Becker Built Tips for Overcoming Adversity and Staying on Top of Your Game in the New Year

When life hands you lemons….forget the Lemonade!  Get your ass in the gym!

As I look back on 2011, I realize that one thing is for certain- life is not perfect. And just when everything appears to be going smoothly, life will throw you a curve ball.  I have had a series of life changing events this past year- my wife, Gillian and I welcomed a baby girl in July, my father became ill with heart issues and we experienced the devastating news that my father in law (Gillian’s dad) has terminal brain cancer.  In early September, I had an elective surgery to repair an umbilical hernia which required 4-6 weeks of no training.  The procedure went well and by the first week of October, I had begun the beginning phases of my return to the gym and a solid off-season nutrition plan.  We had adjusted to the new addition to our family and things seemed to be ‘back on track’.  Sadly, my father, who was 72, became very ill very quickly and ended up living with our family under hospice care.  As nurses, Gillian and I cared for him in our home until his dying day on October 11th.  One thing is for sure that you can’t ever really prepare to lose someone you love, but you must find a way to persevere.  My life must go on.  I have two small children and I must continue to try to be the best father and man I can be.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of calling my dad- I have to stop myself regularly from instinctively dialing his number.   We were very close and he was my biggest fan.  We miss him dearly.

I have always known that you can never predict what life will hand you.  Hell, if you told me five years ago that I would meet my wife and have two kids by 2011, I would have told you that you were fricking nuts!  But I have learned to roll with it.  For me, I don’t think that I can ever recall a prep for a bodybuilding show that didn’t come with some sort of major snafu.  What I can say for sure is that if you get off track, you have to get back on – as quickly as you can.   It can be incredibly easy to let life get in the way and before you know it, your health has gotten away from you and you find yourself fat and forty!  It is far better to get back on track before it gets to this point.

So how does one get back on the track of living a healthy and fit lifestyle?  I have put together several tips to help out.  And, with a new year comes new opportunity and new opportunities.  These tips will help you not only get back on track in 2012, but help keep you there!  2012 CAN be the year you make it happen!

  1. Don’t dwell on the negative:  Ok. So you lost your job or your girlfriend dumped you.  So what.  There will be other jobs and (hopefully), many other girls.  Re-frame the negatives into positives and develop a positive attitude.  Gillian always tells me that if you put positive energy out into the universe, positive things will come your way.  Now I used to think that was some crazy Canadian B.S. (sorry honey) but you know what, she has a point.  Here’s an example:  everybody knows some miserable guy who is always complaining and seems to have the worst luck of anyone you know.  It’s like he has a black cloud above his head and bad things always seem to happen to him.  Guess what?  It’s no coincidence!  Negativity breeds negativity!  Start thinking positively and you’ll find that a better attitude causes better results.
  2. Set new goals:   If your nutrition and or training has gotten away from you and you take a look at yourself and wonder how you will ever get your physique back, it can be very overwhelming.  Start by setting small, short-term goals for yourself.  An example of a short-term goal might be to “get into the gym 3 times this week”.  You might also set a long-term goal for the month like “gain/lose 5 pounds”.  Whatever it might be, write it down and commit to making it happen.  Yes, WRITE IT DOWN.  It’s amazing how something becomes more solid in your mind and in your life once you do the simple task of writing it down.
  3. Put together a plan:    This third tip goes along with my last tip.  In order to achieve your short and long term goals, you need to put together a solid nutrition and training plan.  If you don’t use a trainer, this might be the time to get one to help you devise a plan to reach your goals.  Or, you can do a little research of your own and put something together yourself.  It doesn’t matter.  Write it down and make it happen.  It is helpful for some people to put this plan in a spot where you see it often like taped to the fridge.  This will help you stay focused on achieving your goals and keep you on track.
  4. Journal:   This may surprise you, but I have always kept a journal.  Now it’s not some frilly little pink book that I write my feelings in, it’s just a simple spiral notebook that I use to keep track of my workouts, diet and other shit that is going on in my life.  It helps to keep me organized and it is a great reference to look back as I am evaluating my progress.
  5. Stop whining and just do it:  Sure, it’s definitely easier to keep putting it off and putting it off but you need to just suck it up and get it done!!!  Set your alarm, get out of bed, eat your oats, drink your Level-1 shake for breakfast and get in the gym!  Once you get those first few meals and workouts under your belt, it will be easier to maintain your new program.  That first session in the gym might seem like a chore but once you get on a roll, there will be no stopping you- especially once you start to see and feel improvements!

I hope that you have found my tips helpful and you can use them to help you get out from under that rock you are under and get back on top in the new year!  Just like anyone else, I do understand that sometimes life does get in the way.  I have learned that you have to find a way to make fitness a priority so that you are healthy enough to deal with the lemons and make lemonade out of them!

On a side note, I just want to thank my friends for all their love and support, and also to the 1st Phorm team during the difficult time my family has experienced. Gillian and I are truly blessed to be a part of such a first class company!

Happy New Year, and until next time, stay focused and remain balanced!