4 Tips to GAIN ENERGY instead of Weight this Holiday Season
by Ed Cohen
With the holiday season right around the corner, if you’re like me then you are getting excited to be getting together with everyone to celebrate the close of the year and share our hopes for 2015. It’s a time for renewal and unfortunately a time when I usually GAIN weight. But not this year and here’s why.
I have had a successful 30+ year career as a senior learning and leadership development executive. I experienced life and business in more than 40 countries and ran around like the energizer bunny with a never ending battery.
It caught up with me in January 2012 when I was struck down with pneumonia while living in Delhi, India. My body so run down from hard work, travel and stress that it took more than 2 years to recover. By April 2014, with most of my health back but, I was still fatigued, and about 40 pounds overweight.
That’s when I connected with Joshua Seldman who runs Executive Stamina. Joshua used to be a Professional Cyclist and is the co-author of “Executive Stamina: How to Optimize Time, Energy, and Productivity to Achieve Peak Performance.” He and his team coach senior leaders from Disney, Pepsico, Barclays, and many other companies all over the world. I liked what they are doing and signed on for some coaching.
First they had me take their online energy assessment. Up to this point, I thought of energy as something that diminished with age. I had no idea it was something I could actually measure and control. As a mid-50 something, I figured being tired was my reality.
With my assessment results, my coach, Francois, taught me the concept of having small, (they call them minimums) gains. At first, I thought “no way, I want immediate returns”, but he convinced me to give it a go. Four months later those minimums became maximums and those small gains turned to big losses.
I had dropped 25 pounds and the best part was I could actually get through the day without feeling tired. I now realize my life is a marathon rather than a series of sprints.
Executive Stamina is running a series of webinars to help people gain energy instead of gaining weight over the holidays and of course I will be one of the first to sign up. In case you’re also intereted, here’s the link for the webinar from Executive Stamina: http://www.executivestamina.com/webinar
In the meantime, I developed my own 4 tips and am happy to share them with you.
TIP #1: How you start predicts how you will finish.
Now, I’m not a sports fanatic, but I do like statistics, especially when they work in my favor (smile). In 48 Super Bowls (American football championship games), the team scoring first wins 70% of the time. It’s one of the clearest signs of who wins imaginable. It’s the same with the holidays. The first day IS THE MOST IMPORTANT. On day one, I plan to eat healthy, exercise (probably take a short walk), and rest. Based on what I learned my chances of exercising on day 2 go up by double and by day 3, I should be on a roll. The exponential effect is a scientific fact that my Executive Stamina Coach taught me to make sure I could let go of relying on all those silly tricks.
TIP #2: “No Pain No Gain” is a LIE.
I was always taught, “No Pain, No Gain” and I used that mantra my whole life whenever I could muster the energy to go to the gym. The problem was there were many times I talked myself out of exercising because I was in pain. Well guess what, it’s all one big fat lie. When we have pain we are far less likely to return. You don’t have to endure pain to gain. Ease up and feel good about what you’ve accomplished. Your brain will remember a positive and rewarding experience. Then you will WANT to do it again.
TIP #3: Fake it ‘til you Make it
When I was overweight (I still need to lose 15, OK 20 more pounds but I no longer see myself that way) my coach told me to start thinking of myself as a fit person. It completely changed my perspective, the foods I chose and how I moved throughout the day. How do you see yourself, fit or fat? See yourself as “fit” and you will live that way.
TIP #4: One truly is the Loneliest Number
Why increase your energy, exercise, eat healthy etc. all by yourself? You chances of success are far greater if you do it with someone else. Join a local group or if that doesn’t excite you how about an online group? Maybe you prefer to declare your plan publicly on your social media page. You never have to chat with anyone, just post and know others can see. If you want to be more private, find a friend and share your plan. Maybe your friend will join you. You can each set goals and every few days share them with each other.
Cookies, candies and all those tasty drinks draw me in at the holidays, but now that I am a fit person, how much and when I will consume is going to be quite different. On that note, I think it’s time to energize.