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Moving past motivation

Moving past motivation

We give motivation (or more like, the lack of it) way too much control and credit for our (in)actions. Blaming the lack of motivation is a fruitless pursuit. So is waiting for the motivation to strike before taking action.

After a certain point, seeking for the holy grail of motivation becomes a waste of time. Like excessive planning without doing the actual work, the focus on the ups and downs of motivation keeps us from making progress. And there will always be ups and downs.

Take teeth brushing as an example. All of us have done it since we were little kids. It’s ingrained into our identity.

You don’t skip brushing your teeth because you’re not motivated. You don’t stop it for a month because you don’t feel like it.

Except on rare occasions (hot date!) you don’t have a burning drive to squeeze toothpaste on to that brush. You don’t stop caring for your teeth because it’s not (always) fun.

You don’t need an exciting monthly toothpaste subscription with ever changing flavours to spice up your evening routine in front of the mirror.

Almost anything that happens in your life makes zero difference to your teeth brushing habits.

You keep taking care of your mouth hygiene because it’s good for you. Because you’re the kind of person who looks after their teeth. Brushing (and hopefully flossing) your teeth are part of who you are and what you do.

What if you’d approach movement and exercise with the same Stoic mentality as you do brushing your teeth?

Become a physically active, ideally daily, because you’re the kind of person who does it. Because it’s good for you. Regardless of how motivated you feel.

That used to be you. Now might be a good time to reclaim it.

You already know how.

I finally cracked the code

I finally cracked the code

1.4.2022 Letter from Joonas’ desk.

I’ve finally discovered how to deliver anyone older than 40 years of age outstanding results.

And I’ve packaged it into a new coaching program. It’s the end product of a decade of searching, studying and extracting the truth.

Unlike my previous attempts that I’ve labelled simple but not easy, this one’s both. Simple AND easy.

I am embarrassed to say the answer’s been right in front of me for all these years. Yet, I haven’t been able to see it. My tunnel vision and narrow minded thinking have been clouding the deepest dips of my soul. And as a side effect, my eyes haven’t acknowledged the circulating universe.

I feel sorry for any of my past clients. I’m sorry I didn’t see this earlier. But it’s not too late.

This program is nothing like you’ve seen before.

A complete game changer. Simple and easy results to get to your strongest, healthiest self. While having the body you’ll be proud to show off. In fact, you’ll never want to wear clothes again.

You can see results quicker than you ever thought possible. And I promise you will keep them for life.

In the past, this would’ve sounded too good to be true. Arrogant even.

So what’s new?

A new training program? No. The principles of smart strength training still hold true.

A new revolutionary approach to eating? No. Reasonable eating habits are still the way to go.

The results are in. And they’re incredible.

I’ve seen 65-year-old men look like Ryan Reynolds, move like Bruce Lee, and have the strength of Ving Rhames. With the golf swing of Arnold Palmer and lungs of Clarence Clemons.

As for women? A recent transformation turned a 55-year-old into the spectacular combination of all the Charlie’s Angels, circa 1976. With the water polo skills of Ashleigh Johnson.

All in just 12 weeks. While eating whatever they wanted.

Are you ready for the secret?

They were all forgotten in the thick, unforgiving forest for centuries. Gaining energy and expanding. Until now.

Healing crystals from Mongolia. Each crystal fell off an asteroid that landed on earth during the early years of the Arghun Dynasty.

For maximum effect, each crystal is individually wrapped in foil and sprinkled with dried yak hair. Before carried on to a flat mountaintop, placed in a semi-circle at the end of a rainbow, and set on fire with a lightning. Waiting for the perfect rainbow and lighting combination can take decades.

But I felt like that wasn’t good enough.

So I had each crystal blessed by a one-eyed Finnish shaman. One blessing session takes a week and can only happen above the arctic circle. It involves repeatedly chanting the lyrics of Underneath Your Clothes, a hit single from Shakira’s 2001 Laundry Service record. Except that in the chant, ‘clothes’ is replaced by ‘foil’.

This makes the crystals glow in the dark*. They’re a real attention grabber on your bedside table.

What does this program cost?

What would it be worth to you if this could solve all your health and fitness problems, for life? Well, these healing, energy balancing crystals can do it. They did for me.

You are probably thinking tens of thousands of dollars. Hundreds of thousands even. But no, I don’t want you to refinance your mortgage.

I want to help you.

I will sell the total package for $750 (including shipping and GST). And I’ll also throw in a reindeer horn. Which has also been hit by a lightning. Although unintentionally. But still.

Alternatively, you can also pay me in teriyaki tofu sandwiches.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW!

But be quick. Once they’re gone, there won’t be more. Unless I can find another asteroid. Which is a lot of fucking work.

*There is also slight chance that some of these crystals are Soviet nuclear waste. Results may vary. 

The rules of graceful fitness

The rules of graceful fitness

Graceful and reasonable fitness march side by side.

Stay loose.

Breath through the nose.

Complete each repetition with a perfect form.

Finish each set with a repetition that looks as good as the first one.

Recover in a graceful, even elegant position.

Keep breathing through the nose.

Cover all movement patterns.

Know when you’ve done enough.

Leave a little (or a lot) in the tank for the next time.

Walk away feeling better than when you started.

Know when to skip a workout.

Every rule has its exceptions. But when you’re training for health, strength and life’s length, it pays to stay graceful for most of the workouts.

Injuries and burnout happen when you ignore the rule of graceful too often and for too long.

Weight loss course for non-dieters (FREE)

Weight loss course for non-dieters (FREE)

Something different today. I will occasionally share resources from other health professionals. Resources that align with my ‘reasonable fitness’ philosophy and help you live a more active, fulfilling life. So you can do more dope things in life. Without, you know, doing dope. Because it’s not good for you.

I’ll list them on my Stuff You Need to Know About – page. But if it’s really really juicy, I’ll blog about it too.

And today’s free fat loss course (+ emotional eating podcast) from Georgie Fear of Nutrition Loft fits into the juicy category.

_______________________

Weight Loss for Non-Dieters (FREE)

Struggling to lose and maintain fat loss with traditional diets? The weight might go down, but like another uninspiring Marvel movie that you couldn’t care less for, it always comes back.

Traditional calorie counting diets rarely work for foodies. Eating is meant to be enjoyable. Not an exercise in maths class. Besides, there’s only so much steamed broccoli one can eat without wanting to bury their head into a steaming basket.

Strict diets might work for those with the willpower of a pine tree. But a mere-mortal needs solid principles that work with your life.

All the while still allowing you to thrive in the activities you love doing.

This course by Georgie Fear (RD) is the antidote to traditional weight loss diets. Instead of following strict rules, you’ll learn how to make fat loss principles work in your life.

You’ll learn how to lose weight, and how to keep it off using the trinity of sustainable fat loss: nutrition science combined with intuitive eating and body acceptance.

Most coaches, nutritionists, and dieticians would and will charge for access to this kind of resource. The fact that Nutrition Loft’s weight loss course is completely free just… I don’t know. I. can’t. even.

It’d be borderline crime to not recommend the course for most people* struggling with weight loss.

*If you struggle with emotional eating or binge eating, the weight loss lessons on their own won’t help. Instead, Georgie’s Breaking Up With Binge Eating podcast is a better free resource to begin with.

Access the free weight loss course here.

-J

The struggle of changing surface level habits

The struggle of changing surface level habits

It doesn’t work.

We can try to implement all kinds of media sexy, but shallow tactics to improve our habits. Setting alarms, eating slow, always having vegetables in the fridge. These can work if we’re using them to simply remind ourselves to do whatever the habit is that we want to be doing.

There’s nothing wrong with the tactics we try. That’s not the problem. But the tactics on their own rarely, if ever, deliver the results we want.

The problem isn’t that we don’t know what to do to change our behaviour. Nor is it that we don’t know how to do it. We can access all this information with less than seven taps on our phone screen. Give or take a tap depending on the length of our pin code.

No, the problem is our unwillingness to change. The thought of changing who we are and how we behave scares us away from successfully alternating our behaviour.

Maybe the potential change threatens who we are. Even if whatever we’re doing right now isn’t working. So we self-sabotage any potential success we might have. Either knowingly or subconsciously. While blaming it all on tactics.

That’s because the surface level tactics usually stop working once the novelty wears off. We move on to another habit. Something that feels more exciting than whatever we’re currently doing. This cycle keeps repeating and we end up like Truman. Trying to leave, but getting nowhere.

In the end, all the habit changing tactics are useless. Unless you decide to go to the root of the problem first.

It could be about changing parts of your identity. Or about rewiring some knots from the childhood.

Only then can you see success with the surface level tactics and habits.

 

 

 

We’re like trees

We’re like trees

I’ve been listening to this book about trees. Yep. Wait! Hear me out, it’s super interesting. Trees are incredibly complex. And the author did solid work dumming down the topic. So that I too can understand it. And feel kind of entertained listening to it.

Throughout the book, I kept seeing these similarities between us and the trees. The modern forest management has a bunch of unhealthy parallels to how we manage our own individual health and fitness.

In both cases, we’ve said farewell to patience in favour of quick results. And it’s not working.

Even in (relatively) well-managed forests, the goal is to grow trees fast. The quicker the growth cycle, the better the profit. If you can get a tree to a chop-chop-length in 100 years vs 200, the better it is for the wallet. Right? No surprises there.

The thing is, a tree would prefer to grow slow for a reason. 

When they grow slowly, they become denser and thicker, instead of just prioritising height. Which then helps them grow old and be more resilient to storms and all kinds of tree loving bugs.

When we force trees to grow fast, the trunks are slimmer and filled with air bubbles. They’re weaker than their slow growing tree buddies. Which I guess is fine if you and all your mates are going to get chopped down anyway at the 100 year mark.

But it’s not just the tree itself that suffers because of the fast growth. If a tree is suppose to live up to 300, even 500 years, it’s no wonder the entire ecosystem of the forest goes through a spinner when the tree gets cut down at a youthful age of a 100.

Every being from scrub, to fungi, to bugs, to birds, to big mammals. They all suffer because of the trees fast growth and early demise.

[They suffer in ways that is way too complicated for me to explain. So you just have to take my word for it.]

And since everything’s connected, all this negatively affects the wellbeing of our planet as a whole.

Now, you can probably draw the comparisons between tree growth and how our society seeks quick fixes and fast results in fitness. 

Aggressive fat loss plans, diets, shakes, supplements and all the rest. Unsustainable approaches, only to leave us full of proverbial air bubbles. We’re less resilient when the storms of life happen.

An ongoing cycle that not only makes the person in the middle of it all unhappy. It also affects those around them. And eventually puts an extra pressure on our medical system with chronic diseases and whatnot.

As for unsustainable training approaches, look no further than my first ten years of training. Too much, too often, too aggressive. The result? Air bubbles. Constantly injured and sick.

That’s a long-winded rant about how slow is the way. Slow’s how we get results that enrich our lives. Slow is how we become resilient.

And the sooner we accept it, the quicker we can start seeing and enjoying our results.

-J

 

Simplifying fat loss

Simplifying fat loss

Why is fat loss so complicated? How can we simplify it for those who struggle with it?

I’ve been thinking this a lot.  

What if we’d strict away all the excess and only focus on what really moves the needle and the digits on the scale. While still making it achievable for almost everyone.

Now, I assume that you’re already physically active at least three or four days a week. This doesn’t all have to be strength training. But can (and probably should) include walking, gardening, recreational sport (if you’re into that). Anything that gets the heart rate up and turns you into a moderately sweaty mess.

Those four days of movement are not there to burn calories. Yes, it happens. But the reason for movement is to help you regulate hunger. And to maintain muscle mass while the fat is dropping.

That out of the way, here’s what I’d focus on when it comes diet.

Eat around 80 to 120 grams of protein a day

That’s around five to eight heaped cupped handfuls of beans, legumes, soft tofu and the like. Hard tofu tends to be higher in protein so adjust accordingly. Pays to read the label.

Don’t worry about spacing the protein out evenly throughout the day. Yes, it helps. But let’s try to not add any layers of complexity to this.

Do whatever works with your eating schedule. Although you might struggle getting it all in if only eating two meals a day.

If you can get all that protein in without adding protein powder, the better. But supplementing with a scoop of protein powder can sometimes help if you’re pinched for time. Especially if you can make it into a combo with the number 2 on this list.

Eat at least 6 serves of non-starchy vegetables and 2 serves of fruit a day

Fist size makes for a serve. 

On days when you’re super active, you could pump the fruit to 3, even 4 serves. Fresh or frozen. Whatever works for you. I’d keep dried fruit to minimum because it’s easy to overeat.

As for non-starchy vegetables, you really can’t have too much. Well, at least once you learn to appreciate your newly found bowel movements.  

Fresh, frozen, tin, smoked, skewered, stir fried… They’re all good. Do whatever works with the meals you already eat.

The more colours you can include each day the better.

Drink only water, tea or coffee 

A simple way to reduce calories. Nothing more to it, really. That, and coffee is the drink of gods.

Get at least 7 hours of good quality sleep each night

Ok, not a diet habit. But it’s here for a reason.

Proper rest helps you manage stress, recovery and therefore, hormones.

Fat loss is hard as it is. You don’t need to throw another obstacle on your way by skimping on sleep.

Bonus! We also tend to make better eating decision when well rested.

Wait. Has Joonas become a keto zealot? A low-carb dogmatist? Is he now an anti-vaxxer? IS HE DRINKING DECAF?!

Nope. Never. I will die on that coffee soaked carbohydrate hill.

I didn’t say “do only these four things”. Rather, make those four points your main focus. 

Marvellous things happen when you eat 80-120g of protein a day with at least 6 serves of non-starchy vegetables, and 2-4 serves of fruit. 

You’re feeling fuller. You’re likely to snack less as your cravings go down. Whatever hunger you have left can be filled with carbs, fats, an occasional Oreo, a glass of pinot… 

Focus on those big rocks and fill the gaps with the rest. And since you’re mostly sticking with water, tea and coffee, there’s even more room for whatever else you might desire.

As for sleep, 7+ hours makes anyone a nicer person. The body is more likely to partner up with you on this fat loss dance. Both physically and mentally.

Set some parameters to keep you on track. Then do whatever works for you within those parameters.

Don’t eat according to what others think

Don’t eat according to what others think

Don’t eat based on what you’ve been told in the past, if it no longer works for you. And especially if it’s never worked for you. Don’t eat based on what’s trendy. Trends come and go. And they’re mostly based on what gets clicks.

Don’t believe anyone who says their way is the only way to eat. Especially if it goes against everything with a scientific backing. And double especially if the person tooting their diet solution doesn’t have the credentials to stand and yell on. Regardless of how convincing they might sound. And even if they have a long list of testimonials.

Instead, eat based on what works for you. You don’t have to justify it to anyone.

This is all common sense. But we rarely base our eating habits on rational thinking. We’re influenced by the culture we live in. The people we hang out with. The things we see on the tv and on the billboards around the internet. Well-intended, or not.

It’s good to keep reminding ourselves about the forces that move us. So we’ll have the awareness to deal with them.

It feels comfortable for a reason

It feels comfortable for a reason

Most of the things that are comfortable are usually not that good for our health and longevity.

Swamping on the couch watching tv. Eating soft food that requires little chewing. Never feeling hot or cold. Never exerting ourselves. Never walking bare foot on annoying surfaces. Distracting our thoughts by using our phones. Playing Mario Kart at midnight.

This doesn’t mean that life needs to be a constant struggle. But if you go days without doing something that physically and mentally challenges you… It might be a sign to change a thing or two.

Yet, our experiences are not universal. What might be physically comfortable for you might be excruciatingly uncomfortable for someone else. We’ll all do better by letting ourselves be the judge, or rather, pay attention to our own experience. Instead of getting carried away by what others might think.

And while at it, we should grant others the same privilege.

Start from zero and simplify

Start from zero and simplify

Higher! Faster! More cowbell! We often think that more is better. That the more habits we can cram in, the more likely it is that we’ll reach our goal. This, of course, isn’t how it works.

We know that our success rate is good when adding just a one habit change. But the odds of sticking with the changes drop dramatically if we’re making two changes at the same time.

And going for three or more changes at once? We might as well wait until one morning we’ll see an image of Elvis Presley appear on our toast, then open a can of beans, arrange them on the floor, close our eyes, and whisper quietly for our all dreams to come true.

Most of us are terrible at multitasking. It dilutes our efforts. Sure, we end up doing a lot of things. But none of them well enough to actually get anywhere. There’s a saying in Finnish that roughly translates to “trying to climb a tree with ass first.” That seems accurate here.

Instead, start from zero. Where are you now?

Decide where you want to go. What is your goal?

Then, simplify. What are the least amount of steps you can take to get to your goal?

This forces you to eliminate all the unnecessary paraphernalia. The actions and habits that might sound nice. But don’t bring any meaningful value to the change you’re trying to make.

Then commit to only taking one step at a time.

It’s going to be hard. Because hard steps are the only ones left once you strip away the excess.