I relaxed and snapped a picture of the scale. It had been a tough couple weeks leading up to this moment. I’d worked my way down from 208 pounds in order to make the light heavyweight requirement for an upcoming Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament. When I stepped off the scale, I thought back to a year before – when I stood on the exact same scale and saw the reading – 262 pounds.
Seeing that number was a huge wake up call for me. I had pretty much zero fitness or nutrition background. I’d been a very active kid, always played sports but never really lifted weights after high school – and it showed. I had two kids, was married and had let myself go. I picked up a couple Men’s Health magazines, dusted off the old weight set and squat rack in my garage – and my younger brother and I started lifting and running regularly.
My motivation waned – the gym, the garage, wherever it was – was a chore. Something that I had to do, not something I wanted to do.
That all changed the day I walked into Spartan Fitness, an MMA and BJJ training facility in Birmingham, Alabama. We were doing a story on the MMA team there and the rise in popularity of these types of gyms. Chris Conolley, the owner and head coach, would become a friend over the course of the next few months as we filmed a number of stories and covered a few of his fighters as they rose from the ranks of amateurs all the way, in two cases, to the bright lights of the UFC.
I started training about a month after we did the first story. It was so much fun, it became my outlet – and it wasn’t a chore. I loved it. I looked forward to it. Over the course of the next 6 years, there was not a single week where I didn’t hit the mats at least two or three times.
When I switched over to CrossFit, it fed the same desires and I was able to have the same staying power. I never dreaded going to the gym – I wanted to be there. In most cases, working out is the best part of my day. I’ve made so many friends and accomplished so much more than I ever thought possible.
Today, at 36 years old, I can easily say I am in the best shape of my life. Beyond just the fitness level, the aesthetics and the confidence – my mind has changed, my overall being, who I am, has changed drastically. I know that I am the best version of myself, today. I know that tomorrow I will be a better version of myself than yesterday. That kind of progress is the result of staying power.
For me, it’s easy. Without even thinking about it, I will train a minimum of 5 times this week. It’s just habit, it’s my routine and it has been this way since the first day I got crushed by a basic workout after walking into CrossFit Sua Sponte in Raleigh, North Carolina.
If you think these kind of results are limited to physical fitness, you’re wrong. In all aspects of your life, staying power is what drives progress. Business, relationships, fitness– they all succeed or fail based on staying power. Most research shows it takes a couple weeks – to start forming a habit. Give yourself a simple task – creating a piece of content for your business, doing something nice for your significant other, eating a healthy breakfast, meditating for 10 minutes every morning. Create these rituals for yourself, stay committed to them and you will reap the rewards in all facets of your life.
The latest item I have struggled with in regards to staying power, has been my nutrition. I coach a number of clients, have released an eBook on the topic and at one point had logged my food and hit my macro numbers for more than 500 days in a row. Then I lost a job, I moved twice – chaos reigned. I allowed this to become an excuse to “take a break.”
Writing the eBook was the driver for me to get back on my routine – to restart my habit. I share this because it’s important to understand that everyone fails, everyone loses motivation in some area of their life. It’s what you do after this that matters. It was a daunting task to log my food after losing that streak of so many days logged in a row. I felt like a failure, despite the fact I didn’t really see any changes in the mirror. Staying power isn’t just about keeping up with a goal or a commitment, often it will be whether or not you can come back from a drop-off, and succeed at restarting.
When my girlfriend proudly proclaimed that she had just logged her food for her 40th day in a row, I was proud of her – and it helped me realize that the number of days was more about the habit than the number.
So whether your goals are in the gym, the kitchen, your personal life or your business – remember, staying power is about more than just “sticking with it” – it’s a marathon (hell, a marathon might be your actual goal) not a sprint. You’ll fail, you’ll lose your motivation, you’ll encounter challenges – but the results you will see from making sure that at the end you always climb back on the horse – will astound you.
If nutrition is something you’ve always struggled with when it comes to sticking with something – my hope is that this book will get your started (or re-started) down that road. I have put together the best pieces of advice that worked for me, my own personal story with nutrition and easy steps you can take today to create a habit that will make you feel and look better. It’s 10 dollars – and if it doesn’t help you see food differently and start you down the road to a more successful way of fueling your body, then I will personally coach you, with weekly updates and check-ins, free of charge.