Will It Ever Be Enough?

The other night Megan and I were sitting down for dinner and I was rambling on about some idea I had, I can’t even remember that idea.

She stopped me mid-sentence and said…

“When will it ever be enough?”

Wow.

That stopped me in my tracks.

I needed to hear that.

With a growth mindset, I always am chasing the next thing.

How can we make things better?

How can I do more in a day?

What more can we do?

As soon as one thing gets accomplished, I’m immediately onto the next thing and conquering that.

A strength for sure, but also a huge area of opportunity.

I’m also ashamed to admit that was not the first time Megan and I had that conversation.

As much as a lot of our goals align (family, travel, etc), she is very comfortable just doing her thing, loves her job, has never really expressed any concrete goals, and just wants to be a good mom.

I admire that, because I can never ask her the question she asks me “will it ever be enough?”

On the other hand, I’m 110% confident I was put on this earth to change the world.

Change how things are done.

Change what can be done.

Change lives…

However, that creates a constant tug-o-war of when is it good enough?

How big is big enough?

How small is small enough?

So…

Before I keep going down a rabbit hole let’s wrap this around fitness.

What is enough?

How do we balance the goals of wanting to lose weight, wanting to get stronger, and always wanting more out of our fitness with the question of will it ever be enough?

We know that fitness is ultimately something we want to enjoy so much that we never stop.

I’ve written at length about it, and see it everyday…

Hitting a weight loss goals does not equal happiness.

It’s great that we hit that goal, but quite often the first question out of that persons head is…

“What’s next?”

“Ok, now 10 more pounds.”

When will it ever be enough?

I’m not sure.

I hope to keeping getting better until the day I die.

I hope to keep changing lives until the day I die and leave an impact beyond that.

But will it ever be enough?

I’m not sure I have an answer today.

I still do think the ultimate destination is not in fact a destination.

Happiness.

Be happy with where you’re at.

Be proud of how far you’ve come.

Be happy with what you have.

It could always be worse.

However, at least for me, part of constant happiness is to never stop, never stop having goals to chase, never stop having new ideas, and never stop changing the world.

But will it ever be enough?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Stumbling into gratitude

I stood at the bottom of the mountain, penned in a box with 150 other participants, thinking of my typical Saturday routine. Sleep in a little, maybe meditate, then sit down with a fresh cup of coffee to get some writing done while Rooney sleeps on my feet. 

Instead of sipping hot coffee, I was looking at the side of the mountain that I was about to have to run up as part of the 2018 Tough Mudder Half. A mountain that in winter, is reserved for skiing.

Down.

Not running up.

So that’s a hill. And those specs are people…

Some folks were jumping up and down to warm up, others were cracking their necks side to side, while a select few others were screaming.

Like just randomly screaming.

Loudly. 

I stood, cemented in place, unable to shut off the steady stream of sarcasm rolling through my mind.

I looked at my teammate Lauren. 

“I’m not doing this next year,” I said.

“Yes I know. You said that last year, so I’ll remind you that you said that again when we’re standing in line for next year’s race.” 

We both laughed. 

I stopped laughing abruptly. 

“Yeah, that’s totally going to happen again isn’t it?” I asked.

“Yup,” she said. “Totally.”

*****

Next thing I know, we’re schlepping our way up the side of the mountain and I’m dishing out a healthy stream of bad one-liners. 

“Why would I want to be at home drinking coffee and watching game day?” I asked to no one in particular. A guy who was doing his 100th race swept past. 

“Because this is so much more fun!” 

“Yes,” I said. “Yes fun. That’s the word I was searching for right there. Thank you.”

I’m not always proud of my sarcasm, because I know it bumps up pretty hard against negativity. I toe that line of negativity and often cross it, and I crossed it a lot more on Saturday than I wish I had.

Humor is how I cope. And Saturday’s course provided a lot of things to cope with. This was by far the most difficult course I’d ever attempted.

Towards the end of the run, once we had sponges for shoes and mud in places you never thought mud could go, we came around a corner to another mountain. But this one was too steep for walking. We had to scale the mountain on all fours. 

I’d like you to take a moment to recall the famous Chevy Chases tirade about a happy family from the movie Christmas vacation. 

Then add another minute of expletives.

That’s roughly what came out of my mouth at the bottom of that mountain - sans Santa hat.

But there was no way around this obstacle. So all of us, many of whom shared my thoughts, threw ourselves into the mountain and just started climbing. 

Half-way up the mountain, I lost my footing. Up to that point I’d been methodically choosing my footholds and hand holds, moving quickly, not giving myself enough time to think.

But suddenly, I had nowhere to put my foot or my hands. I looked down. 

If you do this course next year, let me give you some casual advice when you arrive at this stage of the race. 

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS SACRED DO NOT LOOK DOWN. 

So then I looked up. And I’d like to take a moment here to add a second piece of advice. 

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS SACRED DO NOT LOOK UP. 

Not gonna lie - I kind of panicked a little. 

But here is what’s cool about these kind of races. I said I was stuck, and the woman behind me put her hand up for me to step on it. So I did. And I was able to get my footing again. After a few minutes, I could see flags in the distance and hear my teammates cheering me on at the top. 

(When people cheer for me in sports, they can’t help but call me Kimmie, because they need that extra syllable. And for some reason, in that context, I find the name Kimmie oddly comforting).

Once I hit level ground and could stand up, I leaned up against a tree to catch my breath. I looked out at the view. I looked down at the others still climbing. 

And in that moment, I stumbled straight into gratitude. 

Gratitude that I have a body that allows me to scale a mountain. Gratitude that I didn’t have to go it alone. Gratitude for my health. Gratitude for a growing sense of camaraderie I had the good fortune of getting to know a little better on Saturday.

At the end of the night, a shower never felt so good. Sweatpants never felt so warm. And my bed never felt so soft. And I was grateful for all of those comforts.

But I’m not doing this next year…

A Single Step...

We stood in a crowd of 200 others jumping up and down…

The music was pumping nice and loud…

The countdown began…

10, 9, 8, 7….

3, 2, 1, Go!

And just like that we were off.

The 2018 Tough Mudder Northeast was underway.

5 miles, 13+ obstacles, and a free beer at the end.

But then reality set in.

The course started with climbing the side of the mountain, straight up.

As you walked up, you had to mentally talk to yourself to keep going, you passed people that had to stop on the side and catch their breath.

Whether it was the mountain climbing, or the obstacles that seemed impossible, there was always one thing I kept in mind.

A single step.

Just one more step.

Just one more…

There seems to be this massive hesitation in society when starting something new, especially when it comes to fitness. 

Now, "new" could be starting from scratch, someone that has never done anything in their life, and new could also mean a new goal or a new event. 

We quite often get the question of "how do I start?"

Although it's thought to be more complicated than this, I challenge you to realize, it's just a matter of doing something, anything. 

You don't just all of the sudden "find" motivation. 

That's why people who never start or attempt any action with fitness find it hard to have any kind of success. 

Motivation is built on action. 

It's a snowball effect. 

You need to do something to get the snowball moving. 

Once it's moving, it will build on itself and continue to roll down the hill faster and faster. 

That's why if you're feeling extra motivated it's usually the result of a chain of actions built on each other that has created it. 

Just like after climbing the mountain, I felt motivated to climb over the wall, then once I climbed over the wall I felt motivated to keep going.

Action breeds motivation.

So, how do you start?

Whether it's starting a brand new fitness routine, joining a gym for the first time, or conquering a new goal or event like a Tough Mudder.

Pick the easiest action you can do. 

Think of it as a project. 

Every project has a series of "to dos."

What is the first to do?

For example, it could be inquiring on the website. 

It could be going out and buying some new shoes. 

Maybe it's registering for the event.

Quite often we paralyze ourselves as we look at the big project ahead, or a new change, or new routine.

That analysis paralysis freezes us up mentally and physically and next thing you know six months go by and you're still in the same place you were. 

There's no magic answer, unfortunately, I think it's just a good reminder of the famous quote...

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

And it's just that...a step. 

Don't get overwhelmed by the journey, just take the first step. 

That will lead to the second step, the third step, and then, and only then, will the momentum and motivation start to build.

Oh, and who’s joining me for the 2019 Tough Mudder Northeast?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

One Pot Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 ounces linguine pasta

  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth*

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

  • 1/2 cup white wine (recommend Chardonnay or another wine that’s on the dry side)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped small (about 1 cup)

  • 3-4 large cloves garlic, peeled & minced (about 2 tablespoons)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more or less to taste)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste

  • 1 (4-ounce) log fresh goat cheese (chevre)

  • 1 small bunch parsley, chopped

Screen Shot 2018-09-21 at 3.47.01 PM.png

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add all ingredients except the goat cheese and parsley (and any additional salt and pepper) to a large, heavy pot – I use a 7-quart dutch oven.

  2. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. As soon as it comes to the rolling boil, set the timer for 9 minutes. Stir and toss with tongs as it cooks, stirring frequently for the first few minutes and then constantly as it thickens and begins to stick to the bottom of the pot. When the 9 minutes is up, the pasta should be tender and the sauce will have thickened slightly. If the pasta is not yet cooked, continue for one more minute. Remove from heat.

  3. Crumble goat cheese into the pasta. Stir gently until melted and combined. Let sit for 5 minutes (at this point, the pasta will seem somewhat soupy, but it will thicken as it sits).

  4. Stir and taste. Add additional salt and pepper if desired.

  5. Divide between bowls and sprinkle parsley over the tops.

Source: https://www.kitchentreaty.com/one-pot-creamy-pumpkin-pasta/

It's All Connected...

I remember cleaning out my dorm in college one year and it came time to grabbing the TV...

All the wires behind it were so tangled I just bear hugged the whole damn thing and threw it in a box. (that very quickly stressed me out, if you know me, and as soon as I got home I took it out of the box and separated all the wires).

But you know what I'm talking about, right?

Look behind your kid's TV and you see all the wires to the game consoles, different routers, etc. 

What happens when you go to try to undo them?

You start working on one, you think you have it, and then another knot happens on the other side of the bunch. 

So frustrating! 

Christmas lights are the same way, right?

Why? 

Because it's all connected. 

This is the perfect analogy for a 1% better lifestyle that we promote. 

We’re in week one of a 6 week Lifestyle Challenge at the gym where we’re having clients focus on things sleep, stress, and gratitude.

This week specifically is no screen time after 9pm.

It sounds easy…but it’s harder than you think.

However, the feedback of how much better people are sleeping and feeling refreshed in the morning is overwhelming.

It's all connected. 

Think about it...

You have this great idea that you're going to go to the gym tomorrow. 

So you say, ok, just one more dessert. 

You devour a dessert the night before. 

The sugar keeps you up late (along with screaming kids) and you only get 4 hours of sleep. 

You sleep in because you're tired so you grab "something quick" for breakfast…

…it just so happens to be a donut. 

You're tired all day, so you're not productive at work. 

That stresses you out...

You were so tired you forgot to pack lunch so you do your best to pick up something healthy. 

As the day winds down you're so drained that you just tell yourself that you'll go to the gym tomorrow. 

Guess what?

This happens to all of us!

But there's do denying that it's all connected. 

Sleep

Stress.

Nutrition. 

It has to work together. 

That's why we promote 1% better. 

The above story all started because we tried to go "all-in" in one area. 

How about just chipping away, looking to get a little better every day. 

Maybe it's 20 more hours of sleep a month. 

Maybe it's 20 more grams of protein a day. 

Or maybe it's 20 minutes of quiet time to focus on YOU :)

Whatever it is, 1% better, every day, will always win out because you're getting a little bit better in all the aspects of improving your lifestyle, not just going gung-ho in one area, and thinking the other areas don't matter. 

So, what are you doing today to work on those wires, that 1% better?

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

What Will You Be Able To Do?

Why do you want to lose those 20lbs?

No seriously.

Why?

Do you actually even know why or do you just want to look and feel better?

There's nothing wrong with that, but the clearer you get with your goals the higher success you will have with them. 

For most of us, it's not the 20lbs (just using that number for the sake of example), it's what the 20lbs allows us to do. 

I want to weigh 152lbs. 

Why?

It's a number. 

You don't want to weigh 152lbs. 

You want to fit into your jeans, feel confident around your husband, be able to climb the stairs without getting out of breath, be around and healthy with your grandkids, or look good in that bathing suit for your trip. 

Does it really matter if you are 152lbs or 162lbs if you can achieve all of that?

You'll hear us preach until the cows come home that the scale is just a measurement of gravity. 

It never tells us the full picture. 

Sure, most of us have some excess weight that we need to shed off, but if you want to have long-term success, you can't focus on the number on the scale but instead focus on what you want behind that number, what you'll be able to do. 

Now, I'm not saying I don't want you to lose the weight. 

Of course I do. 

If you're carrying too much weight we need to work on getting it off. 

But don't dial it down to a specific number on the scale. 

Dial it down to a feeling, a look, or an ability to do things you can't do right now. 

That's ultimately may come down to hitting a certain number on the scale, but it most likely is not the number you think it is. 

I'm going to challenge you again...

Why do you want to lose those 20lbs?

It's not hitting a number on the scale, it's deeper than that. 

Because what happens when you see the number you want?

You smile, pat yourself on the back, and go back to your day. 

What we really want is to be able to do certain things (fit in jeans, have confidence around spouse, gain energy, sleep better, keep up with kids, go on that trip/hike, be injury free, feel comfortable in a bathing suit, etc) that we currently cannot do. 

Focus on what you want to be able to do and use that as your measurement of success, not the number on the scale. 

Because let's face it...if you can do all of the things you want to do, feel the way you want to feel, and have the look you want, does it really matter if you weigh 185lbs or 179lbs?

My final two thoughts...

1. We challenge you not to focus on the scale, not because we don't want to see change, but we know in order to have long-term success you have to have other ways to measure success because you'll go crazy if that's all you focus on :)

2. The number one thing we need to remember is our actions (changes) need to match our desires. If you're not getting results, we can beat around the bush 1000 ways and get into the weeds, but it ultimately comes back to this. The more change you want to see, the more changes you're going to have to make. And from our experience (ourselves included), our desired result is not backed up by the amount of change that is necessary. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

What counts as exercise?

Last week, Sheila was weeding in her garden when I left for the gym.

“I’m off to do the work that doesn’t benefit anyone but me,” I shouted as I got in the car.

We laughed but….it’s kind of true.

Don’t get me wrong - from a mental health standpoint, everyone is much happier when I get in my workout. Exercise puts me in a better mood, which is good for me and anyone around me. 

Sheila on the other hand, isn’t really much for the gym. 

As in, she kind of hates the gym. 

On the other hand, her garden has produced 12 feet high sunflowers (not exaggerating) and at least three pumpkins that are twice the size of my head. Along with various other flowers, more zucchini than we know what to do with, and enough cherry tomatoes to feed a small army. 

She’s been busting her tail building her garden since March. And while she doesn’t necessarily “work out,” I’d argue that she gets in as much exercise as I do with my workouts in a given week.

People often struggle to build an exercise routine that sticks for a litany of reasons. Sometimes, it’s because they think that they have to peel themselves off of the floor after a workout in order for it to count. 

Sure you can do that for a few weeks, but I’ll be the first to tell you that even as someone who enjoys exercise, I don’t look forward to doing that kind of routine very often. 

But what if you start to think of exercise and movement a little differently?

The past few weeks, I’ve been listening to the book “No Sweat” by Michelle Segar and she writes at great length about the way we perceive exercise. 

Her main point of the book? 

That humans are hard-wired to choose immediate gratification over delayed benefits. Which means we’re only going to exercise if it makes us happy right now. 

So for many people that means choosing movement activities that give us some benefit right now. For Sheila, working in her garden gives her immediate benefits. And while she’s gardening, she’s doing plenty of squats, deadlifts, and farmer’s carries. She is doing plenty of activity that carries over to have physical benefits.

For me, I get the instant reward of an endorphin release when I do a workout. The immediate benefit for me? I feel better. 

If you're trying to figure out what type of exercise program might work best for you, start with the kind of movement you enjoy. Walking your dog. Working in your garden. Playing on the floor with your grandkids. 

Start with movement you enjoy and see where it takes you.  

Be kind to yourself.


12 Ways To Improve Your Nutrition

If you've been following our stuff by now you know we're big fans of habit-based nutrition coaching. 

What does that mean?

Instead of cramming a meal plan down your throat, and telling you to eat certain things at certain times, we're going to try to change your behaviors. 

You see, following a "diet" is not sustainable. 

It may work for a week or two, but can you really follow it as a lifestyle?

Nutrition is more of a behavioral psychology. 

Today, most people know what healthy is, and maybe you need some ideas and recipes here and there, but for the most part, we know what "healthy" means. 

So instead, we work on coaching you through habits. 

We know what healthy is, but why do we sometimes go after the unhealthy stuff?

Habits. 

You and I know both know that the vegetables are healthier than the ice cream, but we'll still both go for the ice cream. 

It's not about more education, it's about the behavior, the choices, the habits. 

We approach habits in a stacking format. 

Kind of like building a wall...one brick at a time. 

Pick one nutrition habit, focus on that 100%, and crush it. 

Then, generally after 2-4 weeks, we "stack" another habit on it. 

That way, we change the behavior over time, and you can sustain things as a lifestyle. 

That being said there are 12 habits you can work through...

  1. Planning: Plan your meals for the week

  2. Shopping: Go shopping for your food

  3. Cooking: Cook your meals

  4. Journaling: Keep a daily journal of food and drink intake

  5. Gratitude: Keep a gratitude journal

  6. Slow Eating: Eat slowly

  7. 80% Full: Stop eating when you’re 80% full

  8. Portion Control: Practice proper portions

  9. Protein: Make sure you’re getting enough protein

  10. Calories: Review food journal to look at total calories

  11. Quality Carbs: Check the quality of your carbs

  12. Healthy Fats: Make sure you’re getting most of your fats from appropriate sources

They seem easy, but see if you can dial in 100% for 2-4 weeks on one, and then stack the next one on. 

Give it a go and let me know how it goes. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling.

Lights, Cameras, Action

This morning I’m writing the e-mail from a different spot…the gym.

As most of you know, I typically work from home in the mornings and then make my way to the gym after work.

After a crazy summer, it was time to check in on the morning folks so I’m mixing up my routine a bit.

All good…

I always notice my team is a little peppier…

But it reminded me of a good tip I use for our team that you could use for your own accountability.

How would you act if you were being filmed 24/7?

The more you think about it, it's actually a great accountability mindset. 

There is no denying it, when the lights are on us, when we're on stage, and when the camera is rolling we probably act a little different, just like the folks on stage or television do.

So, why not use that to your advantage?

Imagine that you're being filmed...

Would you sleep in and hit the snooze button five times?

Would you eat a donut for breakfast after voicing a goal of losing fat?

Would you not go to the gym, but instead sit on the couch and watch TV?

Would you skip reps or not work as hard when you were at the gym?

One of my favorite lines is...

"The hardest thing to do is to work hard when no one is watching."

Well, what if everyone is watching?

I always remind my team that the gym floor is our stage, and we're always "on."

People are watching you, listening to you, reading your body language, and noticing things out of the corner of their eyes. 

We only have good days and great days, there are no bad days because this is our show. 

What about your life?

For some, this mindset tactic may not work, but for others, it could be a game changer. 

If you're on stage, spotlight on and camera rolling, you will make better decisions. 

It's easy to sit and eat a bag of chips on the couch when no one is around, but what if were you on camera?

Would you be meal prepping or working out instead?

If you want to have success you have to work hard when no one is watching, and that's not easy. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling


Crockpot Skinny Lemon Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 4 chicken breasts, cubed

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • 3 lemons, juiced and zested

  • 1 tablespoon lite soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 4 tablespoons honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

  • 1/4 cup green onions, diced

Instructions

  1. Melt coconut oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add chicken and brown quickly--you don't need to cook each piece through, just add a little color to the outside.

  2. Place in a crockpot. Sprinkle with chopped garlic, salt, and drizzle 1 1/4 cups of vegetable broth over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until very tender.

  3. 30-40 minutes before serving, whisk together remaining vegetable broth, lemon juice and zest, soy sauce, cornstarch, and honey. Pour this mixture into the crockpot, stir to coat. Turn crockpot to high and cook for 30 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

  4. Sprinkle with poppy seeds, sesame seeds and green onions. Serve and enjoy!

Source: https://skinnyms.com/crockpot-skinny-lemon-chicken/

What's Your Input?

When I put my foot to a gas pedal the more input (pressure) I give, the more output (speed) the car will produce. 

What happens if you press the pedal more?

The car goes faster.

Input = Output. 

Simply put, what you put into something you'll get an equal return out of it. 

In any facet of life, but especially fitness, if you're not happy with your output (results), then you need to change your input. 

I've always said, I think the reason why I enjoy all of this "stuff" is because it's all connected. 

Almost any principle you read from me always has a fitness or nutrition tie to it, but it can always be applied to any other facet of life whether that's family, friends, financial, career, etc. 

I like to use examples outside of the fitness world that way you can use that same principle to gain a better understanding. 

Input = Output. 

If I'm not happy with my relationship I potentially need to put more into it. 

Am I spending enough quality time with them?

Am I being empathetic, compassionate, and loving?

In financials...

If I want my savings to grow I need to have a certain input, the more I input, the more I'll output. 

Now, let us dial it into fitness and nutrition. 

Nutrition is the simpler one to tie to this lesson. 

Removing all emotions (which plays a huge factor) fat loss is a simple math equation. 

If I consume less then I burn I will lose weight. 

Whether it's the right weight (muscle, water, fat, etc) is another topic for another day, but the math is the math. 

If you're not happy with your output (results) just change your input. 

If you're not losing fat, decrease your input, and keep decreasing it until you like the output it's producing. 

In fitness...

The same principle applies. 

Input = Output. 

Inputs can be things like...

The type of workouts...

The frequency of workouts...

The intensity of workouts...

If you're not happy with the output, change the input. 

Maybe you need to bump up your frequency. 

If you change that input and it doesn't change the output maybe you need to look at the intensity of each workout. 

If I ramp up the intensity, the changes the input, and thus will change the output. 

Each day is a collection of choices. 

Those choices are your inputs. 

If you're not happy with the results, the output, you need to change an input. 

Again, for some this is a fitness lesson, for others, it's a life lesson. 

I'll end with one my favorite quotes from Zig Ziglar...

"Your input determines your outlook. Your outlook determines your output. And our output determines your future."

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Which One Are You Doing?

Are you filling buckets or building pipelines?

That’s the question I want you to ponder for the next minute…

If the goal is to get water somewhere and keep it there, just like the goal is to get results and keep the results coming….

which way is better?

Sure, in the short term it seems quicker to just fill buckets of water and run them to the spot where you want to fill the water.

But every time you have to empty the bucket, fill it again, run back, and dump it out again, probably losing water out of the bucket as you run.

However, what if you built a pipeline of water to the spot that you wanted to the water to go?

In the beginning it may take you longer, and it may seem like you’re way behind because you’re building the pipeline, but in the end, you’ll have a continuous flow of water to the area, always beating out the method of filling buckets.

Why?

It’s a proven system, a sustainable system, that with a lot of work up front, yields long-term results that will always be there, and at any point you can turn the pipeline on.

So, what’s your fitness and nutrition pipeline?

Well, lets start with what isn’t.

Filling the bucket is following the shiny objects, the quick fixes.

The over-restrictive diets, the training methods that promise a six pack in six weeeks, you know what I’m talking about.

Sure, you may get results, but you’re going to bounce back and yo yo again, having to put a lot of work in, “running” back and fourth.

Or….

You can build a pipeline, a system, a system of sustainable habits.

Mastering good meal shopping and preparing habits…

Mastering portion control and calorie consumption…

Mastering protein, vegetable, and water intake….

Finding a training plan that is appropriate for YOU, not the masses, and something you can repeatedly stick to, a frequency you can stick to, an appropriate intensity, etc.

A system that works for you, habits that will carryover and last a lifetime.

It’s a lot of work in the beginning trying to learn these habits and change behaviors, but it’s building the foundation for life long habits.

Following a meal plan for a month will yield results…

But what happens when you can’t follow the plan?

Instead, master good portion control, change your behaviors on shopping and meal preparing, and understand macronutrients like protein, carbs, and fats…

That will yield long-term habits and life-long results.

Start building your pipeline.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Listen, I have pants on okay?

Sometimes when people ask me hard questions,  I give a pat answer.

Mel: Have you seen the stapler?

Me: I have pants on. What more do you want from me?

I put these on today. 

Usually I’m making a joke. 

Sometimes though, I’m not joking at all. Sometimes I’m using humor to cover the truth that, on this particular day, it took everything I had to get out of bed, brush my teeth, put clothes on and drove to work. 

Hell, I even plucked my chin hair. 

There are days when those basic tasks feel far from basic. 

There are days when everything feels just a bit harder. I don’t know how else to explain it. The difference between snowshoeing on unbroken snow and on a well-worn path, maybe. In both cases, you’re following the same path - but in unbroken snow, those steps take a lot more out of you. You’ve got to work a lot harder to get where you want to go. 

On those days, the self-judgement and guilt that follow is relentless. At least for me. 

Many days, I battle a constant feeling of “why does it feel so hard to write one *&^&^^% email?” 

Why does everything feel so hard? 

Why can I not just buckle down and get things done? 

I just, as of last week, completed a project that I began in January. My goal for completion was March, then April then….well, August. The disappointment I feel in myself for taking so long to finish far outweighs the accomplishment of completing something big.  

Sure I finished, but it took me forever. 

I don’t always know how much of those delays are laziness and how much are my weekly, sometimes daily struggle with this thing I’ve spent the past decade plus trying to understand. That thing is dysthymia, also known as persistent depressive disorder. I write about it often on this blog because….well….I believe we need to talk about it more. 

Last week, I wrote a post about fears, and I mentioned that my greatest fear is that I’ll never give to the world all it is that I feel I have in me to give. That I’ll spend so much time spinning my wheels worrying about what I should do, that I’ll never get around to the doing part.  

A friend of mine took a screen shot of that last line and told me to post that sh** somewhere I could see it everyday. 

Some days life is as simple as making a list and checking off the boxes of tasks that you want to get done. 

But some days, life isn’t that simple. 

I’ve said before that sometimes I don’t know where the depression ends and I begin. And that’s the daily frustration. 

Sometimes I lose interest in things like music, books, my guitar, exercise. Many days I lack productivity and on many more days, I’m overwhelmed with an overall feeling of inadequacy. I spend so much time thinking and feeling that I should be more but paralyzed to move. Dysthymia is sometimes referred to as mild depression, because you still function - until you hit a major depressive episode, as I’ve done in the past. 

The trap is that you feel like you should just snap out of it. Recently, I read in a post on dysthymia which mentioned the prevailing myth that a person can just look on the bright side. 

Stay positive! 

Stop being such a Debbie Downer!

If you’d just look for the good things, you wouldn’t feel this way!

Sometimes people try to challenge me with relentless positivity - and while that’s not bad - sometimes the idea that I just need to try harder to be positive only feeds into those feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem that hit me at times. 

I was relieved to see that concept written as myth, because so often, I feel like a failure for not snapping out of my funks. For not being able to counter a tough situation with straight out gratitude and positive thinking. Mind over matter they say.

And I say, what is wrong with my mind, that I can’t make anything matter?  

It was myths like those above that prevented me from seeking treatment for most of my life. It’s myths like those above that often still give me the greatest heartache at the end of a long day. I don’t always know and understand what I can and cannot control. I don’t always know how much blame is mine. And that is so, so, so, very hard. 

I treat my depression the best I can. I have an amazing therapist, an amazing spouse, I take my medication and I work hard to make the lifestyle changes I know can help. I exercise often, try to meditate, work to let people in to my life and my struggles and try to be open and honest about the struggle. 

That last one is harder than it sounds. 

Sometimes people think that depression is only obvious sadness; that it’s crying in the middle of your living room floor or bursting into tears when your boss looks at you sideways.

Those are often side affects of major depressive disorder, but it’s the “mild depression” and I beg, beg, beg to differ with the idea that any depression is mild, that clips me at the knees. 

I wrote this post today because I got up and put pants on - but for some reason - perhaps the reason that I can seldom see but always feel - putting pants on felt like an accomplishment. 

So today, and many days, both behind me and probably ahead of me, the best I could do in a day is put pants on. 

But I’m going to do my best to celebrate those pants. And maybe even, if I can find it in myself, bedazzle the sh** out of those pants.

7 Ways To See Results

The scale sucks. 

You know and I know it. 

We know it's never an accurate picture of what's actually going on inside, and it can be skewed by so many factors. 

Here are seven other ways to see if you're actually making progress.

1. Progress Pictures. 

This may be my personal favorite. 

How often do you look at an old picture of yourself and say "holy crap!"

Some of our progress pictures from our clients are CRAZY, and the scale never moved more than a few pounds. 

If you’re a member at Spurling you can use your app, My Coach, to take and store your progress photos right on the app.

If not, just take them on your phone and batch them together.

We prefer a front facing shot and a side facing shot.

2. Jeans Test

Pull out a pair of jeans that are very tight or don't currently fit. 

At the beginning of every week or month try to put them on. 

We love this, especially for those looking for a "thinner waist."

We even once had a client once their jeans on the refrigerator as a constant top of mind reminder.  

3. Stronger

I cannot think of any reason why you would not want to get stronger. 

If you're stronger you're going to have a faster metabolism...

If you're stronger you're going to feel better and look better...

If you're stronger you won't have to ask the husband or wife for help to get the ladder down...

If you're stronger you'll be able to get up and down off the ground easily.

I recommend picking 1-3 exercises (squats, push-ups, etc) and track the progress of those over time. 

The coaches at Spurling do this for all of our clients, and they call also see the numbers on their My Coach app. 

If you’re not a client, just use a small notebook to track your strength numbers.

It's really cool to see that you may have started being able to squat 10lbs, and now you can squat 100lbs! 

4. Sleep

We've had clients go from not being able to sleep through the night, only getting 2-3 hours, to sleeping like a baby, 7-8 hours per night. 

Results come in many forms, and although for a lot of us we're going to default to looking at the scale, something like tracking your sleep can be a great indicator of progress. 

5. Energy

This one can be a hard one to track, I recommend a 1-10 scale that you journal at the midpoint of each day. 

One of the biggest benefits of a solid exercise routine is increased energy throughout the day, and this can be a huge win for clients, impacting so many aspects of their life including family time and work life. 

6. InBody

Okay, I guess this could technically be a scale, but it may be my favorite addition to Spurling in 2018. 

InBody is a medical-grade scale that not only tells you your weight, body fat percentage, and BMI, but it gives you a digital print out of your body telling us what your body is made up of, what areas of the body are stronger, how much water you're storing, and if the scale did change, was it in fact fat loss, or did we lose water or muscle. 

This all comes in a printout the client can take home with them or bring in to their doctor.

Again, we like this because it gives us a better picture (literally) as to what is actually going on. 

Even if the scale doesn't move we can see if you're retaining water or if you gained muscle. 

Simply, it just shows a lot more into what is actually changing. 

7. #NonScaleVictories

This final one is one that we’ve really latched onto recently.

A non scale victory is the name for any “win” you can celebrate that isn’t the scale.

Can you now go kayaking with your family because of your improved fitness and flexibility?

We’re you able to jump on the 24” box?

Can you carry all the grocery bags in without asking for help?

Did you accomplish a major mountain climb?

My favorite one I’ve seen so far…

“I’m finally happy with the reflection I see in the mirror.”

Anything.

It’s any win that takes your mind away from the scale.

#NonScaleVictories

I think seeing results is one the most important keys to success in fitness. 

If you're not seeing results, you're not going to stick with it. 

That being said, I think it comes down to two things...

One, knowing what it actually takes to see the results you're looking for, and being willing to change and stay consistent with it. 

Most people want the result, but then never actually end of up changing that much. 

Two, being able to see results in many different ways, in addition to the scale. 

Again, it's not that we don't want to scale to move, it's just we don't want it to be the primary measure of success. 

How do you measure results?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Amazing Results In The Next 100 Days?

Are you ready to buckle down and join me to get some really great results in the next 100 days?

Today I start my final 100 day sprint of 2018, and I'm going to make a good case for why you should join me. 

The next 100 days takes you right up to the week before Christmas, the week where a lot of us need a break, enjoy the holidays, have family in town and use it to recharge before the New Year. 

What's a 100 day sprint?

In a 100 day sprint, we really dial things in for 100 days, and then take it easy for a few to recharge. 

No, easy doesn't mean we're not working, it just means everything is on cruise control and we're just getting 1% better. 

On the 100 day sprint, we're working extra hard, have everything super dialed in, and we're after very specific goals. 

We apply this to our business, but I also think you could apply it to your fitness routine.

You'll be amazed at how much you'll achieve during the next 100 days if you write it down and take relentless action. 

Plus, you get to look forward to a "jog" through the holidays and the end of the year, seeing the "end" allows you to sprint harder. 

You see, none of us can "sprint" all of the time. 

You can't say no to everything, be super consistent all of the time, and crushing goals left and right?

Why?

Life. 

Life gets in the way, and you'll most likely burn out. 

During the other breaks, your workouts aren't nonexistent and you're not eating like crap, you're just more in a "maintenance" or "cruise-control" mentality....like how you may have been this summer :)

You say yes to dessert a few times, or yes to drinks with friends more. 

And that's ok. 

You can't always have the pedal to the floor. 

But you can for 100 days, right?

So my action item for you...

Take a few minutes today and make a list of everything you're going to get done in the next 100 days. 

Be specific. 

Don't just say lose weight. 

How many pounds?

How much body fat?

What size pants will you be wearing for the holiday party?

How many workouts are you going to get in the next 100 days?

Again, be specific. 

Map this all out on a doc called "100 Day Sprint."

Make it specific so you know what success looks like at the end. 

You can also do this for things like financials(how much will I save in the next 100 days?), books read, days in your gratitude journal, a number of nights with more than 7 hours of sleep, etc. 

Get it all down. 

Then, take relentless action. 

It's about waking up every day and making sure you're sprinting. 

You're going as hard as you can to move the needle on whatever is in your 100 day sprint.

The results of 100 days of dialed in, focused action, is simply amazing. 

Got it?

I'll be doing it too, so I hope you can join me. 

Who's ready to sprint?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: If part of your sprint is getting started in a fitness routine, I invite you to try us out for 30 days, risk-free. Get 30 days of coaching, accountability, and support every step of the way with guaranteed success this fall.  Enroll today and receive a special bonus gift to get you kickstarted --->>> http://www.bitly.com/30spurling

 

Final Day...

This is final day I'll let you know about the big news...

Did you hear?

We're giving four lucky locals free spots in our upcoming 6 Week Transformation Challenge. 

Yep...you read that right. 

Four lucky locals are going to get complete fitness, nutrition, and mindset transformations...on us! 

We've changed the lives of hundreds of busy men and women just like you and here is your chance. 

This is the last day we'll remind you to apply for one of four free spots...

Apply now --->>> bit.ly/spurlingsweepstakes

In the complete fitness, nutrition, and mindset transformation you'll receive...

  • Six weeks of fitness coaching with one of our expert coaches by your side every workout, every step of the way.
  • Six weeks of the best daily nutritional coaching so you know exactly how and what to eat.
  • Six weeks of accountability and support from the best fitness family around so you never feel alone, never get bored or never lose motivation.

Apply now as we start with orientation later next week, and the program starts on 9/17. 

Apply now --->>> bit.ly/spurlingsweepstakes

The time is now. 

Later becomes never, so you must take action today. 

Apply now --->>> bit.ly/spurlingsweepstakes

You deserve it.

I can't wait to see you on the inside. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: You deserve to carve out some time for you, to improve yourself, and to look and feel your best. Apply now--->>> bit.ly/spurlingsweepstakes

PPS: Already a member of the Spurling Family? Two things:

1. Forward this to someone you think would be a great addition to the Tribe, and if they sign-up you receive rewards points towards a free month of membership. Just remind them they must apply today. 

2. We'll be running an internal 6-week challenge for all current members to give you a jump-start this fall, restart that engine, and get you even more results...oh, and it's free :) Stay tuned for details in our Private Facebook Group, Spurling 165

Sheet Pan Balsamic-Herb Chicken & Vegetables

INGREDIENTS:

Chicken:

  • 16 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Balsamic Veggies:

  • olive oil spray
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium (7-ounce) zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces, layers separated
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Screen Shot 2018-09-06 at 6.09.45 PM.png

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment, if desired.
  2. Season chicken with 1 tablespoon balsamic, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried parsley and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
  3. Marinate while you prep the vegetables, the longer the better.
  4. In a large bowl toss the vegetables with 2 tablespoon balsamic, 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, 2 teaspoon basil and 1 teaspoon parsley.
  5. Spread out onto the sheet pan.Nestle the chicken in with the vegetables and roast until tender in the lower rack of the oven, about 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Serve right away.

Freezer Friendly

  1. Let the cooked dish cool completely.
  2. Portion it into freezer containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
  3. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Reheat in a 325°F oven until warmed through 20 minutes.


Read more at https://www.skinnytaste.com/sheet-pan-balsamic-herb-chicken-and-vegetables

Are You Ready To Look Better and Feel Better?

The kids are back in school...

You enjoyed your summer with barbecues and beer...

And now you're feeling it. 

The summer slump. 

You may have gained a few pounds, fallen off track, and lost the motivation. 

Am I right?

I'm right there with you. 

However, now is the perfect time for a jump-start. 

The kids are back in school, routines are more normal, and it's finally time to do something for you. 

You may have tried a fitness routine on your own, but got bored, or maybe even you were afraid of what to do because you didn't want to get hurt. 

Luckily for you, we get it. 

We've changed the lives of hundreds of busy men and women just like you and here is your chance. 

There are just three days left to apply for one of four free spots in our upcoming Six Week Transformation Challenge. 

Apply now --->>> bit.ly/spurlingsweepstakes

In the complete fitness, nutrition, and mindset transformation you'll receive...

  • Six weeks of fitness coaching with one of our expert coaches by your side every workout, every step of the way.
  • Six weeks of the best daily nutritional coaching so you know exactly how and what to eat.
  • Six weeks of accountability and support from the best fitness family around so you never feel alone, never get bored or never lose motivation.

Apply now as the deadline to apply is 9/9 with the program starting on 9/17.

Apply now --->>> bit.ly/spurlingsweepstakes

The time is now. 

How many times have you said you'll just start next week or next month? 

Later becomes never, so you must take action today. 

Apply now --->>> bit.ly/spurlingsweepstakes

You deserve it.

I can't wait to see you on the inside. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: You deserve to carve out some time for you, to improve yourself, and to look and feel your best. Apply now (deadline is this Sunday) --->>> bit.ly/spurlingsweepstakes

PPS: Already a member of the Spurling Family? Two things:

1. Forward this to someone you think would be a great addition to the Tribe, and if they sign-up you receive rewards points towards a free month of membership. 

2. We'll be running an internal 6-week challenge for all current members to give you a jump-start this fall, restart that engine, and get you even more results...oh, and it's free :) Stay tuned for details in our Private Facebook Group, Spurling 165

 

 

 

 

Back in whack

Often, when I ask my mother how she’s doing, she’ll say that she’s just all out of whack.

Generally, this means there’s some level of crazy pants happening in her life and she would like things to settle down. 

Settle down like, yesterday. 

I don’t know what whack is, but it’s clearly where we'd all like to be. I mean if things are out of whack, then the opposite of out of whack is to get back in whack, right?

Of course.

It’s September. I know, I know - we want to pretend it’s not, but the fact is, summer is winding down. The Red Sox are cruising towards the playoffs, and the Pirates...well, they're breaking my heart. Again.

Hopefully you’ve filled the past few months with road trips, beach time, and backyard BBQ's. You’ve had weddings and picnics and graduation parties and it’s quite possible that you are slightly dehydrated as you read this from that awesome Labor Day picnic you enjoyed yesterday.

What? Oh...me neither. 

You’re probably thinking “I’ll get back to it on Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or the following Monday....” 

So here are three tips for getting back in whack:

1. Don't wait  

You don’t have to wait until whatever imaginary day you had in your mind. You can go to a picnic for lunch and get back in whack for dinner. You can have donuts for breakfast and a salad at lunch. Or you can know that you're going to a party later and be deliberate about not blowing the entire day out of the water.

The point is, once you've had a piece of cake or slice of pizza, it doesn't mean the day is shot. You can balance the healthy choices in with the splurges. 

2. Make a plan

September is one of the busiest gym months, sometimes even busier than January because folks are ready to buckle down after the summer. This might be the time that you decide to join a gym (and if you do that’s awesome, but what’s the plan then?), make some nutrition changes (meal plan?) or train for that half-marathon.

Either way, be specific about your plan. What would success look like at the end of September when it comes to exercise? Going to the gym three times per week? (And what will you do when you get to the gym?) Going to the gym twice a week and walking three nights per week? 

Whatever success looks like for you in 30 days, write it down and put it somewhere you can see every single day. 

3. Get someone to hold you accountable

Hire a coach, find a workout buddy, or tell your kids that they need to make sure you go for that walk. Seriously, I think kids are the best at holding parents accountable - I've seen it with my own eyes. But regardless of what your goal is, find someone else who can hold you accountable to those goals. Life is too hard and things get too complicated to always to it by yourself.

And let us know if we can help you. 

Sometimes the best way to get back in whack is to hire someone to help you. I know, because I've had to hire someone to help me. 

So do what you need to do to get back in whack. And if we can help you, let us know that too.

Ok?

Ok. Good talk. 

Intensity?

The fitness industry has done a nice job at driving a message home that is so wrong. 

A message that you absolutely need to crush yourself to get a good workout. 

You know what I'm talking about....

Pictures of people passed out on the floor, laying in a pool of sweat...

People bragging about how sore they are and how they can't even sit on a toilet or brush their teeth.

Just like almost anything, I think there is a middle ground. 

Working out to that intensity, beating the crap out of your body, doing exercises that have no why behind them, will get you hurt. 

At the same time, as much as it's nice to go for a walk around the block a few times, or workout here and there, and I'm all for baby steps, you have to be realistic and know that it's probably not going to lead to ton of body composition change. 

It's a tough call, and I see it everyday in the gym as well...

There are the people that are going a mile a minute, working out at an 11 on a scale of 1-10, and the coaches are trying to get them to slow down a little. 

On the other hand, there are are a lot of people that don't realize how hard it is to actually see change. 

Walking around, doing a couple exercises here and there, and not even cracking a sweat, although better than nothing, is not going to yield a large result. 

So, the answer?

As always, it depends...

If your brand new we want to slow down, make sure we teach you proper form and technique, and safety is number one. 

After you cross that bridge, there has to be some level of intensity behind everything you do. 

Moseying from exercise to exercise, just going through the motions, isn't going to cut it. 

Unfortunately, some people can take that to the extreme and work out too hard and end up hurting themselves. 

If I had to quantify it, I would say we should be working out at a 6, 7, or 8 out of 10. 

Anything in the 9 or 10 intensity may be too much, and anything 5 and below probably isn't enough. 

Can you improve your workout intensity?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling