I have found that as the world gets more complex, people’s appetite for detail has got less. Simple is the new black. When I say that I train/coach/facilitate/mentor/
I am so happy that these four areas give me the acronym “L.I.F.E.” as it simplifies the information I find my clients need at different times in their lives. Balancing, or more like perpetually juggling, these four areas through life’s ups and downs and roundabouts will enable health, fitness and performance without too much change to your weekly schedule. Simple is better.
Training for L.I.F.E.
Lifestyle is your circumstances and how you choose to spend your time on this planet. Near the beginning of my book The Bottom Line of Fat Loss I ask the reader “what do you do with your week?” This gets them to think of the choices they have made and how they wear those choices on their bodies. People who love their lives have a better time.
Intention is your ambition, attitude, values and purpose. Intention is your heartbeat and identifies what charges you. Intention comes from introspection and introspection is best done with a calm mind.
Food, glorious food from a trainer’s point of view is a nightmare, a minefield with mines and potholes that move regularly and according to what is trending in mass media or a celebrity’s Twitter post. I know a lot about nutrition, especially for endurance events but I am no saint when it comes to eating clean 100% of the time. I do know the consequences of my vices, and why I have these vices/cravings- I write about your possible cravings also. I can tell you I have sugary junk food- muffins, sweets or sugary soda when I have not eaten for four or five hours. I get hangry (hungry and angry) when I am hungry which means my blood sugar is low and I need to satisfy it NOW. Sometimes you just get caught short of snacks. Life sometimes just gets in the way. This brings me to what I believe the bottom line of food is- eat what balances your blood sugars and this is best done by eating real food.
Exercise is movement, physical activity whether it be walking around the block or running an ultra marathon, stretching, bodyweight or weights resistance, sports or Tai Chi. I have a huge background in gymnastics- arguably the most varied sport there is when it comes to movement. Gymnastics has given me the neuromuscular background and training ethic to be able to pick up other sports relatively easily (although I am no longer 16 and things are slowing down a bit). I enjoy “new” sports, dragon boating, outrigger canoeing, ultra marathons, squash, triathlons, CrossFit, powerlifting and reaching my own level of satisfaction either from obsessional overtraining from “hacking the sport” or boredom for the lack of variety- the boredom factor I blame on gymnastics because in gymnastics there was always another skill to master. Presently I am back to playing rugby but I am not training for rugby I am training to R.O.A.M. or increase my Range Of Active Movement (more on this later- in fact a book or two later). Over the last five years my focus has been writing The Bottom Line of Fat Loss and my intense focus on corrective exercise has acknowledged the high need for general fitness and that one does not need to have a sports competition as a motivator to exercise. My conclusion is that as long as we are moving, and not hurting ourselves then we are building health and fitness. The distillation is to enjoy regular and varied exercise.
Current and Upcoming Books
These four paragraphs above are condensed versions of many chapters in The Bottom Line of Fat Loss and they could be books in their own right. I have already published How To Calm Your Mind as an in-depth book on methods and techniques to enable introspection. “Sort your Life out” is a small book currently in the works to take stock of how you spend your time by using the L.I.F.E. Cycle wheel to assess and re-calibrate your work-life balance. “Movement as Medicine” explains the western perspective of yoga poses, flexibility, mobility and postural corrective exercise (and forms Part 1 of a series). “The YogaVinQi Code” (Part 2) explains the body, mind and soul connections of Traditional Chinese Medicine and yoga wisdom integrated with mind studies from the west. Both have the aim of balancing the body and mind through exercise and intention.
To simplify the ideas and concepts in those four paragraphs and those books, I present four sentences-
Lifestyle: Love your L.I.F.E.
Intention: Calm your mind
Food: Eat real food
Exercise: Enjoy regular and varied exercise
Symbols hold massive amounts of information on one page and remind people of their intent. Quickly.
The first symbol I present is the L.I.F.E. Cycle. At first glance it is complex and would take about 90 mins for me to go through with a client as an initial consultation. (Most of the areas are explained in The Bottom Line of Fat Loss book.) The idea is to score each subject out of 10 as to how much time you invest in it. This is explained in my upcoming “Sort your Life out” book.
To simplify I present four more symbols, each representing the key four areas aforementioned.
Lifestyle: The wheel encompasses all of the four areas of L.I.F.E.
Intention: The smaller circle inside the big circle is a symbol for focus on one point.
Food: The graph is the blood sugar response to high sugar food (red – a bit like a rise and fall of a rollercoaster, and to a balanced meal of fats, proteins and carbohydrates that contains sustained energy over a four hour period.
Exercise: The yellow circle represents self-expression, the leaping man represents joy of movement, the red of the man represents energy and fitness and the violet represents play or performance.
I present the four solutions as a broad outline solution for fat loss, but in reality it is way more than that. It is a broad outline for building health, training fitness and obtaining high performance in life or work, rest and play.
This is about as simple as I can get it and is how I train my clients- as driven by their lifestyle needs and wants. Of course it is available to all through my current and upcoming books.