One big reason why you may be struggling with your health.

 

Take a moment as you read this to stop and have a look around you. Go on, have a peek… I’ll wait.

 

So, who are you surrounded by? Maybe you’re at the office, or sat at home. Wherever you are, notice the people around you. Are they people you regularly hang out with? Is this a place you come to a lot? What does this place and the people around you say about you, particularly when it comes to your health?

If its one thing I have noticed time and time again with my Health Coaching clients it is this…

The QUALITY of your ENVIRONMENT has the greatest say on whether you are successful or not.

 

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‘Who’ and ‘what’ you surround yourself with can either keep you stuck or propel you forwards.

 

We have all heard the “don’t have unhealthy food in the house” rule and its something that is simply overlooked by most people, but it works. Not being around crappy food lessens the temptation to indulge simply by not having it around! … But you knew that already right? Maybe we can learn from this approach to food when it comes to the people we hang with.

Who are the PEOPLE you spend most time with everyday, your best friends, your family?  What behaviours and habits do they engage in that have an influence on you?

 

Understand this… All the willpower in the world will not help you if your surrounding influences are miss-aligned to your goals. You will be swimming against the tide, always ‘trying’ to make the right decision but always failing because those around you do not share your intention for you to be healthy. Why should they? They simply want to catch up with you & have a glass of wine with their friend. They aren’t concerned with your health goals, whatever they might be.

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Lets call these people around you that are not aligned with your interests your ‘negative influencers’ when it comes to health. In essence and in brutal honesty, they don’t care about your health as much as you do, so its up to you to take control. Sometimes you must make tough decisions or else never evolve into the healthier version of yourself. If that means telling a friend you can’t have that drink with them tonight as you strive to install healthy habits, then so be it. A true friend will always understand, but you must speak up.

And what of the people whom you seem to have to put up with? The unhealthy co-workers that sit around you or the people that you ‘do lunch’ with. What about your family?

Well the first step is clearly identifying them. I was once told a problem well stated is a problem half solved. Once you become aware of your negative influencers you will start to see patterns within yourself and specific situations that perhaps you would like to change. This makes all the difference. You should start to see that you do indeed have a choice of who to be around and where to go. You become conscious of more opportunities to make healthy choices.

 

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Once you clearly identify where you have been letting yourself and your goals down then its time to make some decisions.

Here are the options as I see them…

1- Accept nothing will ever change and do nothing (stay unhealthy and stay struggling)

 

2- Continue to fight against the habits you want to change (hint: you can only do this for so long, your willpower will fade out)

 

3- Attempt to change them before you change yourself (good luck with that one!)

 

4- Don’t be around them if you know it will negatively influence you and you don’t feel strong enough yet.

 

5- Accept their behavior has an affect on you and attempt to put boundaries in place. Chat with them, tell them how you feel so that they at least understand your situation. Stay connected to the reasons WHY you want to improve your health and continue working on yourself in the knowledge that by being the example (to them) you will more positively be able to help others make better decisions in their life, therefore positively influencing your environment in the best possible way. 

 

 

I’m sure you have worked out that there are only two real options that will get lasting results and thats numbers 4 & 5.

 

Both equally effective. Both equally challenging. Both totally worth it.

 

I wish you all the best and hope you find a way to set the game up to win by shaping your environment in your favour. Remember you have to be the change you want to see in others and then you can take control of your surroundings to make positive change for you and for others around you.

 

Yours in health,

Ben

 

I’d love you to LIKE & SHARE this post if you found it insightful, and feel free to comment below.

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Why you aren’t feeling inspired and what to do about it

As someone who has predominantly always been fit and healthy, I must admit i find it hard to see how people can put their own health and fitness last in their life, behind things such as work and chasing the $$$. It always reminds me of the Dalai Lama when he was asked what surprises him most about humanity…

“Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.”

Mr Lama, Im a big fan 😉

But seriously it does make you wonder doesn’t it? What does it take for someone who doesn’t value their health and is comfortable making unhealthy decisions day in day out to change their ways? Quite often change can be forced upon us by some external factor such as a comment from someone about your appearance that gets under your skin, or suddenly realising your out of breath running for the bus, but for some its even more serious and may come in the form of a health problem such as a heart attack, natures little warning bell.

So if you are looking for inspiration to start a healthy living regime, or the motivation to continue along your healthy living journey, lets not wait for the warning bell to sound. Lets get Proactive in your pursuit of health and happiness and have you feeling 100% inspired.

The reason your not inspired… You haven’t found your WHY.

I was first introduced to this idea from a video clip from Simon Sinek which you can find here. Whilst the clip talks mainly about finding your why in relation to business, I think its applicable to the decisions we make around our health and many other areas of life. If you are looking for inspiration to get to the gym, go for that run, or eat the right foods, the key to that inspiration can be found in the only place you will ever find lasting inspiration…. IN YOU.

When I am with new clients I always ask them these questions… (feel free to play along at home)

What is it you want?

When do you want it by?

WHY do you want that then?

WHY also do you want it?

If you could give me one more reason, WHY is this important to you?

It may seem like I am repeating myself but the WHY is the most powerful question to ask which is the reason for asking it 3 times. Firstly I get an answer such as “because i want to look and feel good in my body”. Then its something like “because ill have the energy to play with my kids”. and then it something like “because i will be an inspiration to my family”. BOOM. JACKPOT. We can now get to work on the HOW.

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Most people focus on WHAT they need to do first. If lucky they then figure out the HOW. Very rarely do we look at the WHY.

If you find WHY you want to be healthy, the doing components of WHAT & HOW are made easy because you are clear on your mission.

With my clients, when you say I can’t do one more pushup, guess what, Im bringing out the ‘inspiration to my family’ card!

It has never failed me! Its so much more powerful than simply wanting to look good (although still a good reason I must confess).

I once had a Health Coaching client I was working with who came to me and told me she wanted to lose weight because she was sick of looking out of shape, feeling flabby and always tired.

Kate was a 34 year old business owner with 2 kids and little time. She had tried and failed with diets in the past and had also been put off from exercising in the gym as she had injured herself on numerous occasions. She was the typical yoyo dieter and on/off exerciser. I asked her what her health goals were she cringed looked down at the floor and muttered… “Just the usual, I guess I wanna lose weight”.

Now, knowing that Kate was particularly successful in business I asked her what the goals were for her business. Everything changed when she started telling me that her vision was to open more stores and be able to reach and help more people. It was like she accessed a different part of herself, her body language was open, her tone of voice  was firm and direct and she had a sparkle in her eye almost to the point of tears she was so energetic..

She values business and is willing to move mountains to get what she wants because she is clear on her WHY.

So I delved deeper into what she wanted for her health, and asked her again. There was an awkward silence. So I asked again with deadly seriuosness. And she said to me “You know what I really want? I really want more energy. I want to be able to keep up with my children and have them feel the same about their health”

“What would this mean to you if you could have this?” I asked.

“Everything.” She said. “It would mean the world to me.”

IT WOULD MEAN THE WORLD TO ME.

Can I work with that? Did I help her find that spark of inspiration that she was looking for?

In 3 months she lost 15kilos, had the body she wanted but most importantly she knows the ripple effect of her making this change means her kids will most likely value their health and fitness. She simply got clear on her WHY and focused on that every time she thought of her health.

So follow the advice Simon Sinek and do what successful people do. Get clear on what you want and then find your WHY.

What would mean the world to you right now and WHY?

I’d love to hear some of your “WHYS” in the comments section, please feel free to share.

As ever, any questions you have I will endeavour to answer personally.

And if i could ask one favour in return, Please SHARE this with anyone you feel it would help inspire and like my Facebook page for daily motivation (click here).

Ben

The 5 Pillars of Change- Part 5

So! Here it is, the final piece of the puzzle in our strategy to create change in your life. Lets dive straight in shall we…

You can recap the first 4 pillars here: CommitmentRelease/Let GoFocus, and Surrounding Influences. Each pillar is hugely important in getting us to the last pillar, taking ACTION!

Pillar no5- Action

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As a Coach and Personal Trainer, it is my role to get people from position ‘A’ (where you are) to position ‘B’ (where you want to be).  Make no mistake about it, the key is action.

When you take action you simply get more learnings. Think about this…. Lets say I am I trying to explain to you that a certain approach is the best. I can give you a thousand and one reasons as to how my approach is best and will yield the greatest results for you. You may be convinced to a certain extent but what has you really KNOW whether my approach is the best happens when you take action.

For example,  if you have never tried vegemite and someone explains to you what it tastes like, do you REALLY know if you like it or not? Of course not. I could tell you in finite detail exactly how its tastes and you still wouldn’t know. Its only when you actually taste vegemite for yourself (taking action) that you truly know what it tastes like.

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Your biggest learning’s come when you take action.

Think about the most successful business people in the world. Successful business people are action takers who realize that results come from action. They see failure as an opportunity to learn and therefore choose to take action sooner. And do you think a business that takes action sooner and learns from that action is more productive and profitable?- absolutely.

“Failure is Feedback”

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Imagine how much action you could take if you truly believed this!

How many learning’s could you gather?

Life is not ike a game of chess where we plan 10 moves in advance. Life is more like a game of tennis where we are forced to adapt to the shot we face.

So what role does action have in health? In business you can outsource what needs to be done, but with your health, its all you! You have to take responsibility over it and take action on a consistent basis to get results.

Health is what I call a slow feedback loop. You take action and you do not see the results of that action immediately. Again, consistent action is requires for results. It’s no good eating one healthy meal a week and pigging out the rest of the time. One fitness session a month and being lazy the rest of the time is not enough to create a high level of fitness. However, through consistent action you begin to start seeing results.

So you have to find a way to love what you are doing. If you hate running, walk first and focus on the things that you do enjoy about walking. Maybe it’s getting outside for 20 minutes that has you clear your head and breathe away the stress of the day that you love. Maybe its being able to listen to your music whilst walking. What ever it is, find something you can love.

The most important step is the first one. Find something you want to work towards and take the first step as soon as you can.

I would love nothing more than for you to finish reading this and make a decision to change something that isn’t serving you right now. Maybe it’s a food you want to stop eating or perhaps an exercise regime you have been meaning to start but have not yet “got round to it”.

Always remember, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Super cheesy I know, but logically undeniable!

What is it that you can do NOW to make a change?

If you want to be held accountable to making this change, why don’t you post the actions you intend on taking in the comments section below and share this post on your social media sites.

Only the brave enough will do this so when would NOW be the best time to commit?

So we come to the end of the series. Make sure you stay connected as I will be sharing so much more with you in futures posts.

For now I hope this series on the 5 Pillars of Change has given you some clarity on how you can make some changes in your life.

For me, I use the pillars each and every day. Of course there are times in life where taking action and making a change is easy, but for the times when change seems tough, stick to the 5 pillars and you will be amazed at the results.

Ben x

The 5 Pillars of Change- Part 4

So we roll on to part 4 of the 5 pillars of change…

If you have missed the first 3 pillars you can find them here, here & here.  I recommend reading them in order but thats probably just my OCD kicking in 🙂

Up until this point we have been mainly focusing on your internal world. We have upped your energy and commitment to making a change, we have let go of the exit strategies you regularly employ, and we have got clear and focused on what you want. So give yourself a pat on the back.

Well at this point we dabble with the external world a little. Its time to create.

Pillar no 4- Surrounding Influences

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Our next target is to create an environment where by you are lifted up to achieving your goals and not discouraged and disempowered by the influences of those around you. So many times I have seen people master the first 3 pillars perfectly and feel like they have ‘made it’ only to be dragged back down by the people they surround themselves with.

Now I know that ‘dragged back down’ is slightly harsh language, and I mean no offence when I say this but that is literally how it feels like. Of course on a deeper level, you and ONLY you are responsible for the changes you intend to make, but thats a different subject. In fact I will make a note to write a post on this in the future (excuse me for a sec…ok noted).

The people you regularly surround yourself with is just so important. Do not underestimate what you can achieve by simply being around the right people.

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend most time with” -Jim Rohm.

 Have a think about this for a second. What would this mean to you and your life if this was to be true? Would you be able to search and see where you are letting yourself down and perhaps trace these situations to a person or specific environment.

Next, what if we proactively changed the 5 people you surround yourself with the most? Imagine being surrounded by successful people who will only take you higher. People who are positive. People who believe in you. People who have done what you want to do. Would you start to be more positive and have more belief in yourself and in what you want to achieve? The answer is an unequivocal YES.Image

The “Chameleon Effect” is a term used to describe our subconscious desire to copy the movements, gestures and speech patterns of those we are close to.

Can you remember a time when you have spent lots of time with one person and in that time you have started to match them and act as they do? Perhaps you can remember going on holiday with someone and by the end of it you were ‘in-sync’ with them and literally felt like you could read their mind. You started to use their words to describe things and you even started laughing and talking like them.

If you are laughing and talking like them then you are also starting to THINK like them. This is were it gets exciting.

So this is what you can do. Now that you are aware of the power of your surrounding influences, why don’t you make a list of the 5 people you most regularly spend time with. If those 5 people are not in alignment with your goals, then you have a decision to make.

Now Im not talking about culling all your friends and disowning your family!  But become aware of their beliefs and behaviour and stay alert if its not in alignment with yours. Becoming conscious of there behaviour puts you in more control over what you choose to take on board.

 

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Next, write down 5 people who are getting the results you want. 5 people who are positive and successful. You know the type, the go getter.

For them to have been successful in attaining what you desire, they must have beliefs that are congruent to achieving that very thing.      Its. This. Simple.

You wanna get healthy? Go hang around a healthy person.

You wanna successful business, go hang with successful entrepreneurs.

You wanna make money, find someone who has money and strike up a relationship. (By ‘relationship’ I mean friendship… I just want to make it clear i’m not advocating gold digging here!)

When you hang around people who value who you are and what you want, thats when the magic happens.

 

Next week I will be wrapping up the 5 pillars so stay connected and get set to learn the most important pillar (didn’t I say that about all of them?).

If you have enjoyed this post Id love it if you could help me share this blog in anyway you can. Simply click LIKE  (on the facebook link) at the very bottom of this page or connect with me at Ben Levy Health by clicking here.

Many thanks!

Ben

The 5 Pillars of Change- Part 3

Welcome to part 3 of the 5 pillars of change. Up until this point you have hopefully fully understood the first 2 pillars and have started to incorporate them into  the decisions you make in you life.

So lets recap the first two pillars…

The first is commitment. That initial moment where you decide that action is required and you are willing to do whatever it takes. After the initial commitment to making a change what often occurs is an inner resistance arises from within, either in the form of limiting thought/belief or a negative emotion, often in the form of fear.

For example, the person who looks in the mirror and decides that today is the day they are going to change what they see looking back at them. They make a list of all the things that need to be done and perhaps even get started on that list, but they have this thought that because they failed in the past they will never be able to keep it up. “Ill never be fit and healthy” is inner thought and it reignites old fears. Commitment begins to decline and this attempt to change eventually gets added to the list of past failures.

Pillar 2 “Release & Let Go” has you accept these limiting thoughts and decide to let them go so you can move forward with more clarity and purpose. So can you guess the next pillar that comes to us naturally the moment we let go of the things that have been holding us back?

Pillar no3- Focus

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Can you remember a time when you finally decided to do something that you have wanted to change for ages? That moment when you simply let go of all your excuses and said to yourself ‘what the hey, lets do it!’

I certainly have had those moments and what always follows is a renewed energy and sense of conviction towards what needs to be done. Its with this new sense of direction and focus that we can plan and begin to get more focused on what you would like to happen.

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Gone is the energy holding you back. You are now looking forward to what is possible. It is at this stage, when you are filled with positivity, that you can start goal setting. Your horizons have broadened and you now feel more capable than ever to make this change stick for good. Your mindset is now finely attuned to what is possible and those old beliefs are no longer taking up space in your psychology. You have moved from fear to possibility.

“Focus on where you want to go, not on what your fear”- Anthony Robbins.

So go ahead and focus on where you want to go right now. Keep your commitment levels high, continue to let go of negative thoughts & beliefs that slow your progress and start focusing on an inspiring vision of what you really want to create in your life.

And go big picture. Imagine if you could let go of everything you think is holding you back. What would you be capable of? The answer is a lot more than you think!

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I hope by now you are beginning to see the potential value to applying these pillars of change in your life.

In the Part 4 I will be sharing with you what I consider to be an absolutely crucial component to creating lifelong change. Its a factor that all successful people fully appreciate  and it is critical to your success in all areas of life, particularly to health. You will not want to miss it!

Ben.

Click here for daily health inspiration!

The 5 Pillars of Change- Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of the 5 Pillars of Change.

In part 1 I discussed the importance of commitment when making a change or forming a new habit. If you happened to miss the first instalment click here.

As you may remember, commitment is the initial energy that gets you off your seat but the next Pillar (creatively labeled “pillar 2”) has you move forward more freely towards what you want to achieve.

Pillar No2- Release & Let Go

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This pillar requires you getting really REAL with yourself. It requires you to answer some searching questions with complete honesty about what has been holding you back from making a change. The importance of this pillar can not be underestimated because after the initial energy of commitment what usually happens is your old beliefs and behavioural patterns show up again and limit your progress. What you fail to let go of you give energy too and this can become draining for you physically, mentally & emotionally.

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So let go of your excuses. Let go of your need to control the outcome. Let go of the reasons why you failed in the past (incidentally the reason you failed is because you quit, if you hadn’t of quit would you have failed?).

Let go of the reasons why you think you might not be able to make this change. Believe that you CAN. Believe that you WILL.

“Whether you think you CAN or you CAN’T you’re right” – Henry Ford

There is a great freedom in letting go of your excuses and all the things holding you back. Simply allowing yourself to be ok with where you are means that you can move forward with more intensity and desire. Drop the excuses of the past and move forward with a fresh perspective.

Let go of your frustrations too. Our emotions play an absolutely critical role when it comes to our health. Emotions like fear and anger for example, although perfectly natural and needed in some situations, should not be held on to. Doing so will consistently engage the fight or flight response in your body and could eventually lead to a weakened immune system and flood the body with destructive stress hormones thus increasing the likelihood of problems such as CHD, anxiety, headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, skin problems, digestive problems and depression.

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Whilst holding anger and other negative emotions is harmful, so too is letting them out explosively. A study from Washington State University found that people over the age of 50 who express their anger by lashing out are more likely to have calcium deposits in their coronary arteries which increases the likelihood of suffering from a heart attack. Another reason to prioritise your chill out time.

And don’t just think that its your immune system that gets affected. On a purely aesthetic level your body shape aspirations will be impacted too. You wanna lose weight…. you need to lose the stress!

High stress levels equal a significant increase in specific hormones such as cortisol. When cortisol is at high levels in the bloodstream you can wave goodbye to any fat loss goals you may have.  I have seen countless people neglect their emotions and live with stress and almost everyone has found it extremely difficult to lose weight. Oh,  and do you think when you are emotional you have less control over what you eat? Absolutely! But thats a post for another day.

The fact is the human body functions perfectly when in a state of peace. In fact, peace is the bodies natural state. You owe it to yourself to look after your stress levels and preserve this amazing body you have been given.

Letting go is not only an important step in the process of change that will propel you towards your goals, buts its also vital for your health and long term happiness.

Stay connected & see you soon for part 3!

Ben

As you may be able to tell I am pretty new to this blogging game, this being only my third post. If you have any advice and feedback I would greatly appreciate it and obviously if you have any questions I will endeavour to reply personally to each one. Also, if you can think of anyone who would like this blog, give it a SHARE.

You can also ‘like’ me on Facebook for more daily inspiration and content on health and fitness by simply clicking here.

The 5 Pillars of Change- Part 1

First of all welcome to any newcomers of my blog.

I’m really looking to spreading the truth about health and fitness as there is such an abundance of misleading (and quite frankly laughable!) information out there.

My aim is to cut through the BS and bring to you the best information mixed with my own findings using my many years of experience in helping 1000s of people achieve their own version of great health.

In fact, I have so much good content to share with you in the future that I really was unsure of what to start with. Health and fitness is more than just what you need to do to get and stay in shape. Health is about more than simply putting in the hard work in the hope that it pays off.  Of course course hard work does indeed “pay off” in the long run, but to some people the sheer assumption that change has to be hard is enough to stop action in its tracks.

Did you just have that lightbulb moment and realise that this is you? That you have always assumed that change around your health is hard?  Have you been saying for years that you will make  a change one day, but perhaps not now because you just know its gonna be hard work?

If so, let me assure you that this next piece of information could change your life. In fact it HAS already changed so many lives. Not only in health but in many areas of life such as finance, business, career, relationships, emotionally and spiritually.

If you are looking for guidance in making a change within a specific area of your life, follow The 5 Pillars of Change. Over the next week or so I will be sharing with you each of the 5 pillars of change as each one deserves its own platform for discussion, each pillar is just so important.

Pillar no1- Commitment. 

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Quite possibly the most important pillar, commitment is the energy behind wanting to make a change. Its the revving of the engine on the start line. Commitment is the willingness to do what it takes to get outside and run when the wind is blowing and the rain falling. Commitment has you get real about what you really want and has you bring that drive and willpower to the table.

Commitment = Pleasure.

Hesitation = Pain.

Think about this… When you resist something, does it make that  thing go away? Of course not! If you resist putting petrol in your car, very soon your will end up stranded on the hard shoulder of the road wishing you had done something about the situation earlier.

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When it comes to health, this mentality is so dangerous. Do not wait to be forced into taking action. Do not wait for a crisis in your life. For heavens sake don’t wait for the doctor to be the one who tells you its time to change. Commit NOW to something you really want more than anything and there will be great pleasure waiting for you as a reward.

Have you ever fully committed to something with all your being. In that moment of full commitment, did the act of ‘doing’ seem so much easier than you expected? I believe when you commit to something with all your heart your brilliance shines.

Commitment is quite simply making the decision. Decide what you want and commit to doing what it takes. You dont have to know all the other steps, just start. Take the first step, commit to it.

So get to work on mastering this pillar. Get clear on what you want and make the decision to commit right now.

In the next instalment we will look at Pillar no2. As with all the Pillars of Change, each step flows naturally into the next one, so get ready!

Ben.

If you would like to experience the 5 pillars of change and learn how they can actively play a part in your life, check out http://www.liveitnow.com.au – quite simply an awesome interactive multi speaker event that has transformed so many people lives, including my own.

All proceeds of this amazing event go to Bear Cottage, who provide palliative and end of life care to children with life limiting illnesses, as well as providing support and respite to the families and carers of these children. (http://www.bearcottage.chw.edu.au).

Many thanks again, and I will do my very best to reply to any questions you may have on this post below.

Welcome to Health

“It is health that is real wealth, not pieces of gold and silver”

-Gandhi

Hello & a big welcome to my healthy living blog.

Let me introduce myself to you. Im Ben and for years now I have been a Personal Trainer & Health Coach helping people to get to where they want to be in life and fitness. People from all walks of life, at all stages of life and with greatly differing fitness aspirations have kept me on my toes throughout my career. I have trained people who want to lose 5, 10, 15 kilos for their wedding day. I have trained athletes. I have trained children, mothers, fathers, (sometimes all together!) and I have trained the average Janet & Joe’s who simply want to look good naked and feel great!

I knew from a very early age what I wanted to do with my life & I have always let my passion be my compass. As a kid I was so sporty so its no wonder I choose exercise as my career

School was tough for me, being bullied and moved from one primary school to another I didn’t seem to fit in. I also found learning really difficult and was even “tested” for special needs at the age of 13. I remember being told that day that all I needed to do was concentrate more and stop daydreaming.  I was the kid at the back of the classroom looking out the window. School bored me.

Lunchtimes however. Lunchtimes were awesome! Not because of lunch however, in fact I couldn’t care less about food back then. Lunchtimes were awesome because I got to do what I loved… play sport!

It was the same after school. I would come home, drop off my bags of and run to the fields to play football or tennis. If there was no one to play with, I’d play the wall. For hours.

And so began my love for physical activity. To this day, I love the way I feel when I am training or playing sport. I feel completely in the moment, disengaged from the demands of the outside world and able to fully focus on what it is I am doing.

I feel like I was born to help inspire people to live a healthy life and get in shape.

So now lets just saviour a moment where you (and I) have taken a moment out from our busy lifestyle to sit down and give some attention to the most important area of your life, your health.

Over the coming months I aim to show you what you can do to live a life of better health and more importantly how you can apply it into your lifestyle.

This isn’t the place for the quick fix fad diets and fat burning pills. This is a place of real easy, real simple, results producing information and strategies that work FOR YOU.

So lets get started shall we?…

Ben.

PS- I would love to hear from you if you have any topics that you would like discussed so please feel free to comment below. I will also endeavour to reply to all comments.