Revolutionary You! #284-Abby Langer: “Good Food, Bad Diet”

I have the great pleasure of welcoming Abby Langer to the show this week to talk about her upcoming book, “Good Food, Bad Diet”. I was privy to an advanced copy and if you are already familiar with Abby’s work, you’ll know it’s a great read. If not, we chat about the “core beliefs” section which comes at the beginning. Abby and I discuss the core beliefs that hold people back from realizing their goals when it comes to how they approach nutrition and how it shapes their lives. Her book comes out in January and you can preorder your copy now. This one is HIGHLY recommended! 

To learn more about Abby’s work: 
www.abbylangernutrition.com

www.twitter.com/langernutrition

www.facebook.com/abbylangernutrition

www.instagram.com/langernutrition

To preorder “Good Food, Bad Diet”: 

www.linktr.ee/Abbylanger

To learn more about your host: 

www.jasonleenaarts.com

www.revfittherapy.com

www.facebook.com/jason.leenaarts

www.instagram.com/jasonleenaarts

You can also like our Facebook page at: 

www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou

To order my book, “A Revolution A Day”: 

www.amzn.to/2R9Larx

Apple Podcasts OR Stitcher OR iHeartRadio OR Amazon Podcasts

The Coach’s Platform

I got certified as a personal trainer 13 years ago.

I opened Revolution Fitness & Therapy nearly 12 years ago.

Early on in this career, I found myself answering a lot of the same questions and concerns of my clients and I felt that starting a blog would be a good place for me to put some of those thoughts and responses so that the information could help others.

Very quickly, I realized there were certain things I felt more comfortable speaking on: nutrition, mindset, and general lifestyle troubleshooting.

By comparison, there were certain areas I felt less comfortable speaking on: biomechanics of exercise, peer-reviewed research papers, and whatever programming methods I thought elicited the best results.

As I developed more of an understanding of the topics I was comfortable writing on, the focus became how I could capture the attention of my readers and, most importantly, influence change.

My first blog efforts began about two years after I opened my business. My writing, at that time, was less than spectacular. I knew what I wanted to say but I had difficulty expressing myself in ways that I felt comfortable with.

After some fits and starts, I abandoned that blog platform and took some time off from writing.

About a year later, I fired up a new website (this one you’re reading now) and committed myself to consistent weekly writing.

That was over 4 years and over 200 articles ago.

If you’re a fellow coach, you need a platform to speak from. This could be photos and infographics on Instagram and Facebook, it could be instructional videos on YouTube, it could be bite-sized chunks of wisdom and insight on Twitter, or you could go longer form (as I have) and work on a blog.

If there are three things I would beg you to do more than anything else, it’s this: be authentic, be consistent and improve.

Be Authentic

Writing, for me, is catharsis in many ways. I write to work through thoughts and frustrations in my mind on both on a personal and professional level. I mostly write to my intended audience of the general public. Every so often, I write something like this to help out other coaches.

I’ve been tremendously fortunate that my work has been shared by coaches I have a great deal of respect for. It’s been shared by people in my community who were otherwise touched by my words. Admittedly, the really personal stuff that I write tends to perform better from an analytics standpoint than some of my coaching work.

I’m okay with that.

The only downside is that my personal writing normally comes from a dark place and it sometimes takes a lot out of me mentally to write that content.

However, data speaks, and if the personal work is what touches people, I’ll continue to write it assuming I can craft messages in unique ways each time.

You need a platform to build your brand because people need to hear/read/see your “voice”. They want to know which lines you draw in the sand, what you stand for from a diet and training standpoint, and what they’d be getting if they decided that they want to spend their money being coached by you.

On that point, keep the voice you use as close to your real voice as possible. If you use profanity in real life, you may want to use some in your content. Careful with this, though. Some profanity may be acceptable to a certain demographic and less so to another.

Myself? I do use profanity in real life and on my podcast, so from time to time, you’ll see it in my writing but I try to not overdo it. I cater to a wide range of clients and I don’t aim to alienate anyone even if I can’t please everyone.

And this points to the other side of content creation: how real can you get?

I was recently speaking with a fellow coach who is just now starting to push her content out to the world. She’s nervous. She’s likely feeling some degree of impostor syndrome, as we all do, and is concerned about whatever scrutiny she might come under for what she posts.

This is normal.

After all the writing I’ve done, which has included not just the blogs but two books as well, there are still weeks where I feel like what I’m putting out sucks (in all fairness, maybe it does).

I was a guest on a podcast earlier this year where the host asked me about content creation and the willingness and transparency of the writing.

I write about what’s on my mind. As a result, I choose to throw in the parts of my life that have caused me the most pain, the most reflection and the most learning experiences. Where it’s led to is the topics of sexual abuse, drug addiction, failed relationships, poor life choices, grief, hospitalizations, suicide and more.

Those topics aren’t for the faint of heart. And they are never easy for me to write about.

Which is why I have to space those topics out and give myself some time to breathe from discussing them at length. Whenever I write about them, I have to take another angle and another perspective at how those experiences affected me and what I’ve learned since then.

One last thought on authenticity: Do NOT swipe anyone’s content without giving credit where it’s due. I’ve seen other coaches wreck their careers (or at least give themselves a lengthy detour) by taking content that wasn’t theirs and publishing it as if it were original. Don’t be that coach.

You may love, hate or be indifferent about what/how I write but one thing I will always be is uniquely me.

Be Consistent

Writing a blog (at least the way I’ve done it) forces me into a routine. A routine to continue polishing up skills and continue to refine a message so that each week, it hopefully inspires at least one person to be better and do better.

Writing became the natural progression of where I left my music “career”. For many years of my life, I was dead set on being a performer. I wanted my songs to reach as many people as possible. When I closed the chapter on those dreams, I still needed an outlet to fill the void of what songs and poems used to do.

This became that project.

No matter which platform you use, stay consistent with it. Think of the questions your clients ask and think of how you respond to them. Then, determine which platform you want to share your wisdom with.

I use the blog when I need to be lengthy with my thoughts.

I use Facebook to brag about the success of my clients with videos, pictures and humorous memes.

I use Instagram to sometimes replicate what I post on Facebook and sometimes to throw some different videos, pictures or thoughts into the world.

I know some people focus on algorithms and paid ads but those things really aren’t where I put my focus. I keep my blog and podcast on weekly schedules, I post client successes on my personal Facebook wall in real time with no care whatsoever to frequency and I post on Instagram once a day. That’s what works best for me and your business model may need a different approach.

Improve

I heard someone say that reading fiction helps improve your writing and while I find that difficult for me to qualify, I have to admit it’s helped my own writing.

Without question, the platform that brings me the most business, by way of referrals, is Facebook but not every coach will agree with me on that. Those referrals give me a gauge on how I’m improving with that type of marketing.

Think about your audience, think about who you want to inspire and/or impress with your knowledge, your skillsets, and your results.

Then, fashion your message accordingly.

Just as you expect your clients to improve through training and improve their diet approach, you’ll have to find ways to improve your content delivery. Sometimes, you’ll think you made a great post or video and it will be crickets compared to something you “threw together” that was a rousing success.

I’m still nowhere near the writer, presenter or host that I know I’m capable of being but I keep improving and that’s mostly from staying consistent and, every so often, asking other coaches to look over my work to make sure I’m being clear with what I’m trying to accomplish before I publish something.

A handful of years ago, I hired a writing coach to help see my work from the outside and offer me some valuable tips towards reaching a broader audience. It wasn’t always easy getting the feedback because, in many ways, your content is your baby and you become somewhat possessive of your methods.

However, that’s exactly WHY you hire a coach. For someone else to be the expert in what it takes to take you closer to your ideal place.

My final nudge to you:

A coach needs a platform to speak from.

Choose yours and pour your ever-loving soul into it.

The audience you’re trying to reach needs to hear you.

Be heard.

Revolutionary You! #283-Karen Love Lee: Trauma Made Me Who I Am Today

This week, I welcome Karen Love Lee to the show. Karen and I talk about how traumatic experiences like abuse, grief and addiction, even at an early age, can shape the way we look at life as adults. In this episode we talk about steps you can make to understand how it happens and some tips to help uncover it. 

To learn more about Karen’s work: 

www.karenlovelee.com

www.selfevolutionpodcast.com

To get the free gift Karen referenced at the end of the show: 

http://www.selfevolutionpodcast.com/gift

To learn more about your host: 

www.jasonleenaarts.com

www.revfittherapy.com

www.facebook.com/jason.leenaarts

www.instagram.com/jasonleenaarts

You can also like our Facebook page at: 

www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou

To purchase my book, “A Revolution A Day”: 

www.amzn.to/2R9Larx

Apple Podcasts OR Stitcher OR iHeartRadio OR Amazon Podcasts

Start A Revolution

This week, I’ll be presenting a virtual masterclass on lifestyle change to a private community on Facebook. Seeing as how, that is our take on the term “revolution” (a dramatic and wide-reaching change), I wanted to share some of those thoughts with you this week. If you’re in a place in life where you need to change, I hope this gives you some ideas to work with.

  1. Determine the “bottom”: If weight loss is your goal, you have to decide when you can no longer “be” in the place you’re in now. Clients who treat their goal as “it would be nice” if I lost weight aren’t nearly as driven to succeed as someone who refuses to be their current weight any longer. The number itself is arbitrary. For one person, being 20 pounds overweight is a deal breaker and that is their “bottom“. For another person, it’s 217 pounds overweight with a diagnosis of Type II Diabetes and the threat of an amputated limb. Between those two individuals is a myriad of examples of people who make the decision that where they are today is “as bad as it will get.” This is the bottom. Change starts here.
  2. The bottom does not have to be a dramatic place or position. There was a meme floating around the internet sometime back that made the claim (I’m paraphrasing) that no one has ever made significant change in their life without getting tired of their own bullshit. While it isn’t always the case, change starts when we realize that we often sabotage our own efforts for success. Yes, outside influence can affect us and yes, sometimes those closest to us can be the greatest saboteurs. For some people, they need a health diagnosis before it shakes them back to reality to reverse their circumstances. For someone else, they need to look in the mirror on just the right day and state: “That’s it. I’ve had enough. I have a goal and I’m not going to stop until I reach it.” During my days as a drug addict, I had friends who found the bottom because of a jail sentence, a potential overdose or the loss of a job. Every person is motivated to change by a completely different set of circumstances and no two people will be alike.
  3. “You’re not in enough pain to change”: This is a concept that even my therapist and I are on the same page about. If you are resistant to change, you may fault yourself for not being motivated enough or have enough willpower to resist temptation leading you off course. A counterargument is that you are not at the point where the pain you’re in is unbearable enough for you to start prioritizing different actions. Coincidentally, long before my therapist said those words to me, I had written a blog with the same sentiments.
  4. Be uncomfortable. One of my favorite coaches in the industry, Leigh Peele, shared this thought on a podcast we did awhile back. I’ve always loved the way that Leigh views the world and works to meet people where they are on a spectrum of change. She believes (I wholeheartedly agree) that you need to get acclimated to the fact that the change you often want in life requires a great degree of consistent discomfort. Once you embrace that fact, change becomes easier to implement and stick to.
  5. Find an outlet. There are some aspects of change that seem so simple in theory that we often overlook them. Many people, when struggling to improve areas of their life, often resort to outlets for stress and grief that are counterproductive to their goals. For instance, a person who has spent the better part of their lives in a cycle of a yo-yo dieting may only have food as an outlet for their emotions. So, when things go wrong (and they do), food is the comfort. It is the security blanket. However, the way food is being utilized here runs counter to a weight loss plan. Having a non-food related outlet for those emotions can be immensely valuable to this person. That may mean starting an exercise program to relieve stress or learning a new craft/hobby. 2020 has been a fantastic year for showing us how we handle stress under the consistent strain of a pandemic. Hopefully, it taught lessons of how not to react when situations are out of our control.
  6. Get support. If there is one thing I constantly try to hammer home to my clients, it’s the fact that change rarely happens in isolation. We need help. If you need exercise in your life, you might need a personal trainer. If you have mental hurdles to overcome, you may need a qualified therapist. If you don’t know how to manage food, you might consider hiring a dietitian. Don’t discredit free resources like social media support groups or 12-step support groups. Having the influence and guidance of people who may have less emotional attachment to you can give you some valuable insight into how others made change work for them.
  7. The tools evolve. If you embark on a life altering journey of change now, the tools you need to get started may not be what you use 6 months from now. Understanding that as your mindset and environment change around you, you will need different guidance and strategies to overcome the next hurdle is crucial for your success. Think of it like dieting. While the ketogenic diet might help you lose the first 20 pounds, you may need to experiment with plant-based dieting for the next 20 pounds and intuitive eating for the last 20. Believing that only one diet can solve the weight loss riddle in your life, with your specific set of challenges may be a short-sighted approach. Along the way, you’ll be learning things about food that show how and why certain foods behave in a specific way with your body.
  8. Be patient. Be forgiving. I don’t like to lean to the side of woo but, any change worth making is going to take a while in coming to fruition. It’s one thing to make a conscious choice to change, it’s another to actually reach your goals. Some situations will never be removed from your life. If you’re learning how to overcome grief or trauma, you may always have to manage those circumstances so you can reduce the negative impacts they have on your life. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, you may always have to be conscious of how your relationship with food affects your mind and your body. Since we always need food, a more caring approach to how you eat will be needed. When things don’t go as planned (which will happen more often than not), you’ll need to remind yourself that lasting change works on a spectrum that may feel like one step forward then two steps back. If you have a day where things go awry, a dose of forgiveness will trump a dose of shame any day of the week. We’re in this for the long haul and the journey towards self improvement (physically or mentally) constantly evolves.
  9. Perfection is a myth. I wrote about this recently and I have to repeat it. At RevFit, we don’t coach perfect people, we don’t have perfect outcomes, and we don’t lead perfect well-adjusted lives 365 days of the year. We take people as they are and we help them understand that small changes matter, habits can be stacked and work in our long-term favor, and everyone makes mistakes. We try to keep reality and results closely intertwined. Long.Live.Progress.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t credit the changes I’ve made and still make in my life that allow me to live something closer to where and who I want to be. No matter what changes you need to make, these steps can help.

And maybe, you’re someone like me and you know that change must happen because you’re a role model to someone out there who’s watching.

Make them proud.

“We Make Great People Greater”

Revolutionary You! #282-Gregg Slater: Don’t Let Perfect Get In The Way Of Better

I welcome Lift The Bar’s Head of Education, Gregg Slater, to the show this week. I have been continually impressed by the work Gregg has committed to the Lift The Bar community especially since the virus has affected coaches and their clients across the globe. In this episode, Gregg and I talk about better strategies for a 30-day lockdown program and considerations for how and why to approach exercises to keep from losing ground if you can’t access the gym. It would have been nearly impossible to cover the breadth of information Gregg could have discussed. I highly recommend that you check out his work, and more importantly (for the coaches), join the LTB community to see more of what we discussed in this week’s show. 

To learn more about Gregg’s work: 

www.liftthebar.com

www.instagram.com/gregg_ltb 

To learn more about your host: 

www.jasonleenaarts.com

www.revfittherapy.com

www.facebook.com/jason.leenaarts

www.instagram.com/jasonleenaarts

You can also like our Facebook page at: 

www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou

To purchase my book, “A Revolution A Day”: 

www.amzn.to/2R9Larx 

Apple Podcasts OR Stitcher OR iHeartRadio OR Amazon Podcasts

Desert Island Listens

Ask any music fan the albums they can’t live without and you’ll find where their passions and sentiments (and a story) lie.

For me, my desert island listens aren’t necessarily by my favorite bands/artists. Truth be told, I couldn’t tell you I have a favorite band, the list is too long.

While my Top 10 is mostly consistent on any given year (give or take one or two which may rotate out of favor), my Top 3 remain unchanged and that’s only because I know that without them, I likely wouldn’t be alive to write this.

Music has always been profoundly important to me. I grew up with parents who, by their own right were both musical and music fans. My father was in bands in high school and college and would still tinker on guitar well into my adolescence and my mother was a singer. I grew up in a rock and roll household, so everything from Top 40 radio to folk and stadium rock would fill our house.

By time I was in the 6th grade, I had an allowance and enough of an opinion of what I liked to start purchasing cassettes or records with my own money and due to my obsessive leanings towards collecting things, I’ve always had a music collection (whether physical or digital) of note.

However, this article is just about those Top 3: the albums I wouldn’t be able to live without and why.

In the mid-90’s I was going through what would prove to be the most difficult years of my life. It started in college, circa 1996 and would reach something of a conclusion by the spring of 1998. This was when I was hospitalized 5 times for either suicide threats or suicide attempts.

Music was always there for me.

If a relationship went bad, I had music.

If I was struggling in school, there was music.

As I was writing and performing in bands, it was music that was in my eardrums inspiring me to keep writing, keep playing and to just stay alive.

In no particular order, if I were stranded on a desert island, I would need these three albums to get me through:

Jane’s Addiction-Nothing’s Shocking

Few bands, certainly of this era, successfully managed to combine rock, metal, funk and even jazz into something cohesive. While I do like all of the music the band has put out, I’m not sure that Jane’s would even make my Top 20 in terms of favorite bands. However, there’s just something about this album that has always blown my mind.

Like a lot of albums that came out in the 80’s, the mastering on it is quieter than I’d like, and I’d love a more dynamic version to come out that still keeps some integrity to the original quality of the music.

If you’re not familiar with the band, you may have heard either of the two “hits” from this album: Mountain Song and Jane Says.

Mountain Song, if memory serves, was my introduction to the band. I would have been about 13 years old when it came out. I’m 45 now which means this album has been a part of my life for over 3 decades (more so than the other two albums I’ll mention).

Perhaps because there are so many different styles of music on this album and it gives me at least a small taste of nearly every genre I already like, it’s nearly perfect in that regard.

Personally, Ocean Size and Summertime Rolls are the standout tracks for me.

The Smiths-The Queen Is Dead

Somehow, when The Smiths were still a functioning unit, I never paid attention to their music. While the original album, The Queen Is Dead, actually came out before the previously mentioned Jane’s Addiction album, it didn’t become a part of my life until 1992.

I remember walking into a music store around that time which carried new and used CDs (RIP Manhattan Music) and while I was perusing the recently acquired used section, there was a huge selection of Depeche Mode, The Cure and The Smiths CDs which had just been brought in.

I asked the associate why someone would want to get rid of all of those discs. He told me that the guy who traded them in had just gotten out of the psych ward for attempting suicide and he said that those albums completely depressed him so he wanted to sell them off.

“Hmm, his loss…my gain.” I remember thinking to myself.

While I can see that music like what those three bands were putting out was anything other than happy music, there was something about The Smiths that struck a different chord with me.

It was once I got to college, that I actually dived into the album, The Queen Is Dead, and more importantly, the song “I Know It’s Over.”

I know a lot of people who just can’t handle the singing or the writing of The Smiths former frontman, Morrissey. For me, I don’t know what I would have done without him. Yes, he’s dramatic. Yes, he’s mopey. And yes, for me, I needed to hear the words of someone who I felt was at a lower point than I was to help me see a light to get out.

And it was in that song, I Know It’s Over, where I heard the line: Oh, Mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head.

Jesus, I thought. There’s a guy who’s clearly more miserable than me. Surely I can see my way out of my own mess so I don’t end up writing lyrics like that to my own music!

It was music like this, that somehow gave me hope. Hope that I could pull through and the feeling that I knew I wasn’t alone with all those muddled emotions. Someone else understood…

I think the entire album is awesome. Even today when I listen to it, I’m able to step outside of how it affected me some 25+ years ago. There’s the person who needed to hear those words back then and the person who has somehow evolved in appreciation for it now. Now, when I listen to The Queen Is Dead, it’s just great music.

Jeff Buckley-Grace

Coincidentally, it’s the last artist/album I mention who will have something of a link to The Smiths. Jeff Buckley released the album Grace in 1994. I was just about to start college then.

Like me, Jeff was also a Smiths fan and he’s got more than one cover version of the aforementioned song, I Know It’s Over, to his credit as well.

I have arguably turned more people on to Jeff Buckley than any other artist I can think of. Sadly, he accidentally drowned in the Mississippi River less than 3 years after the release of Grace.

The first song I ever heard from Grace was his single “Last Goodbye” and while I did like the song at the time, it didn’t exactly reach out and grab me.

What I did notice was that there were several critics talking about how much they loved the album, so I bought a copy for myself in 1995.

I remember being in my college dormitory working on homework one evening with Grace playing in the background. At first, I just let it be background music…and then Hallelujah came on.

I stopped what I was doing and just listened.

It was, without question, one of those unforgettable music moments for me. I played it back again and again and again.

Jeff, as many may know, covered Leonard Cohen’s original song but he was performing a John Cale version which had additional lyrics to it. Since then, it’s only increased in popularity, most notably by Rufus Wainwright’s version from the movie Shrek.

Once Hallelujah took a hold of me, I couldn’t be separated from my Jeff Buckley disc for anything in this world. I think every song on there has been a favorite of mine at some point.

Like the other two albums mentioned, I’ve probably listened to Grace hundreds of times and every time, I can find something “new” that I love about it.

With Jane’s Addiction and the remaining members of The Smiths (Morrissey and Johnny Marr, specifically) there is so much more music to dive into beyond what albums I referenced. Jeff only had one studio album that he was alive to see come to fruition. He died before his second album could be completed although a posthumous release still came out as well as many other live and assorted compilations have come out since.

While the album itself is basically flawless, Jeff was ridiculously good live (often better) than he was in the studio.

If you’re unfamiliar with any of these albums, I invite you to listen to them. You don’t have to like them. They obviously mean something different to me because of the period of life I survived while they were a part of me.

These albums, at my weakest points in life, were the reminders: You’ll get through, you’ll be ok, everything will be ok…

Music may have a different place in your life. Maybe you’re connected to what you were listening to when you got married, or you partied to in high school or what you open your children’s ears up to.

The music that shapes my life stretches far beyond these three albums. I like many things faster or heavier or more dance-oriented or catchier. I love music designed for subwoofers and music that makes you want to smash weights in the gym.

I love music that makes me think, makes me cry, makes me dance with my wife at night, makes my kids jump up and down, and reminds me why I exist in this world and what I lived through to tell the tale.

Music is peace.

Music is salvation.

Music is love.

Music is something I hope you’ll think about as you read this.

And if you have a moment, send me your Top 3. I’d love to hear how and why those albums matter to you even if they don’t mean the same thing to me.

Until then, I’ll be spreading the message to my boys, just like Sebastian gets to be a part of as you see below.

Revolutionary You! #281-Chris And Eric Martinez: What Is The End Goal?

This week, I welcome Chris and Eric Martinez to the show. We cover  how trauma in their lives influenced their path into the fitness industry. We also talk about how there are lessons to be learned in 2020 whether you are a fitness enthusiast or a fellow coach who is trying to navigate this year and still be successful in reaching your goals. 

You can find out more about the work Chris and Eric are doing at: 

www.instagram.com/chrisandericmartinez

And by searching your podcast app of choice for: 

The Dynamic Lifestyle Podcast

To learn more about your host: 

www.jasonleenaarts.com

www.revfittherapy.com

www.facebook.com/jason.leenaarts

www.instagram.com/jasonleenaarts

You can also like our Facebook page at: 

www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou

To purchase my book, “A Revolution A Day”: 

www.amzn.to/2R9Larx

Apple Podcasts OR Stitcher OR iHeartRadio OR Amazon Podcasts

Gratitude, Sacrifice, Compromise

What has this year taught you?

For me, it’s been a stark reminder that nothing in this world is guaranteed, things that you’ve worked very hard for can be taken away from you by forces out of your control, and that no matter what you think you’re owed by your efforts, the work is never “done”.

Gratitude

Over the years, I’ve worked hard to be more grateful for what I have: my family, my business, my friends and my health. However, just being grateful isn’t always enough. There’s still work to do. I have to work to maintain balance in those relationships: with my wife, my sons, my clients, my body and my mind. They all work together, they all stand to benefit by my attention to them.

I am grateful that I have the gift of waking up each day with a breath of life to start fresh and refocus my attention on those things.

It’s never perfect.

I am never perfect.

But each day, I’ll try again.

Just get better…a little bit better.

The first question I want you to answer for yourself is:

What are you grateful for?

Sacrifice

I’ve learned that the things I want in life, whether they be within those relationships or with my health, require sacrifice. I must be willing to give something up in order to have something else that I feel is more beneficial.

As an addict in recovery, I’ve sacrificed a lot of myself to a master that could never properly serve me. It affected my mind, it affected my body. Learning how to change my body through strength training and consistency with exercise was a way to rebuild what drugs took away from me. Learning how to eat in a way that complemented what I needed exercise to do for me was the other piece to that puzzle.

Sacrifice, in this sense, meant I had to give up vices that took my eyes off the prize. The goal was better health. I’m closer to that goal now than I was 14 years ago when I got clean. That journey never ends.

When you consider what you may need to give up (permanently or temporarily) in your life, ask yourself:

What is a sacrifice worth making?

Compromise

Lastly, there’s compromise. My wife and I have been learning a lot about that this year. Things that used to really get to me in our relationship tend to bother me less now. There are certain battles not worth having and many things I could justify getting upset over just don’t seem worth it anymore or can easily be fixed by myself.

As a result, she and I treat each other differently now. We listen to each other differently and we respond to each other differently. It’s less about one person feeling like they won and more about both of us feeling like we’re winning (even in less than ideal situations).

As you can probably imagine, our marriage has improved significantly as a result. We’re still working out some of the hiccups but when you start from a place of respect, you end up with a much better result. (Hint: It’s taken a lot of years and a lot of misfires to get here).

Compromise, for me, also meant going back to therapy. There was a part of me, mentally, that felt as if going back to therapy was a regression in my life.

Why go back to something I haven’t needed in twenty years?

I felt I had conquered enough of my demons (trauma, addiction, and grief) that going back to therapy would have only felt like backsliding.

I was wrong.

I needed therapy over this past year more than I have arguably ever needed it. There were days where I hated the thought of unloading on my therapist more than anything. And yet, I could still walk out of my sessions feeling like I got something of value from it.

This past year has shown me that sometimes you have to swallow your pride and work on the things that simmer beneath the surface before they boil over and burn those around you.

The question became: Do I stay the same and let the world accept me as I am or do I compromise my position and make changes I can feel better about when I look in the mirror?

It was a compromise worth making and a price worth paying: work on your mind to work on your life.

When you consider the areas in your life where you’ve been inflexible to change in the past, ask this:

What compromises can be made for the betterment of yourself and those around you?

I’m keeping this week’s post intentionally shorter in efforts to ask you to think about these things for yourself and to look at the year 2020 through a different lens:

What have you learned this year? Anything of value?

If so, make a list.

The answers matter.

You matter.

“We Make Great People Greater”

Revolutionary You! #280-Georgeann Jones And Alec Pinter: My Son Is My Inspiration

This week, I’m doing another client spotlight with the debut of Georgeann Jones and her son, Alec Pinter. Georgeann started with me nearly two years ago and one of our common bonds is having sons with autism. Her son, Alec, recently started training with us as well and this episode is about their experiences and successes as clients of RevFit. We talk about the community here, why it works for both Georgeann and Alec and how the inclusivity and atmosphere has been beneficial not just for the neurotypical but for those with special needs as well. 

To learn more about your host: 

www.jasonleenaarts.com

www.revfittherapy.com

www.facebook.com/jason.leenaarts

www.instagram.com/jasonleenaarts

You can also like our Facebook page: 

www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou

To purchase my book, “A Revolution A Day”: 

www.amzn.to/2R9Larx

Apple Podcasts OR Stitcher OR iHeartRadio OR Amazon Podcasts

Greetings From The Land Of Perfect People (Wish You Were Here)

I woke up this past weekend after a perfect night’s sleep next to my perfect wife in our immaculate bedroom with our perfect Boxer. Shortly thereafter, our perfect toddler with his perfect hair and angel-sweet disposition joined us. We enjoyed a perfect cup of coffee, had a perfectly cooked breakfast and our entire day could not have gone better. It was…perfect.

When my week began, I started my day at my perfectly run business joined by my perfect staff and my perfect clients with their perfect lives and perfect diets and I thought to myself “My God, my life couldn’t be more pristine. I couldn’t find a flaw around me if my life depended on it.”

Except, none of this is true.

My life is as chaotic, unpredictable, amazing, scary, shocking, and incredible as I can possibly imagine. There are things that have been going unbelievably well and things that I think are going to fall apart any moment.

I know, I know…it’s 2020. We’re all experiencing something like this.

The thing is…we’re still striving for perfection.

We’re waiting for the perfect time to reign the diet in.

We’re waiting for the perfect time to change jobs.

We’re waiting for the perfect partner to settle down with.

We’re waiting for the perfect solution to this Godforsaken virus.

We’re waiting for the perfect moment in time for someone to hand us the magic pill so we can accomplish more…by doing less…

Personally, I’m in a boat with 2020 where it honestly hasn’t been ALL bad.

Don’t get me wrong, some really terrible things have happened this year.

Professionally, the first series of lockdowns in our state was kind of scary. We may face yet another shut down soon if the spikes don’t get under control.

My wife and I have had the toughest year in the nearly 11 we’ve been together.

Therapy has been more grueling than I ever imagined due to events in my childhood that occurred almost four decades ago and every negative reaction I’ve had to them since.

I lost my client and friend, Terry, to a sudden heart attack two weeks ago.

And yet…

And yet…

RevFit is still having a stellar year.

Many of our clients are seeing fantastic results in spite of the virus.

I’ve had several breakthrough moments with therapy.

Marissa and I turned a corner in our marriage and are doing better now than we ever have.

And still…nothing in life is perfect.

Not in mine.

Not in my wife’s and not for any of my clients regardless of how successful they are with their goals.

Perfect has virtually no place in my vocabulary.

What I find I’m grasping onto with both hands and working with is incremental steps, better habits, more realistic goals and even as little as 10% more progress in any area of my life than I had a year ago.

No one knew what 2020 would bring. As we near the end of it, we have no idea how or if 2021 will be better.

So, where does that leave us?

Where does it leave you and your goals and your dreams and your frustrations?

Hopefully, in a place where perfect doesn’t exist.

Because no one will hand you that. Not in this year and not in the next one.

So, if you’re waiting for ideal environments and perfect opportunities that you can guarantee 90-days of planning over…good luck.

It won’t ever come.

This year had all potential to be completely and utterly devastating and we have no guarantee of how or when it will end.

So, if you’re here and you’re reading this and you’re waiting for a sign to change…

This is the sign.

Start now.

Signing off from the Land of (Im)Perfect People

…wish you were here.

“We Make Great People Greater”