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The Bullhorn, Issue #040 -- Monthly Motivator for July 2009
July 15, 2009

Just the right push to succeed!

Less is More

There are NOT many instances in life where less is more. But in a recent health study that evaluated caloric intake on monkeys, they concluded that less calories = more life! Their study found that calorie restrictions of up to 30% may slow the aging process, have beneficial effects on the brain, and result in a longer life span!

And while many of us have the most success with short-term goals (i.e. “the diet”). It’s important to stay focused on a lifestyle change. It’s these changes that will impact your long-term eating habits and perhaps even help you reap some longer-term rewards in the quantity and quality of life that you lead.

In this same health article, it also stated that the average male consumes over 2,600 calories per day?! At first I was flabbergasted at this high number and equated it to the foods that I normally eat. But then I related into fast-food calories and 2,600 calories only amounts to 2 super-sized value meals. Do you know how many calories you eat per day? If not, check out some nutritional data tables and see what foods are highest and lowest in calories. Some foods may surprise you.

As you work towards your next fitness or weight loss goal, take the time to measure and write down the calories in the foods that you eat. Doing this has helped me shift from sugary snacks to fruits and grains. It’s also helped me pick the lesser ‘evils’ when travelling away from home…for example, a dinner of a foot-long Subway hoagie or 2 slices of pizza are just under 700 calories for a meal (skipping the chips and sugary soda, of course). But if you opt for the burger & fries combo or that 3-piece chicken, your dinner will almost be twice as many calories!

When starting, re-starting, or continuing your calorie cutting…remember that less is more! The new lifestyle that you forge with your hard work and willpower will involve some portion reshaping and snack habit altering…but you’ll gain energy, confidence, lower health risks, and hopefully a longer and happier life in return…not bad, eh?

Motivating Running Book

This past week, I finished a great motivating running book that has put a jolt into my training routine. It’s titled, Once a Runner, by John L. Parker, Jr. It is a fictional story of a collegiate athlete that is striving to break 4 minutes in the mile. And while very few runners will be able to relate to the grueling 120-mile weeks and intensity of workouts…all of us can relate to the mental and physical intensity of working towards a fitness goal. Check out the complete Once a Runner book review, if you’re a runner looking for a motivational boost.

As we continue to wrestle all of life’s challenges and try to fit fitness into our lives, having a spark of motivation can be invaluable. Motivation is what gets us off the couch, helps us close the cookie jar, and fills our thoughts with visions of success. Motivation is powerful. Daydreams, visions, and these powerful mantra can help keep us on track. Just like a song helps us pick up our pace, so too can a good movie or book stick in our heads and help us stay focused on our goal.

I’ve found running books, movies and even TV shows like The Biggest Loser to be tremendous motivational tools for my fitness routine. They help me visualize success. They not only bring clarity to my goal but they often shed some light on the path to get there. Some documentaries, such as Spirit of the Marathon, give us some great insight to real people’s plights. If you watch this movie, the TV show Biggest Loser, or any other such examples, you won’t see any pills or magic or other trickery…just hard work and discipline….and months and months of it!

If you’re looking for a motivational boost, look to others and their life experiences to help strengthen your resolve. A good book or movie can propel you and your fitness goals to the next level!

Exercise of the Month:

Pull-ups can be done at a gym, at a playground, on a home pull-up bar, or you might have to improvise a bit (please don’t do them on your home pipes or conduits, though. ;-). This exercise works out your back, chest, and arm muscles. It also can help strengthen your grip. The wider grip will work more back and lat muscles, while the narrow grip will work your tricep muscles. Start with a few sets of a manageable number of repetitions. Just doing one set each day for a few weeks will give you some noticeable results. They’re tough at first, but everything gets easier with practice.

Sound Off!

If you have any feedback (positive or negative), success stories to share, or suggestions for future articles, please feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you and we take all feedback, suggestions...and yes, even criticism very seriously. We’ll use this information to improve our newsletter and The Fitness Motivator site to help you and others like you attain your fitness goals.

Encouragement to Succeed!

P.S. - Please feel free to forward this to a friend!

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