Category: Fitness Training

Tell ‘Em

Tell ‘Em

One of the worst things you can do as a learner is focus too much on learning. Weird, isn’t it? You want to learn, so you get good at learning. But then you don’t really do anything with what you learn.

I still slip into this problem, and I need to remind myself: learning isn’t the thing. Amy Poehler put it this way,

“You do it because the doing of it is the thing. The doing is the thing. The talking and worrying and thinking is not the thing.”

Ludacris flowed and rapped it like so,

“Move, bitch!”

You might also know this as “actions speak louder than words”. And that’s the key here, active over passive.

I know many great students who thrive in the short-term but fail in the long-term. They review diligently, but that’s not enough. You need to embed. You need to reinforce.

That doesn’t mean you have to work harder either. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is share what you’ve learned. And when I say “share”, I don’t mean a re-tweet, re-post, or re-blog. Say it. Actually tell someone.

Think about all the stories your parents used to tell you. Do you think it was easy for them to recite just because they knew it? Nope! The more they told you, the easier it was to say again.

If you let other people know, you let yourself remember.

New Year, New Story

New Year, New Story

I know a lot of people detest New Year’s Resolutions because so many of them are done on a whim. Most resolutions are handled with wishful thinking and end up with piss poor results.

That’s a sad truth, but I totally support the chance to re-write your life story. The new year is an opportunity start a new narrative. I just wish people would utilize that enthusiasm on a day to day basis instead of waiting until January. But since it’s here, why wouldn’t you make use of it?

I want to remind people: nothing is more important than the story you tell yourself.

The way we reflect on our experiences and memories can empower us or break us down. Once you’re aware of self-communication, you can cut the crap. You’ll strengthen not only your speaking but life as a whole.

My Failure in Self-Communication

Before I made fitness a staple part of my life, here’s the stories I would tell myself:

  1. Finding someone to love me for me is a top priority.
  2. Once I find that person, I’m set for life.

Some of you are reading that and wonder what’s the problem. To some, those stories are perceived as romantic. That’s definitely what I thought at the time.

These days I don’t look back at those words so lovingly. Then again, I’ve been told I’m not that much of a romantic either. If you note the term “hopeless romantic”, are you able to recognize the problem of labeling yourself that way?

It’s the very word “hopeless”. You’re resigning yourself to the idea that things aren’t supposed to work out. These concepts of romance have a lot of problems.

Back then I wasn’t completely pessimistic and self-loathing, but another problem that stems from my story is lack of self-worth. When you tell yourself that someone else is supposed to be the priority in your life– that means you are, by default, incomplete. That way of thinking diminishes any achievements you make on your own as “not really success”.

I became desperate and needy in finding that fulfillment.

If you decide that you need a specific situation to happen in order to be happy, your happiness will become a slave to…

Posted by Kyle Cease on Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In my sophomore year of college, I would find someone who matched the needs of my narrative.

That Reality of That Relationship

When I finally got into that relationship, I actually became more needy, not less. I think when you hype up someone to be your everything, then your brain goes into thinking that person has to always be around.

The logic becomes “without them, I am nothing”.

I definitely didn’t want to be nothing. I wanted to be something grand. I did work hard at some things, but I would just attribute any achievements to the relationship. I still failed to build any self-worth.

Making someone else your everything just isn’t natural. You’ll try too hard to keep up a sense of “happily together”. It’s like going to a movie theater. Yeah, it’s rude to be loud and disruptive by talking to a friend. But, a person who’s trying so hard to police even the slightest sense of disorder can also ruin the experience.

Being uptight is neither cool nor sexy.


The Truth Behind My Words

Lots of problems as you can see, but here are the two major ones.

First, the reality of “finding someone to love me for me” didn’t make me feel fulfilled. It made me lazy and complacent. I used the cover of “having someone appreciate me in the moment” to mean “since I have someone to put with my shit, I don’t have to do anything anymore”. In essence, I stopped taking care of myself. That’s how I gained weight.

Second, thinking I’d be “set for life” didn’t really make me happy. At the time I was kidding myself, but the truth was it made me scared to lose it. Being needy, uptight, and afraid is neither cool nor sexy.

That relationship didn’t work out (for the better, thankfully). And for the immediate aftermath it became too easy to frame the narrative like this:

  • You’re so stupid
  • You should’ve known better
  • What were you thinking?
  • How could you let this happen?

If I kept up with those stories, I’m not sure who or where I’d be today. I had someone who was very adamant in setting me straight: “Isn’t it time you took care of yourself?”

I hope that 2016 can be the year that the sentiment “I’m doing all I can to take care of myself” rings true for you.

Do you or someone you know struggle with this conflict of self-communication? Schedule a free consultation by calling 617-870-3615.

If you need more tips and tricks to get your fitness back on track, be sure to check out the Architects of Aesthetics for more information.

#FullDisclosureFriday the New Year’s in 2010 was a really rough start for me. The super indecisive girl I’d been dating…

Posted by Jonathan Dao on Friday, January 1, 2016

Pound Down

Here at last, my weight loss journey– all the ups and downs, the dieting and non-dieting, the progress and regressions.


I’ve been using this picture for the past couple of months. It gives a pretty decent overview of the pounds I’ve been able to shed, but it ain’t the COMPLETE story. So, in true Vietnamese fashion, let me rewind back to the beginning… Continue reading “Pound Down”

Unmotivated =/= Impossible

About a year ago, a friend asked me for some advice: “What’s a good workout for your core?”

Instead of doing tons of crunches, I recommended the plank.

I am not the Asian pictured

He wasn’t too keen on the suggestion, but I encouraged him to try it out. I wanted to find a way for him to add it regularly into his other routines, so I pitched the idea of holding 60 minutes of plank in a month.

I started a group on Fitocracy, just in case others wanted to join in, and the response has been HUGE! Some people got addicted, pushing themselves to hit double or even triple the amount in thirty days. I know a few who’ve branched off and started a group to reach 60 minutes in a single day.

yo dawg, that’s crazy

I’d say it’s one of the most active groups on the site. I have a hard time keeping up with all 2,500+ members.

But lately, there’s a certain trend I’ve noticed on the feed. A lot of people are talking about how they’re losing interest… how they’re feeling unmotivated. And the thing is, I’m in the same boat! Planks can be tedious. Planks can be boring.

But here’s the most important thing to keep in mind: planks are doable.

And with all the things in life that are out of my hands, I need more things that give me a sense of being in control. Exercise is one of those things– and it’s a really good thing!

But I think sometimes people put so much pressure on themselves. They think, “Once I jump on board, I’ve got to keep momentum 110%.”

And as much as I appreciate that enthusiasm, I think that’s a lot less doable. Besides, you don’t need that type of motivation to reach your goal. All you need is determination.

If you’re faced with a task you don’t want to do, that’s fine. But, a loss of motivation does not mean something is impossible to do.

You can do it. You got this!