The Art of Fulfillment

The ultimate goal. 

It's not to lose 20lbs. 

It's not to fit into those jeans. 

The ultimate goal for all of us?

To feel fulfilled.

Any goal you have...

Money, fitness, relationship, any goal...

Ultimately, you will never be happy with it until you feel fulfilled. 

Achieving a goal is science, it's a calculation. 

Save this much each month and I'll have this much money. 

Eat this many calories and workout this many times and I'll weigh this much. 

It's science. 

What I want to focus on today is the art of fulfillment. 

We all have six human needs. 

It doesn't matter who you are, what you do, or what your goals are, we all have six needs. 

These come from Tony Robbins, and I've been spending a lot more time with these lately. 

As we check more boxes, as we hit our goals, as we set new goals, constantly raising the bar, why sometimes do we not feel fulfilled?

We don't have the six needs. 

What are they?

1. Certainty

In some aspects of life, you need to have certainty. 

You need to be certain that you'll have a roof over your head. 

You need to be certain you won't get hurt, you won't get bored, or you'll be able to do something without pain. 

Whether it's in fitness, family, or finances, there always needs to be a level of certainty. 

2. Variety

To counter certainty, we need variety. 

 We want the surprises that we want. 

We like to have spice in our life. 

Each of us is different in the level or type of variety, but we all need variety. 

Whether that's in your fitness, in your relationship, or in your career, as you much as you want certainty, you also want variety. 

3. Significance

We all want to feel important, we want to feel unique. 

We want to know that our boss appreciates us. 

We want to be the hero. 

We want to be in control, valued, and know that what we're doing right now is important. 

It's the small things like getting your name on the board, to getting an award at work. 

It's the recognition, the appreciation, and the gratitude. 

We all want to feel significant. 

4. Connection & Love

It could be a relationship, it could be a community, or it could be the connection with nature. 

As humans, we need to give love, feel love, and be connected. 

It's why our strongest piece at Spurling is not the workouts, not the equipment, but the community. 

People feel safe, they feel connected, and to some extent, they feel loved. 

Again, you can think of fitness, but you can also think about your career, your family life, or your personal life. 

5.  Grow

This is where the real magic happens. 

Tony believes that everyone has the first four. 

You don't survive if you don't have the first four. 

They may not be as developed as you would like, but to some extent you have them. 

The real magic is in these last two. 

Grow or die. 

We want to get better, we want to develop, we want challenges, we want new opportunities. 

We want to be able to progress. 

The drive to grow and develop is in all of us, you just need to find it. 

6. Contribute

Life is about giving. 

The happiest people in the world are not the people with the smallest waists, the biggest houses, or the most money, they are the people that have given the most. 

It's not about me, it's about we. 

Whether that's in giving back to your community, raising a family, or any other form of contribution, we all want to give back. 

The six human needs. 

We all need them, we all have them. 

However, like anything else, there are ones that we need to develop more.

Ultimately, it's these six things, not a number on the scale, not a size on a pant tag, that leave us fulfilled. 

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

 

 

 

 

Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and any yellowed/browned outer leaves removed, then sliced in half
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 lb (16 oz.) orecchiette (or any pasta)
  • 4 chicken sausage links, sliced into 1/4″ thick coins
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together brussels sprouts, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently stir until well-combined.

Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spread the brussels sprouts on it evenly. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until nearly-browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.

Cook the pasta in generously-salted boiling water until al dente according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water (reserving 1/4 cup pasta water), and then toss together the pasta, pesto, cooked sausage and garlic, and brussels sprouts. Add in some of the reserved pasta water if needed for extra moisture.

Serve warm, and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

Source: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/pesto-pasta-with-chicken-sausage-roasted-brussels-sprouts/

Perfectly Imperfect

Did you notice?

Last week I sent out an e-mail with a typo in the subject line. 

In fact, I'm sure 90% of my e-mails have a typo or two. 

On Friday I sent an e-mail that had an older e-mail posted at the bottom. 

Each morning after I finish writing, I go in and paste what I wrote over the e-mail that went out the day before.

I must have pasted it above the previous e-mail so it read as one long e-mail, not making much sense because it was two e-mails pasted together. 

I freaked out, texted Kim, who heads up our marketing and communications, and her response?

"I think that will make a great post."

Perfectly imperfect. 

I'm a perfectionist. 

I am obsessive over every little detail, of everything.

Some call it being a control freak. 

It's how I live life. 

I have everything calculated to the penny, I never go to bed with an e-mail in my inbox, and I have every process for everything I do mapped out on checklists. 

Yet, I'm not perfect. 

I never will be. 

I've missed many of workouts, made more mistakes than almost anyone, and I never cross the street in the crosswalk. 

Sure, I think the pursuit of perfection can lead to growth, greater attention to detail, and a level of success, but I've learned to not let it paralyze me. 

Kim and I have a saying with each other...

"Ship it!"

Get it out the door. 

Finish the project. 

Done is better than perfect. 

I've sent over 1,000 daily e-mails. 

Imagine if I combed through every single one, analyzing every word.

You would never see an e-mail from me because I would never press send. 

As always, this translates to every aspect of life, especially fitness. 

Sure, there needs to be some thought, there needs to be some parameters, but you don't want perfection to stop you from taking action. 

The person that wakes up and just does something, anything, will always make more progress than the person that has the perfect plan or intent in their head but does nothing with it.

There will never be a perfect time, you'll always be too busy. 

You will never have a perfect body, you will always find something to fault if that's how you measure happiness or success. 

Perfectly imperfect. 

I just call it being human. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Watermelon Tacos

Ingredients

  • 4 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper
  • 1 small red onion (1/2 cut into large chunks, 1/2 thinly sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (skin removed)
  • Juice of 2 limes, plus wedges for serving
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups chopped watermelon
  • 11/2 cups fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 avocado, chopped
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Directions

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the tomatillos, jalapeno and red onion chunks. Cook, turning, until blistered, 5 to 6 minutes for the onion and 7 to 8 minutes for the tomatillos and jalapeno. Transfer to a cutting board; cool slightly. Chop the tomatillos and onion; seed and chop the jalapeno.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatillos, chopped onions and half of the jalapeno. Cook until the vegetables release their juices, then add the chicken, the juice of 1 lime and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Keep warm over low heat.

Toss the watermelon, 1/2 cup cilantro, the sliced red onion, the remaining jalapeno, juice of 1 lime, 1 tablespoon olive oil and half of the cheese in a bowl. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Warm the tortillas in a dry skillet.

Add the remaining 1 cup cilantro to the chicken mixture. Divide among the tortillas; top with the watermelon salad, the remaining cheese and the avocado. Serve with lime wedges.

Source: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/chicken-watermelon-tacos-3364575

A lesson from Toonces the driving cat

A few years ago, Sheila and I were at an art gallery opening (I was watching baseball on my phone) when we saw a friend of hers who had lost a lot of weight. People were commenting on her new appearance and asking her what she was doing to lose the weight. 

“Tell me me everything you’re doing,” one person said.

Her answer?

Chemotherapy. 

……….

Sheila’s friend spent a lot of time fielding similar questions before she ultimately succumbed to ovarian cancer. 

About the only thing I remember from high school chemistry is the teacher writing the word “assume” on the board before following it with the phrase “assume means making an ass out of u and me.” Last week I posted a video of Toonces the driving cat in our private Facebook group. The famous line from the SNL skit is Steve Martin saying “once I realized he could drive, I just assumed he was a good driver.” (Toonces crashes in every episode.)

Cue ridiculousness head shaking.

We make assumptions every day. And nowhere is that more apparent than when it comes to someone’s appearance. I read a similar story of a personal trainer who was judging another trainer at his gym because the other trainer didn’t look fit. That coach was also going through chemotherapy. 

Our society is obsessed with losing weight. Obsessed.

Stories like those above reflect just how obsessive our culture can be. In both cases, those people were judged - one was deemed more successful for her weight loss while the trainer was judged as being lazy for weighing more. 

Skinny = happy. Overweight = lazy. 

No. 

No. Just, no. 

There is merit to losing weight, as the process can be empowering and go a long way in promoting health and healthy habits. But making assumptions like the ones above only fuels the cultural obsession. 

We can change that

Last week, on the way to our conference, Coach Jeremy was asking for book recommendations. Doug rattled off a few, before I mentioned my favorite book. 

“Tattoos on the Heart,” I said. 

“What is it that you like so much about that book?” Doug asked, having only recently finished the copy I gave him.

I thought about it. 

The book, if you’re unfamiliar, is the story of Father Gregory Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries in L.A., the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. The subtitle of the book is “The power of boundless compassion.”

Boundless compassion. (Future blog post on this coming up.)

I love the book because it’s the story of one person who is changing the world - the world - through boundless compassion.

Here’s my point. 

We can help to change that cultural obsession with weight. And that’s why you’re going to start hearing and reading a lot more about NSV’s. 

Non-scale victories. 

Tell us what you can do.

Tell us what you’ve gained.

Tell us the happy little moments you’ve experienced as you’ve gotten on the workout wagon. Tell stories of who you are and the scars you've earned the struggles you've used to make you the person you are today. Tell us triumphs about you the person, not you the number. 

Tell us about experiences. Ask others about experience. Ask others how they feel. 

That’s a big part of our mission right now. 

Don't assume that just because Toonces can drive, it means he drives well. 

 

Create Your Own

Happy 4th of July!

Now as you probably know, Independence Day is a holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

To me, aside from the displays of patriotism and the celebration of the freedoms that we enjoy, I also feel that the 4th of July is symbolic of people pursuing their dreams.

Pursuing your dreams to be the best version of yourself. 

It's never too late to be who you might have been. 

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.

So with that in mind, I wanted to share a story with you about my first client I ever worked with. 

Back in 2007, I started working with Elizabeth. 

She was 81 years young. 

An immigrant, Elizabeth had recently lost her husband and was looking to continue her independence. 

She owned a beautiful home in Kennebunkport, lived by herself, took care of the house and gardens herself, drove herself to our sessions, and is the sweetest little lady you can imagine.

Every day I got to hear stories about coming over from Scotland as an immigrant, living in NYC with her husband who was a lawyer, and of course, her morning cup of tea and how good it was.   

I had the luxury of working with her from 2007-2015 before she moved up to northern Maine to be a bit closer to her son. 

All of our training was built around maintaining her independence. 

Her ability to climb stairs, get up from a chair, or open her pill bottles. 

Today, Elizabeth is 92 years young and still lives on her own in a beautiful lake house up north. 

She takes care of her house, drives everywhere, and is 100% independent. 

I call her every couple months to check in and see how she is doing. 

She's awesome at bringing me to tears by saying something to the tune of...

"Oh Doug, I wouldn't be here today without you. I wouldn't be able to do any of this today without the exercise we did together."

Talk about creating independence. 

That's just another example of how this "exercise stuff" is so much more than sets and reps. 

It's about creating independence. 

Everything from independence so you don't need to ask your husband for help to carry in the dog food to independence so you can live on your own at 91 years young like my friend Elizabeth.

So, as you celebrate today be appreciative for all that you have and the freedoms we enjoy.

Also, use this day to take a moment and celebrate your own personal independence due to the choices you've made to better yourself. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Creating Independence

Tomorrow is the 4th of July, Independence Day. 

It got me thinking...

Isn't that what this fitness stuff is all about. 

Independence. 

Freedom. 

The ability to do things you normally couldn't do. 

Do you know how many times I've heard stories of a woman carrying in 60lb bags of dog food, so proud they didn't have to ask their husband for help? 

Or how about getting a ladder down from the hooks in the garage?

Those are what we call Non-Scale Victories, wins you can't measure on a scale. 

Independence. 

It's empowering to know you don't need help carrying those bags of mulch from the truck.

Quite often we get into fitness with goals like wanting to tone, get stronger, or lose weight...

And that's great! 

However, isn't it more about those benefits that come with getting stronger and leaner?

Independence, being independent, the need not to depend on another. 

Whether it's carrying heavy stuff, or laying the foundation now so you can be more independent when you're older, not relying on your kids to help you (or the nursing home). 

That's what it's really about. 

The feeling of confidence, feeling strong, feeling empowered, and feeling independent. 

Feeling like you can be somebody. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

 

What Bench Do You Sit On?

This past weekend I spent the weekend with Coach Kim, Coach Jeremy and 1,100 of the top fitness professionals around New England learning at one of our annual conferences. 

We took a lot of notes, and I'm sure you'll see snippets of them over the coming weeks, but one of my favorites came from a coach by the name of Dan John. 

He's a 61-year-old coach who has worked with everyone from professional athletes to grandparents, but his biggest skill?

Keeping it simple. 

He shared a lot of lessons but here was one of my favorites...

What's the difference between a park bench and a bus bench?

What's a park bench designed for?

It's there to sit, look out, and wait for things to happen, or people to pass by. 

It's relaxing and enjoyable. 

When you sit on the park bench you typically have no plan, no agenda, and you're just enjoying life, living in the moment. 

A bus bench has a purpose. 

You're waiting for your specific bus, to take you to a specific destination, and it's going to come at a specific time. 

In fitness specifically, we want to go hard 100% of the time, have super specific workouts and crush our bodies until we can't even brush our teeth the next morning. 

That's the bus bench workout. 

Specific, dialed in, not the most enjoyable, but it's going to take you to a specific destination in a specific time. 

There is a time and a place for bus bench workouts in life. 

However, most of us could benefit a lot more from park bench workouts. 

Come in, see how we're feeling that day, and do whatever our bodies are up for that day. 

Sure, you can work hard, but it's relaxing, taking things as they come up, and enjoying the moment. 

Take a look at the people that sit on bus benches...they usually don't want to be there.

But a park bench?

There's a coffee in your hand, it's a beautiful day, you're relaxed, and life is good. 

We could all use more park benches in our life, even outside of fitness. 

Fitness should be something you enjoy doing, it should be something you look forward to, not something that you dread. 

And trust me, I'm all for working hard and dialing things in during certain times, but most of us that want to feel better, look better, and move better, we could benefit a lot more from park bench workouts. 

Keep it simple stupid (KISS). 

The point of this analogy is not to say that you only should be on the park bench, or that you only should be on the bus bench, but to know that there's a difference. 

In life, during certain times, they each play a role. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

 

 

I'm Right There With You...

The other night I was at the front desk of the gym just cleaning a few things up and had a client walk-in, with our schedules, I hadn't seen her in awhile. 

She eluded to not being here, and how hard it is to sometimes get here with work, family, etc. 

I said something along the lines of

"I'm right there with you. We go through the same thing."

Her reply...

"That's really good to hear."

Relatable, right?

I think as fitness professionals we get this reputation that we workout seven days a week and eat nothing but protein shakes and chicken. 

People think that we never struggle, never lack motivation, or don't need accountability. 

News flash: We're humans, too. 

Last night Coach Jeremy and I went out to dinner after the conference we are at. 

It was a long day of travel followed up by day one of the conferences, I just wanted a nice dinner and a cold IPA :) 

So that's what I had. 

Oh, and to top it off, I didn't get a workout in yesterday, either. 

Now, do we want to set an example and "walk the walk."

Of course. 

But the fact of the matter is, there are certain things as humans, regardless of what we do for a living, that we all need. 

Accountability & Support.

Motivation. 

Love & Happiness. 

etc, etc.

Next week kicks off the #100WorkoutChallenge at the gym. 

The goal: 100 Workouts between July 1 and December 31. 

I'll be participating in that challenge right alongside the clients. 

I need, you need it, we all need it. 

Accountability, Motivation, Community, Coaching, Support. 

We will never not need it. 

You see it all the time when people try to workout on their own. 

1 out of 100 can do it, most can't. 

I have a fully loaded gym in my garage with everything I need, but I can count on one hand the number of times I've used it. 

We're all going through different things, we all have our struggles, and I wanted to let you know that I'm right there with you, we're right there with you. 

Yes, we aim to set the example, but we're also human too, just like you. 

All we can do is just aim to get a little better each day and keep showing up. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Pancakes!!!

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 container (5.3 oz) siggi's blueberry or vanilla bean yogurt
  • 1/2 medium ripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, plus more for serving
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INSTRUCTIONS

 

  1. Place all ingredients except fresh blueberries into a blender; blend until smooth. You may need to add a teaspoon or two of almond milk if batter is way too thick. Set batter aside to thicken up for a few minutes. If batter is too thin, add a tablespoon or two more of oats and blend again.
  2. Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with butter or cooking spray and heat over medium low heat. Drop batter by 1/4 cup onto skillet. Add a few blueberries on top. Cook until bubbles appear on top. Flip cakes and cook until golden brown on underside. Wipe skillet clean and repeat with more cooking spray and remaining batter. Makes 4 pancakes.

Source: https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/oatmeal-blueberry-yogurt-pancakes-gluten-free-high-protein/

I Just About Cried...

I have the pleasure of meeting with everyone for their very first day. 

It's the one aspect of this business that I don't want to give to someone else. 

I want to make sure, 90% of the time, unless schedules don't align, I get to meet with you on your first day. 

I enjoy getting to know people, learn about them and what they're looking for, and see if they'll be a good fit for our community. 

Last night, I just about cried. 

I met with a lady, let's call her Sue. 

Sue has been reading this daily e-mail for months now. 

She has heard great things about Spurling, but she was going to "get in shape first" before coming. 

We hear it all the time. 

Basically, she thought she was going to try working out on her own first. 

That didn't go as planned. 

She voiced needing support and accountability and every year she tells herself...

"this is the year I'm going to get in shape"

And she continues to say that as she, until now, has not made any progress. 

I kept asking questions, learning more about Sue, she got a little teary-eyed every time she talked, you could tell it was time, she was frustrated with where she was at, and she had yet to make any progress. 

But then I finally discovered why she's sitting down in front of me. 

Sue says...

"Doug, you know what the ultimate, ULTIMATE, goal is?

My dad bought me this red dress, I never got the chance to wear it in front of him before he died because it doesn't fit. 

I want to wear that red dress for my dad!"

*tissues please*

Talk about a motivating goal, right?

When we set goals, we quite often say things like...

"Stronger"

"Tone"

"Lose Weight"

And those are all great goals, but they are not very specific, and they don't pull at the strings of your heart. 

Find goals that pull at the strings of your heart. 

The goal of losing weight will not keep you motivated long-term, it won't get you out of bed in the morning, and it won't cause you to stop at the gym instead of going home. 

However, wanting to fit in that red dress to show dad up in heaven, that shit will get you out of bed every morning. 

I encouraged Sue to put that dress somewhere she'll see it every single day. 

I hope she takes that advice as it will keep why she's doing this top of mind. 

We all have much bigger goals than we think we do. 

We all can accomplish a lot more than we think we can. 

We just have to have a strong enough WHY. 

What is your WHY?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

 

 

 

 

Tactics vs Strategy

Watching a good chess player at work is all about strategy. 

The best team on the field or court very rarely wins because of one specific play, but because of the overall strategy, they came prepared with. 

Our lives, and especially fitness, are filled with tactics, but not enough strategy. 

"Use this belt, let it jiggle your fat, and it will magically make your waist smaller."

"Do this one specific exercise to tighten and tone your arms."

"Eat this superfood to boost your metabolism overnight."

Just like in business, tactics without strategy never works. 

The media does a great job at filling our minds with all different kinds of tactics to lose weight, tone up, boost your metabolism, and have more energy...

But what's the strategy?

Throw them all together and hope one of them sticks?

You get my point. 

There is not one specific exercise that is best...

There is not one specific food that is best...

There are just strategies that work.

For example...

My strategy is to workout 200 times this year through fun and engaging strength based workouts. 

I want to eat "clean" 80% of the time, but not let it cripple me to the point of not enjoying life. 

I practice daily meditation and gratitude to keep most of my thoughts positive and have a 1% Better approach to fitness and life, which is this...

We only have good days and great days, and as long as I gave it my all today I know I'm better than yesterday but not as good as tomorrow. 

I can then fill that overall strategy in with specific tactics. 

I have a bookmark that I use for my daily reading, it has 200 boxes on it. 

I place an "X" after every workout, that holds me accountable to getting my 200 workouts in. 

I'm not saying tactics are not important. 

However, we don't want to stack a bunch of random tactics on top of a non-existent strategy. 

Have a strong strategy as your foundation, use that as your guardrails to keep you focused and on track, and don't get caught up in the fancy quick-fix tactics, you and I both know they never last. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

 

 

Finding the other side of yourself

Sitting on a rock along the water on Orr’s Island - breathing with the waves, slowly in, slowly out - I nod to the passers by.

My family has moved along on the path while I pull up a rock, knee crutch in place trying to honor the order to stay off of my feet and let my fractured foot heel.

I nod politely to folks on the trail, many in cycling clothes, having parked their bikes momentarily to walk along the cliffs.

I don’t want to talk with anyone. I talk, I listen, I interact all week. It’s Sunday, I have unplugged and come to the water to recharge.

A gentleman and his wife, clad in cycling gear, nod to me as they walk by but strike up conversation when they pass me again.

“What did you do?” he asked, nodding to the crutch.

I don’t want to talk but I won’t be rude. I told him I was training for a marathon, got a stress fracture and was trying to let it heal.

“You know you need to stay off of it,” he said, as his wife offered that he was a PT. I groaned. Strangers now were giving me unsolicited advice.

We spoke briefly about how hard it is to do the right thing when you need to be active to feed your soul. I’d guess he was in his 50’s or 60’s and he took off his sun glasses and asked me to do the same.

Then he bent to my level and looked me in the eyes. “You know what you need to do,” he said, and I saw the light reflecting off of his blue eyes.

“Take this time to find the other side of yourself.”

His wife went on to tell me of the cutting boards he made and the songs he learned on the guitar while his injury healed.

We both put our sunglasses back on and I chewed on his words.

“Find the other side of yourself,” he said as we parted ways.

I guess this is what I’ve been missing in trying to understand this place of life in which I find myself. Right now I’m focused on what I can’t do or what I’ll do when I can finally be physically active again, with no restrictions. What I'll do when I have my independence back.

I relate to life through my body - through running and lifting and golfing.

But if I start looking for the other side of myself I see so much more. I see my own guitar and the songs I want to learn. I feel this pressing need to connect with my spirituality, and spend more time by myself in nature.

I don’t know all of what is on the other side of myself. But this advice from a stranger might be the best advice I’ve had in a long time.

Find the other side of yourself.

4 Agreements...

The four agreements. 

The four things, as good human beings, that we need to keep in mind and take action on. 

The four things that create love and happiness in our lives. 

Understanding these commitments is easy and simple, but actually living and keeping these four agreements can be one of the hardest things. 

Integrate these four agreements into your life and every area will improve.  

1. Be Impeccable with your word

This is integrity. 

Doing what you said you were going to do. 

Committing to what you said you would do. 

Saying only what you mean. 

It's also avoiding using negative words to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. 

This can have a nice carryover to the negative self-talk we often feed ourselves throughout a fitness  journey. 

Use your words to drive happiness and love not negativity. 

2. Don't take anything personally. 

What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. 

Nothing others do is because of you. 

When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others you won't be impacted by their negativity. 

This one clearly carries over to several facets of life, but it also has some weight throughout your fitness journey. 

"Oh come on Sue, why are you getting that grilled chicken dish? What are you trying to eat healthy or something? Just get the burger and beer!"

We've all had that. 

We're trying to make healthy choices and our social circle gives us a hard time about it. 

Now hopefully they're just joking, but it can still weigh heavily on you. 

Don't take anything personally, keep your head down, stay positive, and focus on your journey. 

3. Don't make assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. 

Communicate with others as clearly as possible to avoid misunderstandings.

Whether it's communicating with your coach, communicating to your spouse, or communicating to your coworker, don't make assumptions. 

Spell things our clearly, ask good questions and don't assume. 

4. Always do your best. 

This is my favorite one. 

In every moment, you should always be doing the best you possibly can. 

Life is too short for half hearted efforts in anything. 

Now, an important thing to understand before I go on...

Your best is going to change moment to moment.

Your best when you're sick is not going to be as good as when you're healthy.

Your best when you're tired is not going to be as good as when you're rested.

That doesn't matter though.

In any situation, always do your best, whatever that looks like at that time. 

Jump higher.

Put 100% effort in 100% of the time.

Always do your best. 

How'd you like the four agreements?

If you liked them I would highly suggest reading the book, The Four Agreements. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Baked Zucchini Fries

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. zucchini squash 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/8 tsp salt 
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese 
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend 
  • 1 large egg 

Source:https://www.budgetbytes.com/baked-zucchini-fries/

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Rinse and dry the zucchini. Cut the ends off and then cut each one into strips, approximately 1/3 inch thick.

  2. Place the zucchini strips on a large zip top bag and add the flour and salt. Shake the bag to coat the zucchini in flour. In a wide, shallow bowl combine the panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine. In a second wide, shallow bowl, whisk a raw egg with about 1 Tbsp of water until fairly smooth.

  3. Begin to preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil and then place two wire cooling racks over top. One by one, take the flour coated zucchini strips and dip them in the egg and then the seasoned bread crumb mixture. Place the breaded zucchini on the wire cooling racks. The wire racks keep the zucchini up off of the baking sheet and allows hot air to circulate underneath, which will prevent soggy bottoms. Also make sure there is a small amount of space between each strip to allow circulation.

  4. Once all of the zucchini strips are breaded, bake them for approximately 15 minutes or until they are a medium golden brown color. Cooking time will vary with the thickness of your zucchini strips, so keep a close eye.

How Much Gas Do You Burn?

In your car, silly. 

When we're driving far distances we tend to want to take the highway...

Why?

It's boring, it's less scenic, you cover more ground in a shorter period of time, but the real reason is...

Fuel efficiency.

Imagine taking the "back roads" all the way to Boston?

It might be scenic, and more fun, but you'd burn a ton of fuel. 

Well when it comes time to driving, that's not good. 

However...

When it comes to fat loss.

That's very good. 

Driving on the highway is like the fitness version of steady state cardio...

You know what I mean by that?

30 minutes on an elliptical at the same speed. 

60 minutes on the treadmill at the same speed.

45 minute run at the same speed. 

It's not wrong. 

It's good. 

But it's not OPTIMAL if you're trying to lose fat.

Think about it...

You're going the same speed, your heart rate is elevated, but after a few minutes in it adapts, and your body becomes quite efficient. 

It's just like driving on the highway. 

Efficiency in fat loss is not good. 

You may be going for awhile, but for the time covered, you really didn't burn that much fuel (fat), just like if you're driving on the highway. 

In comparison to driving in the city.

Start. Stop. Accelerate. Brake. 

It's interval training. 

It's more scenic, hopefully, more fun, but you burn a lot more fuel in a shorter period of time compared to driving on the interstate. 

Bad for driving, good for fat loss. 

This would be the equivalent of things like...

10 push ups, 10 squats, 10 jumping jacks. Rest 30 seconds, repeat 5 times. 

Our Team Training sessions. 

Sprinting for 1 minute, walking for 1 minute, sprinting for 1 minute, walking for 1 minute. 

You get the idea. 

It creates peaks and valleys in the heart rate, the heart doesn't know what's coming next, so it's super inefficient, thus, you burn a lot more calories. 

For you nerds out there, this is known as the "afterburn" or EPOC. Feel free to google EPOC.

Just know, that because of the inefficiency in doing things, your heart rate goes up and down, and not only do you burn a lot more calories in a shorter period of time in comparison to steady state cardio, it's more fun, AND your metabolism stays higher over a longer period of time. 

Sounds like a win-win to me. 

It's not saying steady state is wrong or bad, but intervals are just much more optimal and will get you results faster. 

When the goal is fat loss, think city driving, not highway. 

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

PS: Intimidated by this stuff? If you just want to walk into your gym and be told exactly what to do every step of the way, welcome to Spurling :) We coach you every single workout, and we're right by your side every step of the way. You show up and we'll take care of the rest. Click here to get started. 

Did He Really Just Say That?

I hope everyone had a great Father's Day yesterday. 

I spent most of my first Father's Day with Kaden, Megan was working.

When she got home, we went out for a nice dinner. 

It was awesome. 

On the way home from dinner I called my dad.

When he answered I said...

"Happy Father's Day, Dad!"

His response...

"Yeah, I'm out of money."

Not...

"Thanks, how was your first Father's Day?"

Not...

"How's my grandson doing?"

I politely told him I would be over today to drop some money off and I had to go. 

After hanging up the phone, I vented to Megan, holding back tears and frustration, she told me...

"Don't let this ruin your day."

That's all I needed to hear. 

I share this personal story as a lesson...

Be relentlessly positive and get off the complain train. 

It can be easy to let something like that ruin your day. 

But what does that do?

How does complaining about it fix anything?

This happens every day.

You get a nasty e-mail...

Someone says something that doesn't sit right with you...

Your kids do something that upsets you...

Your co-worker annoys you...

Your scale doesn't move...

Whatever the case is, you all know what I'm talking about. 

You think to yourself...

"Do they even realize how much I do for them?"

Or...

"Did he really just say that?"

Or...

"How come nothing ever good happens to me?"

That leads to frustration, stress, and negative self-talk. 

It's very easy to get into the negative mindset, get on the complain train, and never get off. 

But what does that solve?

Nothing. 

Life is too short.

I know my intent is good in all actions I take, and I assume that of others.

That allows me to be relentlessly positive. 

I know he didn't mean to hurt me, just like, hopefully, the person or thing that upset you, was not intended to do so.  

If I catch myself on the complain train, I kindly kick myself off at the next stop. 

You'll quite often hear me tell clients...

"It could always be worse."

That line just helps me stay positive, regardless of what the circumstance is.

Negative-talk, arguing, or complaining has a zero chance of changing anything.

In comparison, positivity and appreciation can change the world. 

We see this every day.

So, something or someone will try to ruin your day today, don't let it happen.

Stay relentlessly positive and get off the complain train. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: A positive atmosphere and experience is our number one goal at Spurling. We're just about halfway through 2018. Don't let more time pass before taking action on bettering yourself. Click here to get start your journey. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Avocado Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 large ripe avocado - cut into chunks
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1/3 cup Panko crumbs or Almond meal to keep it Paleo and Whole30 friendly
  • 1 minced Poblano or Jalapeño pepper optional but recommended
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 10.12.06 AM.png

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss gently.

  2. Shape into desired size patties .

  3. Grill 4-5 minutes on each side on an indoor grill pan or an outside grill at medium heat or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Source: https://laughingspatula.com/chicken-avocado-burger/

Stop moving the carrot

The goal was to graduate from college.

West Virginia University, to be specific. 

In seventh grade, I read the book “The President’s Men” and, using Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford as my guides, I outlined what success would be for me - a college degree and a career in journalism. I even told my dad, when I was all of 12 years old, that I wanted to study political science. 

I told him I'd go to work for the Washington Post, and then take down whomever the current president was in office, and win a pulitzer prize. 

Then I went to college. I studied English. I got good at ordering drinks at the local coffee shop, understood that wearing black was part of my responsibility as an English major, and threw myself into the studies of Jack Kerouac and the Beat generation. 

My goal then had morphed, but held new clarity - I would take a lot of uppers and spend three weeks writing the next great American Novel. I’d install a roll of paper into a typewriter and write for three straight weeks with no sleep until I had the 1998 version of “On the Road.”

Except I never tried uppers and couldn't think of anything interesting enough that would keep my attention for three weeks without sleep... 

So in May of 1999, I walked down State Street in Erie, Pennsylvania in my cap and gown - diploma in hand, and wondered what my new goal should be. 

My greatest mistake during that 10 year span was not clear at the time, but has become apparent in more recent years. 

I'd moved the carrot. 

In some ways it was natural - in that my goals changed over the years as I got to know myself and understand my own unique set of skills. But one thing I've always done that has never changed is this -  at no point had I taken a positive perspective on my goals.

And what I mean by that is this:

From the time I was 12 years old to 22 I did a lot of good things. I lettered 10 times in three different varsity sports. I was player of the year four times in high school softball. I was the Sports Editor of both my high school and college newspapers. I earned a scholarship to play Division II lacrosse at Gannon University. I got better at writing. 

I developed important friendships that I still hold dear to this day. 

And I never took the time to appreciate one of those accomplishments. 

I don’t write that last paragraph to tell you of accomplishments I had in my teens and early 20’s. I write to tell you that I kept moving the carrot. Not once during that time did I stand back for half of a second and hold my head up high. 

Not once did I say to myself ah, Kim Lloyd, nice job. You’ve worked hard, and here you are graduating Cum Laude from a quality university. All I ever did was say, it is what is its - what’s next.

Listen, I like a humble person. In fact, I prefer humility to a giant ego. But at the same time, there have been so many times in the past 20 years that I have deprived myself the very acknowledgement of any success. 

I have continually pushed happiness forward. 

I’ll be happy when…

But then I hit the when…remember when we were in college and couldn’t wait to be adults? No finals, no quizzes, no tests or buying books. I’ll be happy when I graduate from college and have a job and have a boyfriend/girlfriend and get married and and and and…

I’ll be happy when.

There is a carrot in front of us and then we get to it and chuck it further down the sidewalk. 

Here’s the thing - I work in a small business now and I understand one concept very clearly - if you’re not growing you’re dying. 

But I’ve also watched one too many clients push happiness further down the road. With weight loss, with fat loss, with miles run, with workouts put in. 

Stop it. 

I know the drill. We want to put happiness off until we *****

No.

You need to find happiness in the now. You need to find happiness and acceptance in where you are and who you are right now, in this very moment. Let yourself have the carrot. Sure you can create a bigger carrot to chuck on down the road for your next goal. But take a minute now and soak in who you are and what you’ve done now, today, in this moment. 

Celebrate you now. 

Don’t wait. 

You deserve to celebrate who you are right now, gosh darn it. 

So go do it. 

I'll wait.

Let me know how you celebrated. I'll be waiting to hear from you. 

You Might Not Like This One...

I got a lot of questions yesterday (yes, I personally read all of your replies) about my comment on having 29,918 days left and living until 111. 

Well, now I'm down to 29,917, but I digress. 

To me, it's just like any other goal. 

I thought one day that it would be cool to live through a complete century, I was born in 1989, so if it happened, the century would be 2001-2100. 

Obviously, as most of you have experienced, we can never take life for granted and we never know when we won't have another day. 

For me, that creates urgency in every day. 

Why would I want to be sitting around watching reality TV when I only have 29,917 days left to make an impact on the world?

It motivates me. 

It's a "deadline" just like any other goal. 

Think about how that impacts every decision I make (I'm not perfect, I don't run every single decision through this filter, but it does catch me from going too far)...

If I want to live to 111 I know I need to take better care of my body....

If I want to live to 111 I know I need to take care of my mind...

My financial and family planning is based on living until I'm 111.

It all matters. 

I know that with only 29,917 days left there is still a lot I want to do, places I want to visit, and lives I want to change.

At the same time, I realize it doesn't all have to happen tomorrow. 

It's a win-win mindset. 

It allows me to have some urgency and make better long-term decisions, but also allows me to enjoy the moment, and be okay that it doesn't all have to get done today. 

For goal setting, this is my ultimate long-term goal. 

It's the foundation, but then just like any other goal, we need to break it down. 

That's when we can take that and break it down into...

"What do I want to accomplish in the next 3 years?"

"1 year?"

"30 days"

"Today?"

It's all connected. 

As most of you know, between losing my mom at a young age and working in a nursing home for the better part of a decade, I have had my fair share of loss, as I'm sure a lot of you have as well. 

Hopefully, it teaches you that there's only one way out of this thing called life, and we need to take care of ourselves in order to maximize our potential for making it the best trip around the bases because there's only one. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

P.S. - Whenever you're ready... here are 3 ways we can help you

1. Join our upcoming 6 Week Transformation Challenge

We’re taking on a few new clients in our upcoming 6 Week Summer Shape Up. The six weeks is a perfect "test drive" to all things Spurling, and you'll get all the coaching, accountability, and support you need. 

Save your spot here: http://bitly.com/spurlingsummer

2. Schedule a free Success Session

This is the free meeting we require all members to go through. We don't want to just take your money and through you into things. During this free 60 minute meeting with a coach, we get to know you, learn about your goals, address your concerns, get a baseline for where to start you and go over which program is best for you. Just reply with 'success session' and we can get that scheduled. 

3. Hop on a call

I know you're busy and getting here can be tough, so let's just hop on a call to answer your questions and see if we're a good fit for each other. Just reply to this e-mail with 'call' and we'll get it scheduled.