Rearviewmirror

*The title of this post was taken from the Pearl Jam song of the same name*

There’s a picture of myself that I see in my mind.

I’m looking back to roughly 10 years ago…even longer, closer to 20 years ago.

And I hate him.

He was the thief, the addict, the cheat, the dealer, the fake, the liar, the fraud.

And with as much distance as I keep between myself and that guy, I keep him in my sight.

Directly in my rear view mirror.

I keep him there because I don’t ever want to forget how I used to be.

I keep him there because I don’t ever want to forget what I can’t be.

He was my rock bottom.

If there is a person you see when you look in the mirror that you are displeased with, you can change.

It won’t be quick and it probably won’t be pretty.

It won’t come in a box, a bag or a pill.

It won’t be marketed in a magazine or flashed on a late-night infomercial.

It will probably be painful, uncomfortable, aggravating and frequently disappointing.

And it is unequivocally worth it.

Whoever you are that you don’t want to be, can be improved.

Whoever you were that you are distancing yourself from (like I have), can remain a constant reminder of “I will never go there again.”

180 degree transformations take time because they go against what most people have so much difficulty with to begin with: change.

If you are on your way, we know your struggle. We are with you.

If you have not decided to change but you know it’s heading that way, we know your struggle. We are with you.

Be aware that when you hit your goal weight, your personal record or your ideal physique, all of the same struggles that hindered you before will still be within your reach.

They will still be accessible as part of your reality.

And you will be better equipped to more strategically conquer them.

We are with you.

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Revolutionary You! #87-A Primer On Clean Eating With Erin Schenkenberger, RD

The diet series continues this week with returning guest, Erin Schenkenberger, RD. We talk about some of the nuances surrounding “clean eating.” In this episode, Erin helps to define a more sustainable approach to clean eating and where we both see this diet plan heading if it goes an unclear direction. To connect with Erin, check out http://www.nutritionexercisecounselor.com and http://www.facebook.com/nutritionexercisecounselor To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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True Companion

*The title of this post was taken from the Marc Cohn song of the same name*

My wife and I celebrate three years of marriage this week (October 11.) This December will mark eight years of our relationship when we decided to be an item.

For those who don’t know much about us, I am basically an introvert (which runs counter to the person I am on social media.)

My wife is the one who wants to be out in nature, seeing new places and always seeking a new adventure. She is the extrovert (which also runs somewhat counter to the person she is on social media.)

I tend to be more organized, ritualistic, and a bit of a control freak (with a dash of obsessive compulsive disorder somewhere in there.)

Marissa is less organized, tends to lose things, and only really obsesses over holidays like Halloween, Christmas and anything involving Disney.

And as you can imagine, our opposing characteristics present their own sets of challenges.

But after nearly eight years of being with her, our biggest challenge is time.

Time together, time with Sebastian and time with my son, Jackson (on the weekends that he is with us.)

Lack of that time is what tends to spark 95% of the disagreements throughout our relationship.

But when you run two businesses and have two children to occupy your time with, time is not something we have in abundance.

So, it has always been about how do we have more quality in our time when we can’t have much more quantity?

Throughout all of this, there is no greater person I could imagine having by my side than Marissa. She fills in nearly all the gaps of my life and I know what kind of person I was before I met her. Those gaps were deep and wide.

There’s a funny thing that happens with relationships over time. People change. Life circumstances demand that change. Even still, when things have a tendency to get tense, it’s easy to say “You’re the not the person you used to be.”

And in our case, I would say that’s mostly a good thing.

The changes that Marissa and I have gone through over these years have sometimes forced us into a maturity that we both needed to experience to appreciate.

And then of course, there is our newest adventure by welcoming Sebastian into our lives.

Last week, Marissa celebrated her 33rd birthday. She posted a picture on social media of she, Sebastian and our rotten boxer, Dempsey by stating “33 is growing on me.”

Like a fine wine (as they say), I believe we both get better with time.

So , this week’s post has nothing to do with health, fitness, weight loss or motivation.

It’s just a small little love note to my wife who weathers every storm with me.

My true companion…happy anniversary, hot stuff.

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Revolutionary You! #86-A Primer On Intermittent Fasting With Jeff Rothschild, RD

Jeff Rothschild joins me for the first in a series of diet primers that I will be releasing over the next couple of months. He has done an incredible amount of research specifically on intermittent fasting and the many different ways that an individual can apply fasting tactics to their wellness journey for success. To learn more about Jeff, you can check out http://www.eatsleep.fit and you can also check out the course he mentions in this episode to dive further in to this information at http://www.humanos.me/courses To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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The Waiting

*The title of this post was taken from the Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers song of the same name*

We have a nifty piece of software that, after taking some body measurements and asking some information about a client, can give us a timeline of how long it will take someone to reach their goals.

After I’ve discussed some ideal scenarios for caloric intake and we’ve played around with some macronutrient ratios, I will typically tell a client “In a perfect world, assuming few to no curveballs along the way, it will take you “x” amount of time to get to where you want to be.”

We know that life doesn’t work in that picture perfect, linear fashion.

In fact, I have only a few stories of clients along the years who have seen weight loss happen that way. They are not the norm.

The most disappointing part of weight loss (or muscle gain for that matter) is how long it can take.

Say I’ve given a client a timeline of approximately six months to lose 30lbs. That’s not an unreasonable amount and it is actually very realistic without any aggressive crash dieting, detoxes or cleanses.

It’s somewhat easy to imagine: Wow, I could be at my dream weight in just six months! I haven’t been that weight in 10 years!

But then, life does what life does and it rudely interrupts.

It could be a Monday holiday that gives you a 3 day weekend (Hell, let’s get nuts on Friday!)

Or it’s the bender you go on when your boyfriend breaks up with you via text message…that bastard…

What about the late nights you have to work because your boss gave you someone else’s work on top of your own (Pizza anyone?)

It’s things like this that remind you, you might have a goal but you can’t just shut life off outside your door and expect it to be along for the ride.

And that’s why the “waiting” is one of the most frustrating things to deal with when you’re trying your best to succeed.

That’s also why consistency trumps nearly everything else in this game.

Having goals is great.

Controlling your environment to help you stay the course is vital.

Forgiving yourself when you screwed up (and you probably will) is mandatory as well.

Buckling in, enjoying those little bits of progress no matter how they come and enjoying the ride is basically a non-negotiable…if you plan on succeeding.

And as Mr. Petty so eloquently sang “The waiting is the hardest part.” (Rest in peace, Mr. Petty)

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Revolutionary You! #85-Community, Culture And A Love Letter To Humanity With Mark Fisher

Mark Fisher is indisputably one of my favorite people in the fitness industry. His facility, Mark Fisher Fitness, is one of the most fantastic success stories to hear about because of the community he and his team have fostered. We talk about how he built it, what keeps things fun there and even how a fitness enthusiast can make the most of their own gym experience so they can see the best results possible. To learn more about Mark, check out http://www.markfisherfitness.com and http://www.businessforunicorns.com To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours

*The title of this post was taken from the Manic Street Preachers album of the same name*

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been conducting the first round of progress reports at RevFit.

This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time and every time I have thought about it or attempted to start it, I would get distracted and not finish.

Now that I’ve wrapped up the conversations, I realize the error I made by not doing so sooner.

Being able to take a few minutes with each of our clients to find out more about how life has currently been treating them, where we need to shift (or re-shift) our focus to help them with their goals, and how we can improve our styles and programming to help them succeed was one of the best things I could have done.

And now the fire is under me to make sure we stay on top of this in the future.

Among the many great things I had the opportunity to discuss, there were several quotes I made sure to notate during these conversations.

And as I was revisiting my notes, there were many things that I found fascinating, motivating, funny and touching along the way.

I realize that by posting some of these quotes out of context there is a risk of not fully understanding the reasons why they were said.

However, I always like things that snap me to attention and these were a handful of anonymous quotes taken directly from some of our members.

Maybe one of these statements speaks to you as well.

“Being here at the gym makes everything in my life better”

“No more pints of ice cream until 2018”

“I want to feel good about the decisions I’m making. I need to somehow disconnect my emotions from eating.”

“I do exercise because I have to, not because I like it”

“I feel good but I don’t like how pictures make me look”

“I’m trying to be a better me

“I would like to lose weight but I don’t know if I want to give my lifestyle up.”

“I feel like I look good naked”

“This is the biggest I’ve ever been”

“Carrying this extra weight is killing me

“I love how much stronger I feel”

“You’ve never judged me”

I don’t know what effective is, otherwise I wouldn’t be here”

“My issue is alcohol”

“I’m not waiting until Monday, I’m doing it now”

“I love working out but I also love cheeseburgers”

“I’m always going to give into my demons”

“I am the barrier”

“I can’t turn into my mother. I want to live until I’m 90 and I can’t do that if I’m fat & unhealthy”

“Work deeply affects me and I need this place to vent and get it off my chest”

“I’ve never felt stronger in my life”

This was their truth…tell me yours.

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Revolutionary You! #84-The High Protein Handbook With Scott Baptie

Scott Baptie from Food For Fitness joins me this week to chat about his awesome recipe series The High Protein Handbook. I have been blown away with not only how easy his meals are to make but how great they taste. We chat about why he started this series, his future books to come and also where he plans to take Food For Fitness as it continues to evolve. To purchase your copies of The High Protein Handbook and learn more about Scott, check out http://www.foodforfitness.co.uk To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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Broken Boy Soldier

*The title of this post was taken from The Raconteurs song of the same name*

I was around 5 or 6 when it happened.

As I’ve gotten older, some memories stay clear while others have faded away.

Unlike others who have been sexually abused, I only had to deal with one incident. Although, it’s hard to look at circumstances like this and consider a silver lining.

It would take until I was around 17 years of age before I could face what happened and start to register how the situation had been affecting me through adolescence.

For me, being punished for doing the right thing at the hands of my abuser would affect the way that I approached nearly every occurrence of “good versus bad” ideas.

I remember my parents telling me things like “Telling the truth will always be better than lying.”

And in my mind the thought was, “Yes, but when I did the right thing with my abuser, I was punished. I don’t want to be punished again. So, maybe I should see what I get away with and hope to avoid being caught and being punished.”

For the record, I almost always got caught.

And I almost always got punished.

Coming to terms with this later in my teenage years didn’t lead to an automatic turn of behaviors.

I even took it upon myself to confront my abuser years after the fact to remind him what he did to me.

In case you’re wondering, he didn’t remember any of it.

It would take years of counseling, bouts of medication, and mountains upon mountains of street drugs to help me look past this situation and learn how to grow past it.

I’ve found through many of my interactions with clients that I don’t stand alone with my story.

While sexual abuse is more common than anyone would care to admit, I know men who have suffered a similar, if not worse, scenario but have been hesitant to share what happened.

I learned years ago, that sharing it not only had the potential to help, it had the potential to heal.

But it would take a long, painful road for me to realize that having this as part of my life did not make me a broken person.

And even though I felt broken, it didn’t give me validity to stay self-destructive.

I’m now over 35 years removed from the incident and if you (male or female) share a similar background, you are not broken either.

Find someone you trust to talk to. It can be a friend, a family member, or a support group.

Find an outlet. The gym has served me better than most anything else once I found a place to channel many of my negative emotions.

Believe in yourself. Every step you have to take forward is a step you have to take on your own but you don’t have to take it alone.

Your progress can inspire others who have temporarily lost hope in themselves. I feel as if every improvement I’ve made moved at a snail’s pace and was rarely, if ever, noticeable in the short term. It has taken years to develop a level of comfort in not only discussing my story but not letting personal tragedies define the person I am.

I am no broken boy soldier. However, my fight never ends.

And neither should yours.21731858_1648470811832114_8875937441474912095_o

 

 

Revolutionary You! #83-Superhuman You With “Iron Tamer” Dave Whitley

Dave Whitley a.k.a. Iron Tamer joins me this week to talk about the motivation behind writing his awesome new book Superhuman You (now available on Amazon.) Dave takes his passion for strongman feats of strength and discusses how anyone can harness the mentality to achieve great things for their health and fitness goals. To find out more about Dave, check out http://www.irontamer.com To learn more about your host, visit http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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