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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A picture of progress from 6 months ago

I am sharing this picture with you to share my story with a picture. I have lost around 30 lbs in the last six months. It has been a super frustrating last six months of that and I feel like I have so much more to go. My goal is lose another 20-25 lbs before the summer. I have just started crossfit within the last year and I really think my body is going to explode into the best body I have ever had before summer gets here.

I will leave you with this, even when your world feels like it is crashing down on you and all you feel like doing is giving up, DON’T! It is a test to see how strong you really are. Be that strong person and then become that person that people look up to. Challenges will always be there and if you don’t have any, take time to truly evaluate yourself.

I am thankful for this journey and I am not going to say I wish the weight gain never happened. It truly showed me what was important in my life and that is my health as well as my self esteem.

Merry Christmas

Oh and one last food for thought, as we are going into the new year- I suggest to everyone to attack the new year as if you have nothing to lose, attack it as you have nothing to fear but fear itself. You owe yourself and everyone around you that.

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

Why you should start your New Year’s Resolutions TODAY

Two days ago, I had a conversation with my mother about life. She preceded to tell me how much I have kicked ass this year. For all of my regular readers I have to admit, I took a step back and recounted the stuff I had done this year.

Between my weight loss, my running accomplishments, my drive to get this blog started, to speaking publicly even with fear of my speech – yes I am afraid my good old lisps will come out, getting a new car, getting a new apartment and working for Merrill Lynch.

So I decided I wanted to share with you some secrets that I used.

We all get caught up in the New Year’s resolutions hype and frankly most of us get lost in it. There is no mystery that we often lose sight of our goals before February or March even hits.

What we really need to do is to decide TODAY what we NEED to change and what we WANT to change. The secret sauce once we think about what we want in the next year is to START them as soon as you put your thoughts on paper and in your mind. This will make you driven to achieve. Procrastination is in everyone’s bones especially when it comes to things that you don’t want to do which is why we need to set priorities. By doing so, it will enable us to see what is truly important. The human population often has to wait to hit rock bottom before making changes in their life. Why so? Why not TODAY? When you are thinking of your goals for the year, it will help to go for a run sans iPod in a natural setting – which is usually the best ways I come up with these blogs, that and talking to friends, think of your goals as steps for bigger goals that you want in your life five or ten years from now. When we are able to see progress, the process motivates us even more.

Positive thinking helps as well – when we view a new activity as FUN not aw not again – ex. Diet (positive) will be learning to cook new meals and experiencing new things. Exercising – find a activity that drives you, you will lose weight without even knowing it. Don’t be afraid of trying new things as well, you will never know unless you try. Thanks to Spartan races and Kronum for that, you are truly addicting.

Time is not an excuse anymore I believe. It all comes down to what we want and if we want, we will find ways to achieve. Did you know that the bed exercising you can do is thirty minutes of something with high intensity? Did you know that the most successful people – CEO who have a high demand of their time still find time to exercising. Please do yourself a favor TODAY and get rid of the worst disease you can have which is the excuse disease. 30 minutes of exercise add years to your life and more time with your relationships.

Make positive thinking one of your goals this year. Everyone thinks it is common but it is really not. We riddled ourselves everyday with worries of failure. Let’s put a stop to that TODAY. It helps to read a positive book – self help section has a ton of great books and if you don’t like books- buy an audio cd or watch a positive movie – The pursuit of Happyness is a great one with Will Smith.

Life is hard but ultimately we control the most important things and that is the choices we decide to make. Be aggressive, you have one life to live and you shouldn’t be afraid of losing something. It probably wasn’t meant to be there in the first place. Keep striving to be better everyday then what you were yesterday.

Start your resolutions today not two months from now.

Sincerely from the guy who decided to change his life in October of 2011 from barely able to doing a mile to running a marathon one year later.

Fat Guy Runs a Marathon Part II

The night before the race, I was really nervous. Thankfully, unlike the Spartan Races, I knew where I had to go. I knew how far I had to run. I also had a goal of doing it under five hours.

We got to Brianne Parent’s house and ate Pizza for dinner. Probably not the best thing to do but whatever I knew I needed a lot of carbs. I was very quiet throughout the night which always seems to be blatant evidence that I am nervous or something is wrong. There was a lot of stress involved with the race and helping Dennis/Bri with their housewarming party added to it. They were under a lot of stress and rightfully so. I felt bad going to sleep around ten for the race but Brianne ordered me to do so and that they would be fine getting the rest of the stuff together.

I awoke around 4:30 hell bent to make this the best day possible and achieve something that a lot of people even myself didn’t think was ever possible. Writer’s note: I am in firm belief now after 27 years of living that you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it. I wasn’t able to get a chance to eat breakfast due to the race being so early and the race was an hour away with evil Long Island Traffic. I got to the venue around 6 am and it was 39 degrees out, this is not the most ideal temp I was hoping for but I am glad it was not in the 80’s. I went to registration and they didn’t have me on the registration, so that stressed me out a little bit. I really just wanted to get there and put myself in a mind-frame of nothingness is the best way to describe it.

As the time towards the race continue to shrink, my stomach became more nervous, my brain began telling me how is the hell are you going to do this sir? The countoff went and we started running. The sun has just begun to rise and we were running towards it. It was amazing seeing the sun hit the water and casting its light onto your face. At mile 5, we passed the clock. Being that it was on a boardwalk at Rockaway beach, we had to do the course mulitple times so there were three times that we passed the clock. At mile 13, I passed the clock at 2:08 which was awesome because that is a really good time and I put myself at pace to get the marathon done at my goal time. At mile 18, I passed the clock again and saw that I was at 3 hours which again I was impressing myself. At mile 20, I have never felt such immense pain in my life but the famous marathon running WALL hit me like a ton of BRICKS. My legs felt like they were trying to get out quick drying cement. My hands became swollen enough that I thought I was becoming a blowfish. I passed away the time laughing at myself that I was going to get to mile 26, 365 yards away from the finish line and just blow up into pieces. I will say that humor has gotten me through an incredible amout of pain through all of my races. At mile 20 was when I had just started to walk/run too. It took me 3 hours to walk/run 8 miles. I was incredibly annoyed at my time but thankful that I was able to basically crawl my way to the finish line. The more I think about it, the more that I agree with it that the entire race is more mental than it is physical and that becomes more evident during the later part of the course. There were numerous points in the race that I wanted to give up but I was able to counteract it by being postive, staying focused and realizing that I was already hurting. It also helped that I didn’t want to go to my best friend house and tell them that I gave up.

I don’t know if more training would have been better or if due to the lack of no crowds, my inexperienece, four water stops (just water and gatorade, no gels, no food, no bars, no bananas) I really will put it into a cumlmation of all of these things but put it squarely on the lack of carbs available at the race.

I am also happy that after I was done the race that I was able to drink beer and lots of it. Also, it was great to have people at the party congratulate me on the race and asked how I was still standing, drinking, socializing, not in a hospital bed and partying. There were also a lot of comments on how good I looked and that was great to hear as well. It makes the journey more pleasant and easier to go through which is important to put yourself around a group of people that are positive towards the actions that you are doing. Pain was not even a word I can describe that I was in during the race or that I am still in while writing this. It hurts to walk, I have the worst chub rub that takes up the entire side of my right thigh that will take at least a week to get back to normal from the race. My skin is sensitive and my eyes are dried from the dehydration still. What is funny is how I used my legs to run the marathon yet my entire body hurts including my neck. I have also got the runner’s retained water factor going on. I weighed myself before the race and I just weighed myself this morning, I have gained 13 pounds. I got so scared, I immediately googled to see what was going on and saw many forums of runners that this has happened to.

I am still overwhelmed with emotions that I was able to do this and I think that next year I will be doing it again at a major city so I can experience the great stuff, the crowds and maybe even used it as a travel excuse.

As far as what is next on my list to accomplish, I am really not sure. I want to do the Ironman TRI next year, I have a lot of work to get started on if I want to do this. I do know that my goal is to lose tweleve pounds before Thanksgiving through crossfit and running sprints-fartlek. I will not be doing any more distance runs until next year.

I will continue to preach this if you will but no matter what happens, if you keep on being positve and keep on working to acheive something, you will achieve it. Heart is greater than talent. Heart is what makes people who they are. Motivate yourself everyday, it is something we need to do.

Until next time,

BA

Why do I run?

People ask me why do I run? Why do I do the Spartan races? Why do I do the Tough Mudder? Why do I pay upwards of $200 to torture myself for a day?

I do it to relieve the world of hurt I have experienced in the past year.

I do it because it enables me while I am runnig to think that there is nothing wrong with me.

I do it so I don’t do anything else that people do to relieve stress – drugs, sex, or work, eating.

I do it to make myself feel better

I put myself in a class of limited people which makes me feel better. There were only 10,000 people that did a Spartan Race in New Jersey, only one third of the registrants completed the race on Saturday. I was one of them.

I understand there may be more people that are healthier than me but I have achieved more, i have completed more races. I have done what people and friends thought was inpossible. It is like going to Harvard but not starting a business that changes the world.

I do it for change

I do it to make myself get out of my comfort zone, to be different, to not be just disabled but to be like the others that are on the course.

I do it to forget about my disability.

I do it because I get to take my hearing aids out and soak in what my eyes can see. The Spartan Races put you at the top of the mountain and it makes you feel so great knowing that you climbed up that high.

I do it to make myself think once again that there is nothing wrong with me, that everything is going to be okay. Running wipes the slate clean for me. It frees my mind.

I do it so I can get the negative voices or the demons as I call them out of my head for four hours.

I do it so I can find more ways to push myself even further.

I do it to make myself smile, there is not a single picture of me not smiling throughout the race even though I am in substantial pain.

I do it so I can believe in myself again, a couple of years ago I lost my mojo, I lost my happiness, I lost my will to be successful.

I have my mojo back now and I find it unfortunate that other people chose not to use it to make themselves feel better like I have.

People say you must love running and I laugh. I tell them the story that I never ran a mile until college with my freshman roommates. I saw right then and there how badly out of shape I really was. I played college baseball and running was my least favorite part. I played rugby, a game that requires 80 minutes of running and I hated it, I just wanted the ball so I could hit people. Three years after college in 2011, I could barely run a mile and I struggled to get to where I am today as well as where I could be on October 13th when I complete my first marathon. It is not the running that is hard, it is the habit that you have to forced onto yourself after being comfortable or set in your ways. It is the pushing yourself to the limits, it is experiencing that chance of failure and being happy by getting so close to failure but then exerting every last bit of energy that you have to jump over the obstacle at the last minute.

That’s why I run. I run with a purpose, to make myself better, to make myself be myself again and to put myself in the position where it is okay to be hurt again because you are trying.

Bryan Adamson
Motivate2Advance
Bryaneadamson@gmail.com

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Why do we live in a box?

Why does it feel like we live in a box?

“What’s funny is when we act like ourselves and not carbon copies of what others want or expect us to be is when great things happen; Why? It’s because we are happy. Being happy is the most important thing that should matter to you. Somewhere from being a kid to an adult, we lose the true meaning of life; let’s find a way to get it back. “
-Bryan Adamson

After the last pitch of a ballgame was thrown, I had stuck around to watch the fireworks show that was going to happen about twenty minutes after the game. During the wait, the stadium played some good dance music. While I was listening to the music, I saw two children who were probably seven and five to the left of me. The oldest was the boy and the youngest was the sister. What struck me was that they were listening to the music; they started to dance and sing like no one was watching. If you saw the video of Carly Rae “Call me Maybe,” they had it perfectly coordinated!
The reason why watching them struck me because looking around, they were the only ones acting like this, there were no adults acting like them or having the time of their life. I began to wonder on the way home what happened to us as kids from where we are as of now. Why or when did we become so concerned with what others think of us that we eventually become an entirely different person? I kept asking myself why do we live in a box (my boss frequently calls it the sandbox which he tell me to be nice and play inside of) as of today, he questioned me why I was blogging during my PERSONAL time instead of prospecting for business. I guess creativity is not a part of my life description in his words. I never was a big fan of rules (as my teachers would call it, I like to color outside the lines) and I have always questioned the normal, the status quo. I was the one that wanted to be in regular classrooms, I was the one that wanted to wear just the hearing aids not the assistive devices that they wanted me to wear, and I was the one that wanted to take the male teacher in seventh grade, not the other female teacher that had ten years of experience of working with hard of hearing students.
I have a great friend of mine named Tim that clearly lives in his own coloring book and I love it because the conversations we have are legit. He is a strong believer that we need to do more to promote independence among disabled individuals and not have the United States fitting the bills for everyone while expecting them to live beneath poverty. Disabled individuals can’t make more than 5,000 a year or they will lose their benefits that are roughly under $15,000 a year. He also says we would have been perfect for the decades of the 60’s and 70’s. I just think he has been watching too much Grease and Teenage werewolf. The other situation has been my tip toe recently into an online dating website and I have met someone where I am completely myself, I don’t hide anything and she loves it. She does the same. This is completely different from my previous relationship where I always thought I had to be someone else.
​I am writing this article because I want feedback from others and I want to make this a discussion an impact to help ourselves see what we could do to make our true light show. Please feel free to comment below.

• Why do we live in a box?

• Why do we hide our true personalities?

• What causes individuals to want to be popular, not different?

• In school, why were we so afraid of answering a question that the teacher asked?

• When did we become so afraid of living our lives because we feared of what other think of us?
o Are there events that might have happened when we were kids that forced us to live inside the box?

• Why do we not think about how we perceive ourselves more important?

• Why are the best companies (think Google, Apple, Facebook, and others) strive to promote creativity amongst their employees where other companies strive to crush it?

o If the best companies are doing it, shouldn’t we be doing it? Writer’s note: It is most likely due to the fact that the owner doesn’t want relinquish the control of what they worked so hard for, but in doing so, they may limit their growth possibilities.

• Why do we leverage the parenting capabilities of our parents as to why we are living the life that we are living today?
o Why do we use them as excuses?
Writer’s note: Maybe I am biased, so please share your thoughts on this.

• How do we get others to get out of that thinking?

• Can you?

I encouraged you to look at the famous athletes who overcame both of their parents being drug dealers or the person that becomes the first to go to college in the family. There are many CEO’s of companies that came from very poor lifestyles. (I.E. Jay-Z –Brooklyn) Use these individuals as guides, and understand that it is okay to fail. Failing gives us the ability to create ourselves and there is nothing better than living a full life of your own as well as not following the footsteps of others.
I don’t understand where the assumption comes from where people don’t think they can control their lives or make their lives a better situation. We see it in our economy how we are very much living in the old stigma of society as we are still struggling to cope with not being a manufacturing society anymore. I believe us, as a country (Automobile Industry is top of the list) have not gotten out of that era because it USED to be so great. I love teachers, friends with several of them and they are so restricted with how they can teach, they have to teach to the test and I tell you what, those great people of mine, they can change kid’s worlds with their ideas and leaderships if we let them out of the box.

What I want to encourage everyone to do
• Look inside yourself
• Take chances
• What challenges do I have?
• What are my excuses and how do I get rid of them?
• Stop following the status quo to be popular
• Listen to the beat of your own drum
• Think of ways on how you can be different
• Believe that your opinion and your input are important.
• Be willing to share your input with others without fear of being ridiculed
• Start looking rejection in the eye