We all know that nothing in life is free. There is always a cost and I don’t mean the money.

If you want to reach your goals you have to make sacrifices; you may have to give things up and work your butt off. Yes, I know it is easier for some than others but you cannot and will not get anywhere in life without putting your nose to the grindstone.

Don’t say you want to lose weight, turn up to a few fitness classes and wonder why you aren’t losing anything. Did you change your diet as you were advised too? Have you really been putting all your energy into the session when you turn up? Have you made those little changes we talked about in everyday life?

My guess, is NO?

Why the hell would you? Where is the pleasure in eating fresh fruit and veggies, lean protein and healthy fats? Why walk when you can drive? Why drink water when you can down a sugar filled fizzy drink?

God forbid you give up the fast food crap, booze, fags, the processed crisps, biscuits etc. etc. After all, life is too short – right?

However, think forward – carry on the way you are and you will not have to worry. You are what you eat after all.

Think what it must be like to enjoy those fat congested arteries with the possibility of a stroke or heart attack? Or having Type 2 diabetes and the list goes on. Am I scare mongering? No. Just saying it as it is. Your life, your choice.

You know the saying you can’t out train a poor diet. Listen to it, understand it and make small but positive changes to your diet. Be the person you want to be.

If you want to be fit, then turn up and put the work in. If you are new, injured or finding things difficult because you’re not feeling 100% all good trainers will adapt exercises for you … but turn up, dig deep and give it a go.

Spare a thought for your workout buddies: do they want to hear you constantly moaning?  Or would they rather have a positive ‘can do’ attitude alongside helping them to achieve more too? Try to train positive – it will help you focus and work harder plus it will be a lot nicer for your training partners.

You have to take it outside your comfort zone. So that means start easy, then change it up a gear. It’s all about progression; you can do it, just turn off that negative voice in your head.

How can you be a better version of you without working for it?

Be consistent: train on the days you say you are going to.

Turn up and give it 100% work.

Try and work it up to the next level, push a little bit harder.

Change that diet; no one said you can’t earn a treat meal or slice of cake. Try and pick the least processed version, or make your own, there are plenty of great cook books out there.

Walk to the shops or work when you can. Use the stairs not the lift or escalator.

Get up and move from the sofa or your desk, you can always slip in a sneaky exercise, a few squats or press ups.

Make the effort, stop with the moaning and excuses. Adopt a Positive Mental Attitude.

Be a better version of you.

New season timetable now available if you need an incentive to make a commitment to change! Or give me a ring to discuss your needs.

Why do you do what you do?

What is your driving force, what makes you get out of bed each day?

What makes you turn up to the gym or your fitness session?

For some it is the usual new year let’s get it on and lose those extra pounds put on over the Christmas period. Others see it as a way to meet and socialise and perhaps are not really very interested in the benefits of exercise at all.

Then there are those that want to be a better person than they were before they walked into their session. If you want to get results then you got to get your ass in gear and sweat some; just turning up and going through the motions will give you nothing. Turn up with the right mind-set and the attitude of a winner and you are on the right path to achieving something good for yourself.

Remember though you have to better yourself each and every day. We can all be brilliant for one day but what about holding that thought and pushing it forward every day. Make each day better than yesterday; you can achieve anything you want so long as you are prepared to put in the hard graft.

  • Find a real sense of purpose,
  • Find the drive and enthusiasm to take you to the top of your game
  • Do not fear stepping outside your comfortable safe zone.

You see it so many times, people just going through the motions but achieving nothing.

You want to achieve? You want to win? Then set the target and work for it like your life depends on it.

That new body shape you desire won’t happen on its own – you have to earn it, sweat it out; you have to give up on some of life’s little pleasures. Now I am not saying you have to become a saint but you do need to live your life differently, eat natural wholesome foods, cut the crap from your life and yes your body may ache a little as you begin to tone and shape your torso.

It’s not just food and training that has to change, if you are going to train hard then you need to love your body some more; treat it with respect, stretch it out, roll it and rest it.

Sleep is just as important as training and clean eating, if not more so;

  • The average adult needs 7.5-9 hours’ sleep each night
  • The body goes through a detox process during the night; the brain begins to flush metabolic waste
  • Muscles begin to repair, etc.

For me I know that each day I must perform better than I did yesterday, no two days are the same, each day providing a new challenge, a new problem to get your head around.

Each time I step into my gym I know that session has to be taken to the next level, if it stays the same as yesterday then I have achieved nothing, my body just says oh that’s right we did this already and just goes with the flow. If I whack the weight a little higher or change up the tempo then I shock the body and it has to better itself it has to work it out and adapt to what I throw at it. I come out of that session feeling like I owned it. My goal is to own every session I do. Each session makes me stronger both physically and mentally giving me the edge on everyday life.

Take each task you do with the mind set of being your best and some and you will get the result you want. Just go through the motions then you may as well sit at home and sit that lazy ass on the sofa while you watch banal TV shows whilst feeding yourself the latest TV dinner packed with chemicals, sugar and salt!

  • Set targets, short term, medium, and the big one
  • Earn yourself a treat on the way (a smaller dress or pair of jeans)
  • Push yourself outside your comfort zone, stop playing safe
  • Work your ass off, get sweaty and feel the burn
  • Aim high
  • Believe in yourself
  • Always be better than you were yesterday, except nothing less.

At www.PaulCollinsFitness.co.uk we aim to make you a better version of you, helping you get fitter, stronger and happier.

Sometimes your best just isn’t enough

Why not try this delicious detox smoothie?

2 cups of spinach

½ bunch parsley

1 cucumber

2 sticks celery

1 apple

½” fresh ginger

½ lime, juice of

½ lemon,  juice of

Add water as needed to the juices and blend with ingredients to desired consistency.

If you like this smoothie, more healthy smoothies are included in all our Fitness and Tai Chi weekend breaks and feature in our Weight Management programmes – all available from Paul Collins Fitness.

 

detox smoothie ingredientsdetox smoothie

Many people will try a home detox in January, which is all well and good if you know what you are doing, but be aware that an un-monitored detox can be dangerous.

Here are a few natural remedies to the common side-effects:

Headaches

  • Honey and Water
  • Acupressure (use GB20, a point at the base of the skull in the hollow between the front and back neck muscles, located behind the bony prominence just behind the ear – you will know when you have found the spot as there is one either side of the head – and massage gently with your thumbs)
  • Peppermint oil – rub on externally. (Never consume essential oils!)

Constipation

  • Drink more water between meals

Nausea

  • Acupressure (turn your palm upwards and measure two thumb-widths up your arm from the base of your wrist, press here for 30-60 seconds between the two string-like tendons –do this whenever you need to)
  • Herbal ginger tea

Diarrhoea

  • Drink more water between meals

If you are going to go it alone, try to self-detox go for no more than one day, stay well hydrated and be very gentle on yourself.

Alternatively please give me a ring on 0780 0780 039 to discuss supported detox or weight management programmes.

 

Depression

How many of people in the UK suffer from depression? It’s estimated that 1 in 4 of us will suffer some sort of mental health problem in our life time.

I am no specialist when it comes to depression apart from the fact that I have lived with it since my teenage years, back then though you were told to man up and get on with life, fortunately now mental health issues are understood a little more. Not by everyone though there are still those that shy away from you when you say you suffer from it.

Trust me it ain’t catching.

Got to be honest, sometimes it can be quite enjoyable seeing the world in such a different way, other times though it just crushes your soul when you slip into that pit of despair and self-loathing. The world just goes black and there is no fun, no love and no beauty to this life.

So many times I have thrown away opportunities, relationships and possessions when the darkness has taken its icy grip. There have been times when I haven’t even known that it has gripped me; it’s not been until my partner has said welcome back that I have any idea I’ve been away! My focus has just been surviving each day, coping with each little bit I can manage. When it’s like that no one else exists, it’s just me and my friend “misery”.

Don’t get me wrong, I have never stopped work or just given up and sat down all day (wanted to) that’s not me.  I have shouted and screamed that I don’t want to do what has to be done. I have had to get up and perform for my boot camps or tai chi sessions but as soon as they have finished BAM I am back on the floor, would rather do a round with Mike Tyson than be hit by this.

Thankfully there is exercise, a proven method of coping and managing depression. It’s not a magic cure. I don’t believe there is one but it is a way to deal with it.

“Research shows that exercise and physical activity can be as effective as anti-depressant medication in treating mild to moderate depression”.

I have made it quite clear to the Doctors that drugs and me are not going to work, there are other ways.

Eat the right foods, stay away from alcohol, meditate and exercise. Food and exercise are the only drugs I need.  Yeah I have tried drugs (illegal) and alcohol and they did nothing except send me over the edge and cover up the symptoms.

Also tried eating shit food, comfort eating and throwing up again, just ended up hating what I saw in the mirror each day,

When I train I am happy, life is good. It’s not a cure all but by god it lifts me up, I feel love for myself, pride in my appearance and invincible. All the things depression strips from me.

According to the Mental Health Foundation report taking part in exercise will;

Create

– less tension, stress and mental fatigue

– a natural energy boost

– improved sleep

– a sense of achievement

– focus in life and motivation

– less anger or frustration

a healthy appetite

– better social life

– fun!

There are several theories about why exercise is beneficial to mental health. These are related to biology (exercise leads to an increased release of endorphins and enkephalins), sociology (attendance enables people to build new relationships), skillmastery (exercise improves body condition and creates achievable goals), and distraction (exercise creates a diversion from a preoccupation with negative thoughts).

Signs and symptoms of depression

Tiredness and loss of energy.
Sadness that doesn’t go away.
Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem.
Difficulty concentrating.
Not being able to enjoy things that are usually pleasurable or interesting.
Feeling anxious all the time.
Avoiding other people, sometimes even your close friends.
Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
Sleeping problems – difficulties in getting off to sleep or waking up much earlier than usual.
Very strong feelings of guilt or worthlessness.
Finding it hard to function at work/college/school.
Loss of appetite.
Loss of sex drive and/or sexual problems.
Physical aches and pains.
Thinking about suicide and death.
Self-harm

It’s worth remembering that the foods we eat all have a major effect on our mind state, eat the wrong foods and watch your mental health deteriorate. Food can support or stress the body and mind.

Let’s not forget many of our modern day diets are lacking in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) from intense farming, foods being held in warehouses for long periods of time and through being highly processed.

To redress the balance there needs to be a focus on foods that support and heal the functions of the body and mind, foods that develop neurotransmitters (serotonin and noradrenalin being the main imbalance in those of us who suffer).

The obvious choices are wholesome, natural foods as we were intended to eat, water, nuts and seeds, oily fish, healthy lean proteins, fruits and vegetables alongside wholegrain foods.

These are foods the body recognises; they help support, regulate and maintain the body’s equilibrium.

It seems obvious then that the danger foods are sugar, dairy, processed foods, cakes, pastries and sweets, along with drinking alcohol, coffee and sugary drinks. All of these help to stimulate and unbalance the mind.

Even so it is noted that when depressed we reach for these very foods, foods that exacerbate the problem, foods that we know can harm us in more ways than one.

Recognise the self-destruct mode?  Shove those biscuits and cakes down your throat, feel the guilt, hurt your mind and body some more, feel a little more hate towards yourself, fuel that fire. Watch your stomach swell, fat start to accumulate around your arms, legs and in in your face. Feel the despair, the anger the hatred towards yourself for letting this happen and yes, that’s right feed it some more, slip into that downward spiral that all-consuming pit.

Does have to be this way? NO

Avoid the danger foods or consume limited quantities, eat natural foods.  Exercise, talk and destress yourself. It isn’t going to cure you but it will help manage the problem.

For more information check out;

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2738337/

Or

www.mentalhealth.org.uk