Mental Toughness, Motivation and Day 5 of eating CLEAN

My parent's pantry!

It is day five of eating clean. What a roller coaster ride! I can’t believe how hard it has been! The funny thing is all I had to do was eliminate sugars – which I found to be really hard by the way since I love my coffee with about four sugar packets and a quarter cup of cream in the morning. I had to eliminate Peanut butter as well, whelp! This guy here eats about a jar a week. It has been a key ingredient of my diet for my whole life, I believe in the sixth grade I was up to three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a day; Thanks Mom! I also had to eliminate Alcohol, and grains from my diet as well. While my diet has been tough, I am already noticing the difference. I have dropped about three pounds and I am starting to notice that my love handles are starting to shrink. I really didn’t want to post that but I made it a goal to be more truthful this year. What I am noticing during this key five day period that this diet has been a case of mental toughness and boy, have I grown from the past year and half with my mental toughness due to my weight loss, Spartan races, marathons and doing CrossFit. I absolutely love food – I was taught to eat everything off of my plate for dinner before I could do anything and if I didn’t, I got a scolding from Dad and occasionally my lovely crazy grandmother. It was tough growing up from a family where food is certainly a way of expressing love and on top of that, food was not to be wasted! On top of that I dated an Italian girl for about seven years and yes we ate a lot of pasta, so not having it right now on top of exercising almost twice a day has been hard! I also think I have a relationship with food, I think I can acknowledge that and I think a lot of other people who are heavier can attest to that as well!

So back to mental toughness and motivation. It is key that I have a goal and that goal is eating clean for thirty days which will clean my system out of all of the garbage that I have been eating. The motivation that I have is my body is going to look and feel better after the thirty days – hopefully! The diet is based on getting rid of inflammation which in my case, I have a lot of that around my stomach area! Ha-Ha So in terms of mental toughness, when I am coming against forces like my family wanting to order pizza last night because that’s what we do on Friday nights, I suggested to my mom that I have to eat clean and to please let me take her fifty dollars that she would have to spend on pizza and let me cook something healthy! She said yes!  Especially since she doesn’t have to cook which after cooking for five boys for the past twenty years, you can see why! I also saved her about thirty bucks since dinner was around 29 dollars, another plus! On my first day, I turned down a beer from a good friend after helping them with their water heater and if you know me, I NEVER turn down a good beer.

The biggest animal is not eating clean for thirty days but it is fighting yourself, your mind against the temptations that exist. It is easy to say oh well, I can have this, it is just one but what you are really doing is defeating yourself, before you know it, you will be saying well I already had one, what’s one more going to hurt and before you know it, you ate a whole box of cookies or a whole jar of peanut butter! I came home to my parent’s house this weekend due to a business meeting out in West Chester and there was my favorite cake on the table called a babka (a sweet yeast cake) and there are cookies still left over from Christmas! I have yet to touch them and I don’t plan on it. It will be much safer when I get to my bachelor pad that has barely any food in it but for now, I credit CrossFit and all of the races that I have done for improving my mental fitness. Without my mental fitness improving race after race or workout after workout, I wouldn’t be this good right now. Mental fitness is hard to come by and I have taken a lot of hits along the way.  I gave up playing college baseball way too early because I didn’t feel appreciated. I blew up on my diet after college because I was focused on taking care of someone else besides me. It is easy to say yes to the desert placed on your table at family dinners. It is easy to say yes to a beer with a friend because of the instant gratification that happens because of it. Our society is certainly struggling with that concept today with statistics that show more than half of Americans are obese and more than half of marriages end up in divorce. Say yes to something that is hard andit will change your life in the LONG run.

If I were an employer, I would immediately hire me or anybody else that has done races or does CrossFit because it takes an incredible amount of mental strength to complete those and trust me, you want someone that is not going to give up before the work even starts. We live in a world full of anxiety where people are scared to take chances before even taking the first step. Once you beat the negative voice that is talking in your head, everything else suddenly becomes easy! Tell your mind that you are going to accomplish something and the rest will follow. It is important to have goals because having goals will encourage you to stay motivated. Have rewards as well! I am hoping to look better than ever after this thirty days and hopefully if I do, I can implement it into my lifestyle and then have occasional cheat days to treat myself.

Take necessary actions to build up your mental toughness, it will make you stronger as individual and it will attract others around you that are the same which will enable you to be better off for it.  Once you achieve something relatively small, then all of sudden, a domino effect of more positive things keep happening in your life.

Work on your mental toughness by achieving one goal today. Tomorrow, when you wake up work on achieving another goal before the end of the day. Make it a habit.

Well time for me to do my workout of the day, I am going to run a mile as fast as I can which I am aiming for under seven minutes. Not bad for a guy who could barely finish one a year and a half ago.

Have a great weekend and look for my next blog post next weekend where I am going to write about being out of my comfort zone at my first CrossFit competition!

Until next time,

BA

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Why everyone needs an asshole of a best friend (A humorous approach to Motivation)

Everybody needs an asshole of a best friend that dissects you and then tells it to your face to the point where you want to punch them in their mouth.

It just so happens that I have that best friend, he is 6’7, I should add an inch or two because of his bright carrot top jewfro hair of his but I will play nice this time, he is one of New York’s finest police officers, loves beers and could use some work on his dancing skills –he should never let a deaf guy beat him in a dance-off at a wedding. True story

To this day, we have been best friends for 7 years and 9 months, I would say it was 8 but that kid hated my guts the first semester of college, I still have no idea WHY we are best friends but I can’t thank him enough for being in my life. Here’s why.

My girlfriend of six years broke up with me and I am driving to this kid house which is four hours away to basically spend the weekend drowning myself in beer with him, he tells me no wonder she broke up with you, you are FAT, you are a pathological liar (I have a problem with exaggerating) you have no savings, you have a business that is a failure and you like the wrong kind of internet (insert your own words here, trying to keep it PG-13 here)

Oh, he also told me that I would NEVER be able to date an attractive girl who didn’t have a hearing loss. He also wrote my match.com profile and made sure to tell everyone that yes I was hard of hearing which I was mortified of course. I think he was telling me I needed to step up my game or he was talking to himself trying to figure out why I am friends with this kid.

Since that conversation which was probably the best conversation I have had or ridiculing I should call it, I have been on an absolute rampage. I have lost over fifty pounds, built up some savings, getting used to telling people the truth while trying to stop making myself sound better all of the time to impress people. Sometimes, I NEED to sit back to realize that I am doing pretty well for myself and the people who are not impressed probably shouldn’t be in your life anyways. I am back on the dating scene and it has been very good to know that there are some great girls out there. I started this blog and I am finding new ways to push up my business, I have come to the realization that building a book of business takes time as people don’t trust you overnight anymore. I have come to find that the network I have is very willing to help me.

To this day, I am still trying to figure out why I am that personality type that if people can’t tell me to do something, I automatically try to disprove them. Motivation is a crazy gorilla and I am latched onto the back of it going along for the ride. The image of him and others that think that there is no way I can do something fuels my fire. It gets me out of bed in the morning.

In conclusion, I find that I am best when I surround myself with people who are better than me.  I have found that I will always be the reacher in a relationship not the settler. Why? Because I am in the firm belief that if you surround yourself with people who think that you are great, you will never feel the urge to make yourself better. This is why family is important to you as well, they have no problem telling you like it is because well you are blood and you have to deal with it.

A female just ran across the United States which seems improbable enough except she did the entire thing barefoot. So how are far are you willing to push yourself?

Questions I have for my readers? What fuels your fire? Was this helpful? What are some of your problems that you are encountering? How do you get through them?

Until next time,

BA

Above and Beyond The story on how one business can change the direction of a person’s entire life.

Above and Beyond

The story on how one business can change the direction of a person’s entire life.

 By: Bryan Adamson

     As I was reading the New York Times Newspaper a couple of days ago, I saw an article about a Fortune 500 Female CEO describing a situation where she was face to face with her high school counselor who told her that she would never be more than a receptionist. I decided that my next article was going to describe a business that is more than just a business and without them, I wouldn’t be the successful individual that I am today.

When I was a little boy around the age of five, I started to disobey my mother. Wait, wait, timeout, correction, when I was out of the womb, I started to disobey my mother! While I was growing up and beginning to hold a conversation at the age of two or three, my mother started noticing the difficulty that I was having hearing whenever she talked with my back towards her. Her suspicion was that I had inherited the gene of my father, selective hearing with a minor case of a hearing loss (there is a joke there, you see) 

I was taken to our pediatrician who at the time dismissed that I had hearing loss because his nurses gave me a hearing exam face to face and I passed with flying colors! Not once, but twice! We switched to a great pediatrician named Dr. Sey who became the steady family doctor, some of us not naming names still see him and have not moved on to different doctors. He immediately suggested that we see the fine, talented and educated red headed audiologist who will eventually change my life and my family’s life. 

After sitting down with the audiologist, and doing lots of exams which included sitting in a funky grey box inside the office of a hearing center, she concluded that not only was I hard of hearing but I had 85% loss in both ears. I think you can guess my mom was not relieved that her suspicions were true, but that her life had been turned upside down. (Warning: There have been several people that say she still skates around life on top of her head.) 

Mom had no idea what to do at the current point. She was being pushed and prodded every different way as a mother at that point. My grandmother, on my father’s side of the family recommended that I go to the Philadelphia School for the Deaf, which meant I would have only learned sign language and never be taught how to speak. (Some of my friends are probably wishing that this happened because I never seem to shut up sometimes on issues.) Later in life, we found that some of the kids that went there were several grades behind us. People told my mother that I would never be successful, that I couldn’t go to a real school.

The point of my story is walking into what was a little known business at the time. The business owner Liz took us under the wing, she didn’t just test and fit me with a hearing aid. She took the situation to talk to my mother, to find out what she really wanted for her kid, which was to have no limitations for me. She wanted me to go through life normally with as little of a speed bump. Little did she know, having a hearing impairment was a huge speed bump for me, but through the use of the relationship they developed, they crafted a plan of success for me. Not only that, the business took the entire family under her wing, and enabled us to fly by encouraging us to be our best. Liz always sought to get the best hearing aids on the market to help us succeed in school. Liz was also very helpful in making sure our Individual Education plan through the Philadelphia School District was made to cement our foundation to success. She didn’t have to do any of this, but she CHOSE to. Some businesses try to create as much profit without regards to service and relationships. She didn’t look at us and say “Next!”

Author note: This business now has three offices and continuing to grow immensely. The story above says it all. 

When I was in fourth grade, I was destroyed by the use of a “trainer”, now called a FM system, which is a special device that enables me to hear the teacher. The teacher speaks into a microphone that blocks out background noises. I was against it simply because I didn’t want to wear it. It was restricting me. I felt I looked horrendous wearing this “big box” around my neck! I wish I had a picture to show you! 

In 1997, my parents were tired of our family growing up in a drug-infested neighborhood.  Philadelphia Weekly newspaper ranked the intersection of Kensington Avenue and Somerset Street as the worst drug sale corner in the city. This is also the same neighborhood that the movie Rocky was filmed in, so you can get a sense of how bad it was then and how much worse it did get afterwards. My parents were faced with a major decision, they wanted out, but they didn’t know where to go due to educational issues. The family wanted to move to New Jersey but after talking to our audiologist and school psychologist Pam (another amazing woman) about their conundrum, they advised us against moving to New Jersey. The school district would not be able to support us and our insurance would no longer be able to provide us with our needs. (New Jersey school system is very different in regards to special needs student and without having insurance, we would have to pay for hearing aids, which are expensive. We, as a family get new hearing aids about every three to four years. Sometimes less, due to our excessive use and our athleticism, Hearing aids do not like sweat and often times, we have to carry on without them; I played my entire varsity football career without them or with my old hearing aids. 

Mrs. Liz Patterson (The red headed audiologist) also encouraged my parents to allow me to go to a top program in Philadelphia, which was the magnet program at Northeast High school not Lincoln. Lincoln is a high school that had a special wing for hard of hearing students who at times, were excluded from the main population of the school. Without her helping us make this decision, I never would have went to college where I succeeded there and without college, I wouldn’t be where I am today!

 

In conclusion, Liz went above and beyond her description of an audiologist. She didn’t follow the definition; she used her position as a place where she could create art. She didn’t look at her entrepreneurial business as a way to grow money on trees, she looked at it as what can I do to make a difference. I have noticed that some businesses are striving away from this; they want to get you in and get you out as fast as possible. Especially the larger a company gets. They don’t strive to develop relationships; they don’t strive to create raving fans (too much work apparently) I love small companies, I hope to create one where one day I can create something that will change the world.

I encourage not just all audiologists to read this story but I encourage everyone out there to read this article.

I wish individuals would understand that work is not work, work is an environment where you can make a difference. Work is not how you get paid in monetary terms; work is how you can make yourself internally better. How you live is by helping others live. We experience life so much better by giving more of ourselves than what the other person can give back.

Liz created the ultimate raving fan. Thank you Liz for all that you have done. I hope this shows up in a York College Business class someday.