk, and anything taking up space without a functional purpose that benefits your life.
• If you forgot you owned it, donate it or throw it out.
• If you haven’t worn it in the last year donate it or throw it out.
• If you haven’t been skiing, snowboarding, golfing or surfing in a year: get rid of it, donate it or put it in storage.
• Start one room at a time. Start small with a bathroom. Bathrooms tend to accumulate crap like creams, lotions, and all manner of cold remedies. Another great place to start that’s even smaller than the bathroom is your fridge and pantry.
• If you’re having doubts about something, pick it up and hold it in your hands. Close your eyes while taking a few breaths. If you don’t feel a vibrational connection with the item throw it out
• Throw out or give away duplicates. You don’t need more than one pair of headphones.
It's an honor and a privilege to be able to share this journey with you. This is a process that has come to being through many years of work, research, experimentation and personal exploration.
I don't presume to know what's best for anyone and I can't guarantee a specific result. I wouldn't do that even if I could because it would rob you of an amazing experience. All I can offer to you is the opportunity to reconnect with your whole self, the primal vibrating energy that's always been right here in harmony with the present, effortlessly going with the flow.