Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Do YOU have a well-defined support network?

One of the hallmarks of true, positive and sustainable change (ANY change) is the existence of a support network to assist you in creating new habits and healing from the struggles that have kept you from the life you want to live.

A Support Network is a group of friends, neighbors, mentors, coaches or family members that you can count on to listen discreetly and provide advice, a lending hand or even just an ear to listen.  They are the closest people we know and we have 100% trust in their conviction to honor our privacy and personal needs.  Support networks have been shown to reduce depression, anxiety, social isolation and even chronic life stress.  Support networks aren’t ONLY about your mental health either!  All of these psychosocial conditions have actually been linked to an increased risk of coronary artery disease equaling that of the risk from hypertension and high cholesterol!

We talk a lot about community at Motiv8 but having a REAL support network is more than just cheering people on while they are doing well.  It’s more than just showing up for the good times and giving attention to people who find success in small moments. 


We’ve all had the type of friends that like to just talk about successes or accolades, like to laugh and joke a lot, want to only keep the spirit lively and avoid anything negative at all.  Maybe it seems like everyone gravitates to them, they seem so easy to connect with, they always seem to ask the right questions, they seem to make others feel important.  It’s tempting to think these people may support you in your times of need. 


The level of support you’ll find from those types of friends can often just leave you feeling empty or even abandoned once hard times present at your doorstep with nobody there to support you as the fun and positivity go away.

Here are some DOs and DON’Ts for building a support network that will be your cheerleaders when you’re winning AND pick you up when you fall as well.

DO seek out people who are genuine in their interactions with you.

It’s not hard to find the people who are genuine.  They are the ones who ask how you are and then follow up with more questions rather than finding a segue to talk about themselves.  They are the ones who are the first to call when you tackle a challenge or overcome an obstacle to see how it went and want to know all the details.  They want to know about how you’re feeling whether it’s good OR bad.  And despite the answer they want to KNOW why.  They seek out solutions for you without you having to ask them for their help.  THESE are the people to put in your network.  NOTE: You may know people who do this for others but NOT yourself.  And that’s ok, there are many levels of friendship and not everyone is a candidate for your support network.

DON’T guilt or shame people into supporting you.

We often come across people in our lives who seem like they aren’t living it the way WE would.  It’s easy to make assumptions about those people and apply our own principles to what they do from an outside perspective.  We want them to “care more”.  BUT, that expectation may be setting us up for disappointment.  That disappointment can lead to a wish that someone would be different or would act a different way.  We may even attempt to “give them a hint” or “teach them a lesson” hoping that they will do what we want and see things from our perspective.  Guilt and shaming NEVER lead to building someone’s trust and support though and may even turn a good friend into a foe.

DO seek out people who have already learned your lessons.

There’s no reason to struggle through life figuring things out on your own when the people closest to you have seen what you have.  That’s part of being a friend, helping each other out to make life easier!  Sometimes that may mean that the lesson you’re in the midst of learning has already been exerpeinced by someone who cares about you.  We’re used to learning from our parents, our elders, our teachers but we can learn ANYTHING from ANYONE.  Wisdom doesn’t have an age, face or personality.  Some of the best people in my support network have experienced my challenges themselves and they are able to understand why I struggle.  Even if I don’t end up doing exactly what they have, knowing that I can go to them to ask about their experience gives me strength and keeps me from spinning my wheels. 

DON’T choose people to place in your network based on what you think they can do for you.

Sometimes we get caught up in wanting something so bad for ourselves that we put blinders on and attempt to “fix” our situation.  That focus on a “fix” can sometimes separate our friends’ knowledge or skills from their actual human side.  We start to think about what they could do for us, how they could help us get what we want and we STOP focusing on them as a person.  This can lead to friends feeling “used” or disrespected and pulling away from you (the LAST thing you need from a support network) when they feel you don’t care for them anymore.

DO find others who are willing to share their own struggles with you.

Having a support network more than anything else is about developing trust in someone.  If the people around you that show support can’t reciprocate by being vulnerable around you, they don’t deserve your trust.  Plain and simple.  There are unfortunately people out there who seek confidence in themselves by trying to keep you in a vulnerable position.  It makes them feel superior.  These are NOT people to entrust with your deepest vulnerabilities.  Having a support network should mean being willing to give OR receive care from the people you love most.  Even if their problems don’t look like yours, you can gain strength, inspire solutions or just be a calm sounding board for each other.  Give your trust to those willing to accept your own help rather than feed the ego of a person who just wants to be the hero.

DON’T focus only on filling your support network with people who have strengths you don’t have.

Many times we want to idolize or put on a pedestal the people who have talents, gifts or expertise that we wish we had.  When we look at ourselves and don’t see those things we think that the people who do may have all the answers.  But, people who have what you don’t may not have come to acquire it the same way you are trying to.  Does the super fit person you want to be like know what it’s like to struggle with their weight?  Maybe they seem to always be SO happy but, have they ever felt depression to know the contrast?  They eat SO healthy but have they struggled with an addiction to food before?  We all have gifts as well as skills but don’t confuse the two.  They are very different.  Someone with a gift for something may not necessarily have the experience of working for it to conceptualize how to help you.

It can be very hard to open up to people and tell them that you are struggling with something.  The questions swirl in your head:

What if they think I’m just being too needy? 
What if they don’t talk to me anymore or treat me differently? 
What if they don’t take me seriously?
What if they don’t know how to help me?
What if they don’t WANT to help me? 

I always say…”The what ifs will kill you!”  While some of these may be possible, it can actually be freeing to understand who is a “fun friend” and who is a “confidant”.  When you are saddled with a hard situation you’ll be so much more at ease knowing who you can turn to than living in a world where you feel you can’t share anything with anyone.  That’s a miserable way to live!

Some of these statements may seem harsh but building a network of people you know you can turn to with your problems should be a very scrutinized process.  Taking the time to choose wisely now will help you to avoid sharing with people who are not willing or capable of supporting you.  Most importantly, knowing the difference between an acquaintance, a friend, and a confidant can save a lot of heartache and disappointment from assumptions about people you thought you knew differently.

Stay Motiv8ed!

Coach Joe

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Motiv8 Movie Night Poluck Recipes!

Motiv8 Movie Night/Potluck!!!

Motiv8ers this past Friday we had another movie night.  It was awesome and getting a chance to just hang out with everyone was so relaxing and fun.

And Crew, this was our very first ever POTLUCK.  As you can see from the pictures below it was so successful.  We had a ton of food and everyone left feeling stuffed.  It was by far the healthiest potluck anyone had ever been too and it tasted amazing!  As you can see below we had a bunch of finger food but some of the Motiv8ers brought a few dishes.  Check out the dishes below and their recipes.

Alicia Ballew from the 7p Ramsey SET brought this amazing Kale Salad.  She added to it dried cranberries and sliced almonds.   Check out the recipe here.  The Best Kale Salad!!

 Alicia Ballew also brought an amazing chili that I really loved personally.  She did not use beer however.  She substituted it with vegetable broth.  Check out the recipe here: Bean and Beer Chili!!

 Coach Kaolin brought these delicious cookies.  No joke they where by far the best cookies I have had in a long time.  Check them out and check out the recipe here: Cashew Butter Cookies!!

 Sara Biggs from the 5pm Zilker SET brought these amazing Spring Rolls.  They were a big hit and disappeared quick! Check out the recipe here: Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Crispy Tofu!!

I brought my famous Cauliflower buffalo wings that are gluten free and vegan.  They taste amazing and are a great substitute to the normal type of buffalo wings.  Check out the recipe here:
Cauliflower Buffalo Wings!!

Motiv8ers This Potluck was so successful that we will definitely have another one soon.   Be checking your emails and talking with your Coach to see when the next potluck will be.

Crew Stay EPIC and Don't Forget to Be AWESOME!

Coach Ty Out!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Appreciate what you HAVE rather than fantasizing over what you don't!

Appreciation is the basis of having what you want…because life is more about wanting what you have!

Before I get on a soapbox about gratitude, check out this great guide to introducing more gratitude in your makes the practice of gratitude much more accessible than someone just saying, "You should just appreciate what you have". ;-) should just appreciate what you have! :-P

I used to have a much different life.  It involved lots of long hours at what most would call a “normal job”.  I wore suits every day, drank martinis every night and lived what most would call “the dream”.  The pay was great, I strived to impress other people with my knowledge and wit, fringe benefits of a life as a “successful” person were everywhere.

  • Schmoozing clients at events and in private rooms with a smorgasbord of food and wine
  • People referring to Courtney and I as a “power couple”
  • We were the youngest people in our neighborhood with a house much too large for us
  • My garage was filled with cars (yes with an “s”) and expensive things I didn’t need
  • I had possessions that I didn’t value so I threw them in the basement for years never looking at them

I don’t say this to brag…it was awful!  GUESS what I was?  UN-HAPPY!!!  I can honestly say I was no happier THEN than I am NOW.  In fact, much less so!

I didn’t APPRECIATE any of it.  I worked, toiled, stressed about creating the next big goal or making more money or impressing the next powerful person in my life that would be the catalyst for my next big milestone…I spent every day just thinking about what was next.  I was never in a place of presence or appreciation…only desire (Fantasizing every day about how much better life would be if only….).  We are taught from an early age that this is healthy, that if you don't strive to have bigger, better and more luxurious things that you are somehow not driven or lazy….boy is that dangerous advice!  It caught up to me quickly, my body started to decline, my marriage struggled…and eventually… my psyche cracked.

It was all just fantasy and despite many of my wishes coming true, I was so engrained in fantasy I couldn’t see what was my reality and appreciate it!

Are you thinking right now with respect to your workouts that you wish you could just lose 10 more lbs?  Or 5 more lbs?  Do you wish you could just be a little bit faster or lift a little bit heavier?  Do you wish you could eat just a little bit healthier?  Or maybe have the discipline to become vegan or cut out the foods you know are unhealthy?


Think today about ONE thing you appreciate.  Think about how much more energy you have.  Think about what you have learned about nutrition, that you KNOW what is healthy.  Think about the motivation and drive you have today to become a better you than you did before you came to Motiv8.  Appreciate what you have done ALREADY and let THAT be the catalyst to your next big milestone!

You already have the power to realize all those wishes above…you just have to let go of the wanting and embrace what comes to you.  Let the power of your accomplishments build and take you to the next level rather than trying to force a result thru sheer will.  It’s an exhausting and disappointing way to live!

Everywhere in our lives, opportunity to grow is always out there…we’re usually just too busy blinding ourselves with fantasy to see it. 

Stay Motiv8ed,
Coach Joe

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Next Step in the FOOD Challenge....Awesome Recipes!

Alright Motiv8ers I'll keep this post short,

If you clicked on this link that means you are ready to take the next step!

What is the next step?

The next step is keeping track of what you eat.  That is it!

Tracking your calorie intake and keeping a journal of what you eat each day.  Look if you don't know what your eating and how much then how are you ever going to be able to make a change.

For the rest of this week I want you to track everything you eat in a day.  Don't worry about making a lot of changes yet.  Just track your foods.  By next week you should have a few days logged.  Take that information to your coach and we can help you take the next step.

Ok I know keeping a dairy of the foods you eat sounds hard so I want you to use this app.  MyNetDairy

 David Cramer from the 7pm Ramsey Set has lost 10 pounds since Dec. 29 by just using this app and being more aware of what nutrition is in what foods.  Here is his graph of his weight loss so far.
With that crew get started and let your coach see your journal next week.

Ok on to a few recipes. We have 2 for you today!

First is from Coach Billy!  This is a bone broth recipe that you can cook or make soups with!

2 to 3 lbs of chicken or beef bones. You can buy beef marrow bones and chicken backs from Whole Foods.  Beef feet and knuckle bones are the best for collagen.  
2 cups of apple cider vinegar 
4 halved lemons 
4 stalks of celery crudely chopped 
4 carrots crudely chopped 
5 gloves of garlic 
small piece of ginger root crudely chopped 
1 onion crudely chopped 
A small bit of mineral rich sea salt and cracked pepper. Pink Himalayan sea salt is fantastic.  

Put all ingredients into a large crock pot and fill with filtered water until ingredients are just covered. 
Cook on low heat for 24 hours. 
Use a cheese cloth or fine strainer to filter and separate the vegetable and bone bits from the broth.  

Store in large glass containers in the fridge. If you are not going to drink or cook with it right away, you can freeze it.  

This broth is a tasty nutrient bomb! Don't be surprised if the brith is thick and jello like. This is from the gelatin that collagen proteins form when they cool. Simply Heat it up and use it to cook, or drink it straight!

Next is a sweet potato chili that I love and is super easy to make!

Motiv8ers that is all for today.

Post below or talk to your coach if you have questions.

Stay EPIC and Don't Forget to Be AWESOME!!

Coach Ty Out!!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers!


I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Going to SET, exercising, taking the time to take care of you is good for your health...not just physical but EMOTIONAL health!

Watch the video below and find out why Robert Sapolsky is on my short-list of people I would have a beer with if I could choose anyone in the world.  The guy is a literal, certified genius and has done 30+ years of research on stress and depression in humans and other non-human primates.

The fact of the matter is...we humans live in a world of constant, moderate stress.  It comes from nearly every aspect of our lives.  From our workplaces, our bosses, our in-laws, our friends, our government, our taxes, random strangers in traffic...the list goes on and on.


It's all stress that is INVENTED by our cultural norms and societal hierarchy.  It DOESN'T exist in a world without titles and promotions...success and failure constructs...honor and tradition.

This time of year can be stressful with taxes looming, planning for vacations or summer, bosses laying out new goals, kids starting new sports or activities and just being more active during these warmer months.  Stress can overcome us this time of year and we often hear this question:

"How do I use exercise as a stress reliever?  Right now exercise is the first thing I drop when I become stressed!"

If you're asking yourself this question right now, your biggest struggle is one of association.  Your mindset is ironically backwards! ;-)  In fact, you should be working out MORE when you're stressed.

The response from your body is to release hormones to cope with the stressors but this can actually lead to a compounding of your mood.  Simply put a stressed psyche is poor at making decisions...which leads to more stress as things don't get done.

So here's the science behind exercise as a stress reliever:

Exercise increases endorphin levels:
Endorphins are neurotransmitters that allow your brain to function efficiently.  Neurotransmitters are what make it possible for your brain's synapses to fire.  If your brain can't fire the synapses it can't help you to stay focused, organized and on-task.  This leads to poor cognition and more stress as you can't seem to accomplish the tasks that are putting you in this mood in first place.

Exercise decreases cortisol levels:
Cortisol is your "stress hormone" and is more commonly associated with the "flight or fight" response mechanism.  As you probably know that response has ONE purpose.  Survival!  So when this response is triggered your body literally shuts down it's other cognitive (and even physical processes) to direct energy toward running or defending yourself.  Remember that your body can't distinguish between what is physical stress and what is mental stress (we create that one) so it treats everything as physical stress.  If you need creativity, planning, or any other number of higher cognitive processes they won't be available when "flight or fight" is triggered.  You need exercise to calm this response so you can use the higher power of your brain again!

Start slow...don't just react.

Remind yourself that without clarity you can't accomplish your others...cope with emotions.  In order to gain that clarity you have to move and use your body.  When you feel stressed instead of obsessing over what needs to get done, go outside.  Go for a walk, go for a run, GO TO YOUR SET.  It will help you to mitigate the "flight or fight" mechanism going haywire inside your body.  You'll find after your physical activity that you can think better.  So when you get back, make your priority list of things to direct your attention to (whether they be tasks needing accomplishment, a concept that needs refinement, a project that needs organization and planning or emotions to address) and place the most difficult thing at the top of the list.  Once that gets done everything else you need to accomplish the rest of the day will seem easier and easier.

What about the zebras???

Zebras don't have this...they have survival.  Live or Die!  There is a lion chasing kills them or they live to see another day. THAT'S IT!  When it's is the stress.

So how do we get out of this constant fear...this weight bearing down on us all day?  Well we don't...but we can train our bodies (literally) to deal better with it.  When you come to your SET you are mimicking the act of running from a predator.  Your body reacts by pumping out those hormones to counteract the stress induced.  You've just re-introduced the peak and valley of REAL stress response.

So, as you come to Motiv8 to run from your lions (whatever they may be) walk away with an efficiently tuned hormone production system ready to battle the stress that threatens you on a daily basis. 

Stay Motiv8ed!

Coach Joe