It’s Thanksgiving—the official beginning of the holiday season. If you’re like most Americans, you’ll take some time today to reflect on how thankful you are for the food on the table and the company that surrounds you. You may even spend some time thinking about the events of the last year—the good days and the bad—and rejoice that you’ve weathered the storms of another year on God’s beautiful planet. This is one of my favorite holidays—not just because of the food, family and football—I love Thanksgiving because, for a whole day, I have a sense of gratitude for the people, experiences and things in my life.
Gratitude doesn’t have to be limited to one day a year. In fact, it should be a lens we view life through as we realize how fortunate we are to be alive in such a magnificent time in the history of our world. When we appreciate what we have, we’re likely more aware of the larger good around us. Being grateful not only means appreciating what others do for us, it also means returning the kindness. It seems that those who are most grateful are also the most positive and happiest of people. Not only does it seem that way, there’s a good deal of research supporting this general idea as well. Grateful responses to life can lead to peace of mind, happiness, physical health, and deeper, more satisfying personal relationships.
A group of recent studies found that consciously focusing on your blessings might have positive emotional and relational benefits. The studies compared three groups: one that was asked to write down the “hassles” of their day, another that was asked to write down what they were grateful for, and a third group that journaled about neutral happenings of their day. Those who wrote about their gratitude reported an overall higher sense of well-being.
Being grateful doesn’t just help us on an emotional level, there’s a physical benefit as well. One of the studies in this group found that people who felt higher levels of gratitude exercised more and suffered less from illness. Another study found that people with higher levels of gratitude reported better quality and longer durations of sleep. The researchers noted the importance of thinking grateful thoughts before falling asleep.
Today is a great day to start an attitude of gratefulness that could continue throughout the year. Like anything, the more you practice being grateful, the more likely it is to become a habit that can change your life. And gratitude can change your life even more than I’ve already mentioned by improving your personal relationships and making you happier and less aggressive. Just think of the positive impact your gratitude throughout the year could have on your spouse, kids and co-workers.
Research has also shown that being on the receiving end of someone’s gratitude can boost your spirits as well. By accepting someone’s gracious gift or compliment, you are allowing that person to experience the benefits of gratitude. You are also allowing yourself to be part of the ‘pay it forward’ attitude when you accept grace and pass it on to someone else.
Making gratitude a regular practice doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be anything from journaling to writing thank you notes and letters, or just praying or meditating about the things you are grateful for. Probably the most impactful way to be grateful is to simply share your gratitude with others. Tell important people in your life how much you appreciate them. When you do, the benefits go beyond what you can imagine. Check out this inspiring story of gratefulness. (Be ready to cry.)
So today, take some time to be grateful, not just for the big things, but also the little things. Talk to your kids, your parents and your family about what you are thankful for. Take time to go around the table today and have each person share something they are grateful for. Start a gratitude jar with your kids, and, each week, have them write down something they are thankful for and put it in the jar. Or start your own journal where, every day, you write down a blessing in your life.
At Exercise Inc, our mission is to help people become healthier. Hopefully I have inspired you in some way today to enjoy the healthy benefits of gratitude. If you received this email from us today, Thank You for being part of our family. Thank You for letting us serve you. Thank You for trusting us.
Reflect on your present blessing, on which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
For a little over a year now we’ve made RXBARs available at all four Exercise Inc locations. These real food bars are the only nutritional product we’ve ever sold in our 14 years of business. We are very picky about promoting any supplement or food product. We are so picky that RXBARs are the only thing we’ve ever wanted to make available to our clients. They are a quick, easy snack that you can grab on your way out the door, or stock up on for when you are hungry on the go.
So why do we like these bars so much? For years we’ve looked for snack bars that didn’t have a bunch of crap in them. Every protein or snack bar we’ve tried has ingredients that disrupt your health. Let’s take a look at some popular examples so you can understand what we mean.
Kind Bars promote themselves as a healthy snack bar with 5 “super grains,” no gluten, and no GMOs. Sounds healthy, right? Turns out after whole grains, the second ingredient is tapioca syrup (sugar), the third ingredient is dried cane syrup (sugar) the fourth ingredient is honey (sugar), the eighth ingredient is sugar, the ninth ingredient is brown rice syrup (sugar), and the tenth ingredient is molasses (sugar). This healthy grain snack bar contains six different kinds of sugar. Why so many? It’s a trick food manufacturers use to keep sugar from being the first ingredient in the food list. Kind Bars are not so kind after all. They also contain canola oil which, 90% of the time, is genetically modified. It’s also partially hydrogenated, which means it contains trans fatty acids that have all sorts of undesirable effects on your body.
Clif Bar’s claim to fame is they are made from organic rolled oats. But wait, read the fine print. There is more organic brown rice syrup (sugar) than oats in this “healthy” snack bar. I love how they cleverly disguise that their nutrition bar for “sustained energy” is mostly sugar. I can hear the food scientists collaborating with their marketing team, “Let’s use an added sugar made from organic brown rice so people will be fooled into thinking it’s healthy”. Added sugar from “organic brown rice syrup” is no better for you than added sugar from high fructose corn syrup, especially when it’s the most prominent ingredient in a food. The folks at Clif Bar pack even more sugar for “sustained energy” into their bars by making organic cane syrup the third ingredient, and dried cane syrup the sixth ingredient. These bars also contain organic high oleic sunflower oil, which is again manufactured through hydrogenation, producing toxic trans fats.
We could very easily continue to bash every energy/protein/nutrition bar on the market, because they are very similar to Kind Bars and Clif Bars. The only snack bars we’ve found to be different are RXBARs. It seems the founders of the company had the same frustration with energy bars as we did—none of them contain real foods or healthy ingredients. So, two best friends got together in their kitchen and began making bars with real, simple ingredients. Each bar contains 3 egg whites, 2 dates, and nuts (either almonds, cashews, pecans and/or peanuts)—real food. No B.S. No fillers. Just good clean food with 100% natural flavors. Their bars also contain no added sugar, no dairy, no soy, and no gluten. There are no health claims on the packaging. And the ingredients are listed right up front.
We’ve been selling RXBARs for about a year. Our motivation is to provide our clients with a healthy snack they can eat on the go. The bars haven’t been quite as popular as we anticipated. Beginning Monday, November 20, we are reducing the price of RXBARs to $2.00 each (we’ve been selling them for $3.00). We are hoping this price reduction will encourage some of you to take advantage of this simple snack.
Also, check out their website. They currently have 13 flavors, and they now have RXBAR kids.
Keep nutrition simple with this real food snack.
The following is a guest post from one of our clients, Tim Murphy. Since he began training with Kyle at our Zionsville location in 2014, Tim has lost over 70 pounds, reduced his waist size from 40 to 28 and reduced his suit size from 48 portly to 38 slim, among improvements to other key health metrics. To hear more about how 20 Minutes A Week has benefited Tim, check out his Client Spotlight.
By Timothy J Murphy, CAE
The number of articles, speeches, blogs, and even books and infomercials that have been written about weight loss – as well as weight maintenance after the loss – likely measure in the hundreds of thousands, if not the millions. Excess weight is a health and aesthetic problem that has plagued Americans for generations, so of course there’s great interest in the topic. You likely know several who have engaged various diet modifications and exercise programs, and have lost excess weight.
Then comes the problem. Losing the initial weight was the easy part. And for many, in 2, 3, or 5 years, all that lost weight seems to have found its way back home! I can’t speak for all those people, but I can tell you my story; and at the same time, offer up the strategies that have worked for me. There’s a good chance they’ll work for you, too.
My initial goal when I met with my coach was weight loss. At 5’10”, I weighed in at 235. I had a 40-inch waist; I was always sluggish, tired, and overheated easily. I wasn’t happy; hence my call to Exercise, Inc. Fast forward more than three years, and the 72 pounds that I initially shed are still gone. Those 12 inches off my waist are a distant memory. Following are the strategies and attitudes that helped me (and are still helping me) as I keep it off…permanently!
1. Stick with what got you there in the first place. After reaching your goal, don’t reach for the fries. Remember, the Paleo lifestyle and your weight training regimen will help keep your body healthy and stronger, as well as lighter.
2. Protein takes you further than anything else. Carbs burn quickly, and you’re hungry again in no time. Vegetables don’t have the sustaining power to keep you full and energized for long periods. But plain, unprocessed protein like turkey, chicken, or your lean meat of choice will make you feel satisfied longer, and your body will take more time converting it to energy. (As an emergency snack, keep a few tuna pouches in your desk drawer. Those can get you through a tough afternoon.)
3. Timing is everything. I have found that by taking in the majority of the daily calories earlier in the day helps keep the weight off. Hence, a nice protein-packed breakfast, well-balanced lunch, and then light snacks later in the day have been my success strategy. I always avoid big, late dinners, as there’s less time to burn that calorie and fat intake (unless it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or another family favorite holiday. Hey, we’re maintaining healthy weight, not being unreasonable fanatics!)
4. Don’t keep a set of “fat clothes” in your closet. Those jeans that are 4” bigger in the waist than you are now are merely a mental safety net for future need; i.e., keeping them is an admission that you intend to gain your weight back. Give them away, put them on E-Bay, donate them - but get them out of your house. If you gain it back, there’s going to be an expense; this, then, becomes a financial motivation for staying healthy and trim.
5. Keep moving. One of my favorite physical activities is simply walking. My wife and I do it together (and we’re both Exercise, Inc. clients to boot), as we enjoy exploring neighborhoods in our area that one can’t really appreciate as much from inside the car. For going out on weekends, we’ll walk 45 minutes or more to go to one of our favorite spots; as we strive for a minimum of 10,000 steps per day (about 5 miles, or 8 kilometers). That’s good for a burn of about 500 calories. Plus, we just feel better after a long walk. (And if the weather turns foul, don’t sweat it; just call Uber or Lyft!)
6. Keep a “fat you” and a “now you” photo on your smart phone. Look at it before ordering your meal, or pulling together ingredients to cook. That’s good motivation for “I’m not going back there!”
7. Stop obsessing on the scale. It’s good to keep tabs on your fluctuations in weight, but put them in perspective. For example, my weight increases with some regularity the more I work out, but my body fat percentage is steadily decreasing. Simple math here – muscle weighs a lot more than fat!
8. “Diet” is not a 4-letter word. (Okay, it is, but you know where I’m going with this.) “Diet” simply refers to our routine, habitual norm of nourishment. It does NOT refer to a form of punishment, or a restriction of all the things we crave; rather, it outlines what we require to maintain healthy habits and a healthier life. Focus on what you DO eat, rather than upon that which you can’t or won’t.
9. And finally, your coach is there for you – always. If you’re an Exercise, Inc. client, be brutally honest with your coach about your challenges and frustrations. He/she will help you with proven, real-time strategies for keeping you moving forward in the attainment of your goals. If you’re not yet a client, do yourself a favor and make your life-changing decision today to call or go online for an initial (FREE) consultation.
Keeping weight off for the long-term is a challenge for many who have lost weight initially. It’s probably due to slipping back into older habits that we abandoned when we were still goal-driven, or said, “I did this, and now I can splurge a little.” Then it got out of hand, and you’re back to the beginning. Adopt an attitude of “There are always NEW goals after my initial goal is attained, and my healthier body – and the happier me – is a marathon, not a sprint.
We're so excited for our 2017 Fall Wellness Event! This is a great opportunity for you to bring your friends to our Avon Exercise Inc location and have them learn what we're all about! They'll have the opportunity to talk with our coaches and even try a workout.
Meet WIBC on-air personalities as Pat Sullivan, Denny Smith and "Dr. Dirt" Dick Crum broadcast LIVE on-location!
You won't want to miss the FREE spinal assessments from The Joint Chiropractic and FREE hand and scalp massages from Cass & Company Salon! Parabellum Firearms & Indoor Range will also be on-site explaining what they have to offer.
Receive a free spinal assessment
Free hand & scalp massages
Learn about Avon's premier gun range
I want to say thank you to every one of our clients and friends who stepped up to help the Vanderkleed family during this tragic time in their lives. The loss of their son, Logan, is an event that will change them forever. I know that many of you prayed, reached out and gave financially to support this family during this critical time.
Our mission at Exercise Inc is to help people. We try to do that in ways that go beyond making them stronger and healthier. When I found out what happened to the Vanderkleeds, I thought we could at least help them with their financial burden. I felt like challenging our clients to match our donation up to $2,500 dollars would be a great way to help them with medical bills and other expenses. My goal was to raise $5,000.
I was absolutely blown away by the generosity of our clients, our coaches and our friends. At this moment our Go Fund Me page has raised $10,125. That does not count the $2,500 check Exercise Inc already gave to the Vanderkleeds. I feel very fortunate that our company has such amazing clients and team members.
If you would still like to do something for the Vanderkleed family, or if you would like to continue following their story, their Facebook page remains active. Several individuals and businesses are donating proceeds to the Vanderkleeds from the sale of a variety of goods and services. The page also continues to add stories of remembrance for Logan, examples of how the Vanderkleeds have been touched by others through their pain and ways others are being encouraged through this situation.
Thanks to all of you who gave either financially, through your prayers, or by posting some encouraging words. Also, thank you for being part of our Exercise Inc family.