My Blog Has Moved!

With the latest update to my website, I can now blog from there! WordPress has been good to me, but I’m excited to blog from my own platform.

If you want to keep seeing my content you have two options.

  1. You can friend me on Facebook, where I share all my new articles.
  2. You can sign up for my newsletter

Either way, I hope you’ve enjoyed my articles and I hope I haven’t lost you as a reader!

Cheers!

P.S. I have an instagram now! Follow me @mortonfitness

Weekly Fitness Reads: 5/16/16

https://authoritynutrition.com/13-tips-to-stop-mindless-eating/

We eat most of our extra calories without realizing it. Being mindful might be the most important skill in eating for fat loss. It’s not easy though. Here are 13 science backed ways to limit mindless eating.

http://tonygentilcore.com/2016/05/why-train-the-posterior-chain/?utm_source=tony&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=whytrainposteriorchain050916

The posterior chain consists of the low back, glutes, hamstrings and calves. It’s basically everything you can’t see in the mirror. While a nice backside can be easy on the eyes, there are also some very important reasons other than appearance that we should focus on this area more than the mirror muscles. This piece does a great job of explaining why and how to train the posterior chain.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/05/health/afternoon-hunger-munchies/index.html

The picture is often bigger than we perceive. Lots of mindless snacking happens in the afternoon. But why?

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook “Insanity Free Loss” 🙂

 

Turning Your Excuses Into Progress

Excuses aren’t helpful. Agreed? Good.

Moving on.

More important are the reasons we feel inclined to make an excuse.

An excuse is used as a justification for a mistake or imperfection. Excuses seek to lessen blame or judgement.

Considering how fucking judgy the fitness world can be, no wonder it’s riddled with excuses. We hate feeling judged!

If we think we’re going to be judged, an excuse is a rational defense mechanism. We all make excuses for our imperfections, so there will be no high horses allowed.

get-off-your-high-horse

I don’t fault people for making excuses. That said, if we own the fuck out of our imperfections, we will nurture a greater capacity for growth and behavior change.

The excuses we make to ourselves hold us back the most.

Excuses prevent us from being honest with ourselves.

Self talk matters. When we make excuses, we shirk responsibility.

The missing factor here is acceptance.

We can’t fix our mistakes if we don’t accept the fact that we made them. To move forward we need to be brutally honest.

Excuses are sustain talk– they reinforce our internal status quo.

Taking responsibility and really owning our shit is hard, but it’s challenge worth undertaking.

Reasons, on the other hand, are an analysis. Reasons seek to objectively explain a series of events.

The search for reasons implies acceptance, mindfulness, and assessment. All of which are necessary to overcome our barriers, rather than continue to bash our faces against them.

So how do we turn excuses into reasons?

Build a habit of mindfulness around excuses.

Be on the lookout for excuses. When you notice one, dive into the fear shower and seek out the reasons you made that excuse.

You’re trigger for practicing this habit is guilt. Feelings of guilt usually precede excuses.

If you notice something else that would serve as a more consistent, obvious trigger then by all means use that.

We all have different relationships with food and exercise. I don’t mean to paint this issue as being black and white. My aim is simply to provide a starting point for exploring this relationship.

When you’re trigger happens, tell yourself out loud, “It’s OK”, ideally in the mirror. Next, try to objectively tease out the reasons for the decision in question. A journal where you reflect on your fitness journey can work wonders here.

Note that feelings (guilt, sadness, stress etc) can be objective reasons.

Objective simply means honest. Objective doesn’t mean denying your feelings. It’s actually the opposite. Objectivity means fully embracing and accepting that, “This is how I feel”.

torn

Be brutally honest. It doesn’t matter what the reason is, as long as it’s honest.

“I was tired and didn’t feel like it” is honest. “It’s OK because I went for a run today” isn’t.

If we can remove moral attachment to foods we can lessen food guilt and the ensuing excuses that stand in the way of our fat loss goals.

Another way to combat food guilt and excuses is to join a crew of people you know won’t judge you because they are experiencing the same struggles.

A culture built around growth and acceptance might be the best way conquer this. And I’m not just saying that because I want you to join the Tribe of Badassery Coaching Group. I promise 🙂

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook “Insanity Free Loss”

 

2 Simple Tips And 1 Less-Simple Tip To Break The Snacking Habit

Snacking is an easy way to unknowingly rack up extra calories.

You know this.

But what if having this knowledge doesn’t fix the problem? How do we effectively reduce our snacking?

Eat bigger meals

Snacking isn’t inherently at odds with fat loss.

In fact, the 3 solid meals + 1 snack a day setup seems to work really well for most people. However, compulsive snacking is where we run into some problems.

This is where the “don’t eat after 10 pm” myth stems from. The food we eat after 10 is usually compulsive. We eat out of boredom or stress, not because we’re actually hungry.

When people stop eating after 10, they cut out a decent amount of compulsive eating. The weight loss here is correlation, not causation.

We’re not gremlins. Eating after 10pm doesn’t automatically cause weight gain.

Caloric balance still matters–meal timing doesn’t change that. It’s just that we often eat calories we don’t need after 10.

Sorry. I got sidetracked. Back to eating bigger meals.

We should feel satisfied after meals.

Fullness doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve overeaten. For example, feeling stuffed from grilled chicken vs. pizza will yield two drastically different caloric scenarios.

Feeling satisfied after meals will help limit the impulse to snack.

Less cravings= less need for willpower=less feelings of deprivation=less snacking.

Don’t keep unhealthy snacks around the house

Our environment greatly influences our behavior in ways we may not realize.

whats water

If snacks aren’t in the house, our cravings won’t be triggered. And if we want ice cream we have to change out of our lazy pants and walk all the way to the store. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

We’re using the same logic here as in last section. The goal isn’t to get good at white knuckling through cravings, but to engineer infrastructure to avoid the cravings altogether.

We want to make healthy behaviors more convenient and unhealthy behaviors inconvenient. This drastically increases our chances of successfully changing our snacking habits.

But what about if I have zero control of my environment? What about the candy bowl at work?

This situation is SUPER tricky to deal with. That candy bowl is always freaking there and you always have to walk by it!

However, there are some strategies we can use to make this situation easier:

-Walk around the snack bowl when possible. Figure out what triggers your snacking here, and do your best to avoid said trigger.

-If you have a snack craving, let the craving sit for 30 minutes. If you still want that fun size Snickers (Twix is clearly the superior option, but I won’t hold it against you) after that half hour, commit to having half a serving. If you want the rest after another half hour, go for it. With practice, this will get easier.

-If you have a craving, go for a walk or watch a youtube video or something. “Change the subject” in some way.

-Joining a group of supportive, welcoming individuals who are working on this same snacking habit is the most surefire way to deal with this situation. Having that support, camaraderie, and accountability makes dietary struggles less daunting.

By joining my online Tribe of Badassery Coaching Group you will become part of an awesome crew of like minded individuals that motivate each other to conquer their fat loss struggles. We struggle together, and we change together.

Want to be part of a community, but don’t feel like paying for coaching? You’re in luck! Join the party that is my free Facebook group Sustainable Strength

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook “Insanity Free Loss” 🙂

 

5 Signs Discipline Is Not Your Problem

(Snappy sentence to get the reader’s beak wet.)

(Paragraph explaining why this topic is important.)

(Bad Pun).

1. You wake up with an alarm

Waking up to an alarm might be the most painful part of the day. When my alarm goes off I shriek like I’m being stabbed in the spleen.

Yet somehow we manage to do this day in day out. It requires a metric shit-ton of discipline to do something that uncomfortable day in day out.

2. You have a consistent job

Staying at a job, especially one you hate, requires an additional shit-ton of discipline. In fact, eating better might be so goddamn hard because you exhaust tons of willpower holding your tongue instead of telling your boss what you really think.

3. You have kids

You don’t need to have kids to know that parenting is TOUGH.

While I don’t have kids. I was one once upon a time.

And I was a little asshole. I can’t even imagine how much discipline is needed to parent the most mellow children, let alone a specimen like myself.

4. You graduated

School is grueling.

If you made it through school, even with all the procrastination, you have demonstrated an immense capacity for persistence and discipline.

Writing tons of papers on topics you may or may not care about is no easy task, my friend.

The option of quitting is always present whether we consider it or not.

5. You’ve stuck with anything for an extended period of time

Fitness people don’t have more or less discipline than anyone else. They just have different habits. Furthermore, it’s what they LIKE to do!

Enter Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck :

“Fitness entrepreneurs want to do the minimal work and still expect a huge return. It’s easy for fitness entrepreneurs to do the push ups, to do the squats and deadlifts because that is exactly what got them to where they are now. They started in fitness and now they want to make money just by having those guns or that body. They default into what is easy without recognizing what is hard: running an actual business.

You know what was hard for me? Waking up early. Not eating what I wanted to eat. Powering through workouts. Yet it was easy to build 50M dollar businesses.”

This is why picking an exercise style you enjoy is the most important factor for success. Consistency trumps everything. Consistency requires the discipline to take things slowly.

When people tell me they need more discipline to get fit, I gently tell them I’m not convinced.

Simply getting through this struggle called life takes discipline.

discipline

While I may not have met you, I know you have demonstrated discipline and persistence in more than a few instances throughout your life.  

Justifications

You’re probably like me. Since you’re reading this I’m guessing you’re somewhat hard on yourself.

I can hear the justifications for why none of these “signs” are a big deal and that you do them because you have to.

Here’s the truth.

You don’t.

You could quit your job.

You could be a shitty parent who isn’t invested in their kids’ well-being.

Even if your parents were “making” you go to school, you could have walked away. Yes, your parents would have been pissed. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t an option.

We always have a choice– Even when there are physical repercussions or risks we still have a choice.

“I can’t steal a car because then I’d go to jail”

That doesn’t stop people from doing it. Legality alone isn’t what’s stopping you becoming a car thief. I’m willing to bet you have other reasons.

I can’t make anybody do anything. And I don’t want to.

Being too positive is delusional. However, us pessimists are dishonest with ourselves too. Excessive negativity perpetuates inaccuracy.

Being gentle with ourselves is about having a more precise, realistic view of how we navigate this shit-storm called life.

It’s about being honest for the things we have done well so we can do more things well.

One aspect of my role in  the Tribe of Badassery Online Coaching Group, is to help the tribe actualize the capacity for persistence they already have. We cultivate a culture of judgement-free self-honesty (read accountability and support) and trust. This means the members of the group can transfer their disciplined nature to their fitness struggles so they can carry groceries up the stairs without feeling out of shape and get rid of the anxiety of wearing a tank top.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

  1. Sit down with a piece of paper and pen. Write down at least 5 times you demonstrated discipline and persistence.
  2. For each of those times write out 5 reasons you were able to be disciplined and persistent.
  3. Write out at least 5 reasons why your fitness goal is important to. Try to find every single reason, but write down at least 5.
  4. Brainstorm some ways you could exercise persistence with your fitness goal.
  5. Join my free Facebook group and share your reflections with amazing people who are going through the same struggles as you. Sharing your reflection will help someone be a more awesome version of themselves, but there’s no pressure if you don’t feel comfortable with the idea. Either way, we would love to have you.

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook “Insanity Free Loss” 🙂

 

Weekly Fitness Reads: 5/9/16

http://amydix.com/cheat-days-sucky-diets-and-how-to-end-the-struggle-between-fun-and-fat-loss/

Diets objectively suck, but fat loss doesn’t have to. Amy Dix does a fantastic job of providing practical solutions and perspective to struggles every dieter has faced.

http://www.leighpeele.com/a-response-to-the-ny-times-biggest-loser-study

It’s a shame when respected sources crank out nonsense. The damage is far more expansive when a news entity has a good reputation. Here’s what you need to know about the NY times biggest loser study.

http://www.askingforwhatyouwant.com/2016/04/29/take-a-fear-shower/

Fear holds us back in one way or another. The author helps us pinpoint the origin of our fears in order to accept them. I’m choosing to interpret this as a recommendation to go stand in a cave full of bats and become the hero that Gotham deserves.

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook “Insanity Free Loss” 🙂

P.S. If you want to become part of a tribe of awesome people like you who dominate their fat loss without dieting, make sure to apply to join Tribe of Badassery Coaching Group.

How To Gauge Fat Loss Progress Accurately

First off, we ought to be focusing on the process based goals rather than results based goals.

Why?

  1. It keeps us sane
  2. It keeps us honest
  3. It keeps us moving forward consistently, and consistency trumps everything.

We have zero control over how fast results happen. This means focusing solely on outcomes is inherently problematic and inaccurate.

That said, some folks work really well with periodic result analysis. Furthermore, it’s not an either/or situation. You can focus on the process, while still using measurements to analyze the efficacy your fat loss strategy.

The point of measurements is to find the gaps in your game–to discover the way forward. The goal is to get information, not validation.

We should only take measurements, and I’m more or less quoting Coach Stevo here, “if we can look at them with the same objectivity as if we were counting the white cars in the parking lot”.

There needs to be zero emotional investment in the outcomes of the measurements for them to be an effective tool.

Now in my last post, I discussed the infamous fat loss plateau. I even gave some general tips on how to break through a plateau.

Today is about figuring out what to change specifically to conquer a plateau. Keep in mind, there isn’t one single way to take good measurements. This is just the way that makes sense for me and the awesome people I work with in my Online Fat Loss Groups.

Here we go

Pick 3 types of measurements. Every measurement method has a degree of uncertainty to it. We can lessen this degree of uncertainty by taking multiple measurements.

Here are my recommendations. These are based on the information they can yield but also convenience and accessibility.

Measuring Tape

Why: When my clients ask how to gauge results I often recommend paying attention to how their clothes fit. That’s what we want anyways, right? For our clothes to fit better? To be able to fit into the jeans we wore in college? This method is working on that same principal, except with numbers.

How: Wrap the tape around the belly button, belt-line, upper arm, and mid thigh. Or even just pick one of them. Record your measurements.

The grain of salt: The tricky part here is taking the measurement in the exact same spot. Do your best to measure the same point every time.

The Scale

I’ve talked a lot of shit on the scale in the past. I still do. However, it’s a tool that can be useful. A hammer is great if I don’t drop it on my foot.

Just to be clear, don’t take these measurements if they make you feel crazy.

Why/The grain of salt: The scale tells us whether or not we’re eating for weight gain, weight loss, or maintenance. That’s it.

Regardless of our body composition, consuming more calories than we burn causes weight gain. Note that I didn’t say FAT gain. The scale tells us nothing about body composition–whether the weight is fat or muscle.

The scale tells us if we’re eating too many calories or not enough.

Weight fluctuates for an insane amount of different reasons. Try to be mindful of this. For example, weighing yourself on your period will yield zero useful information for your fat loss goals.

How: First thing in the morning before you have consumed ANYTHING. For more accurate readings, weigh yourself 3 days in a row and take the average.

Calipers/Skin-Fold Measurements:

Why: Here we’re dealing with the muscle to fat ratio. This is what fat loss really boils down to. I’ve had many clients confess they don’t care what the scale says if they looked and felt leaner. So that’s what happens.

How: Make a C with your thumb and index finger. Pinch a piece of skin and pull it out a little. Clamp the calipers onto the fold of skin. Record your measurements.

My recommendations for locations to test are on the stomach (one inch to the right of the belly button), the front of the mid-thigh, and the bicep.

The grain of salt: You’re not going to be pinching the EXACT same spot each time you take these measurements. Just do the best you can.

When to take measurements and what to do with your findings

Take measurements every 3 weeks. 3 weeks is enough time for stuff to happen. It’s enough time to know if what we’re doing is working.

If at least 2 out of 3 tests say we’re getting results, we’re good. Stay the course. If we get 1 out of 3 or less we need to reassess.

Next week, in Part 2, I’ll show you what to do if our measurements tell us we need to reassess our fat loss strategy.

The first time you take measurements serves a unique purpose. The first test only serves as something to compare your other measurements with.

But remember, no emotion. None. Be a robot.

1a 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook “Insanity Free Loss” 🙂

P.S. For further reading on this topic, check out Josh Hillis and Dan John’s book Fat Loss Happens on Monday. Full disclosure, I don’t get a cent from this. It’s just really good information.

I borrowed, and by “borrowed” I mean shamelessly stole, a lot from this book for this post. Gotta give credit where credit is due.