Posted by Ran Isner

So, my first blog post after completing the “Light Yourself On Fire” challenge… I must say I was looking forward to writing this because it’s become part of my routine and I like the accountability aspect of it.

In the several days after completing the challenge I have experienced a lot of things. There was the exhilaration of completing it, then there was a little sadness that it ended, after that came the letdown and my mind saying “You deserve a break”(some indulgent eating involved) and then came the awareness to it and finally the acceptance.

I’m are that I’m not the only one that’s experienced these things after a monumental accomplishment and that is awesome because it reminds me I’m human. I realize that it takes me back to the same old programming in my brain and also, Rome wasn’t built in a day. What is important is the awareness I bring to it because when one recognizes it, it is much easier to address it once you embrace it.

Embracing the “bad” is crucial even though it’s not really bad, it’s proof that one is going in the right direction. If we don’t have these moments where we revert to our old patterns it means that we didn’t push forward too begin with. It’s the balance of breakdowns and breakthroughs that makes this journey worth while.

I am beginning to understand just how instrumental this give and take between the two is, as it lends itself to gaining perspective for the past and how one can change their mindset in the present moment and shift one’s consciousness towards the breakthrough they seek to have or receive unexpectedly. That awareness to this has helped shift my mindset to a more positive one that allows for growth instead of regression.

The mind body connection is a fascinating thing because of how prevalent it is in our lives. Our mind commands our body to do certain things because of how it perceives a given situation and it affects our wellbeing on a very basic level. Our bodies do not function the same when we feel stressed and anxious. We feel bogged down, exhausted and overall yucky. Luckily, our minds do not operate independently and we can determine what thoughts we have.

Even though I took my foot of the gas for a couple of days, I was able to redirect my thoughts and my mindset to where I am in action and feeling great about myself . My body is reacting accordingly. You see, the way I see it, our body wants to be the healthiest it can be and our mind has a different idea so it wants to control our body in the way it used to.

There is a new Sheriff in town, and it wants my body to feel amazing!

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Week 17 – Unforgettable

September 29, 2016

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Marie & Ran at Grandmother Nora’s 90th

I knew this week was going to be a bloodbath! Between getting my period (sorry fellas) and over-indulging in Ritz crackers I predicted yesterday I would be up about 4lbs.  I got on the scale Wednesday morning like I normally do and it was pretty cool when I didn’t go to pieces over the weight on the scale.  I actually just did it matter-of-factly, recorded the weight and moved on!  I got dressed and put on skinny jeans and a button down shirt that used to not fit me, and I felt great walking out the door like that.  Have I finally evolved past my weight on the scale defining me?  Now that’s a non-scale victory!

In this week’s video blog, I spoke about reaching my upper limits with the completion of this challenge.  For me that means, wanting to lay in bed, eat Ritz crackers (apparently) and binge watch The Newsroom.  And, I got a cold literally right after the final weigh-in.  I assume this isn’t a coincidence.  It’s my body breaking down and giving me the reason to go ahead and give up on moving forward.  What is it about our minds that they give up as soon as we step out of our comfort zone?  Don’t forget, last week I reached a lower weight than I have been in 6 years!! That’s a huge step out of the comfort zone and my mind was like “Um yeah NO, MARIE, go back to bed.”

Happy to report my cold is much better and I put a moratorium on Ritz crackers for the time being.  My goal for the rest of this challenge (until my maintenance photos are due in November) is to lose another 5lbs.  This is on target with how I’ve been losing for the last 6 weeks, so it feels very realistic and achievable.

Truly the best part of this challenge has been rediscovering my passions and my hobbies that I’d put on a shelf for so long.  Once upon a time, I was doing theater, singing and being creative.  Once I had kids, I thought that I couldn’t do that anymore.  It took a long time and for me to shed the unwanted weight and feel good about myself for me to put myself out there again.  This weekend I had the pleasure of singing 2 songs at my Grandmother Nora’s 90th Birthday Party and it was a joy.  30lbs ago I wouldn’t have had to confidence to do it. What a shame it would have been if I hadn’t been able to sing for her because I wasn’t feeling myself.  She’s truly an “unforgettable” woman and I wanted to celebrate her without dragging my insecurities into it.

Week 17 Results

Weight: 188.8 (-8.4 since start, +5.2 change since last week)

Cleanse days completed this week: 0

Workouts: 2

Non-Scale Victory:  My weigh-in this week was easy, not because of the weight on the scale, but because I didn’t let it define the kind of day I was going to have, or how I felt about myself.

What I want to be acknowledged for this week:  The new No cheese/no pizza rule I’ve implemented.  Since I gave up dairy back in May I haven’t had one slice of pizza and I’ve only had cheese a few times (on planned in advance cheat days).  This weekend while I was celebrating my Grandmother’s 90th birthday I was faced with a lot of temptations, including both cheese and pizza.  I decided that I’d implement this rule (even on cheat days) because I know they are trigger foods for me and can only lead to trouble.

Book I am reading this week: Love Louder, by Preston Smiles

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Here’s the official “after” photos for my 16 week Light Yourself On Fire challenge! I’ve had a few more days to reflect on it since completing on Wednesday and I realized this challenge was way more about transforming my mindset than about losing weight (although the 13.6lbs I lost was great! and I shaved 2 points off my BMI!!)

I noticed that I’m happier, calmer, and enjoying life so much more since I started this challenge. i notice myself laughing more with my kids and complaining less. I feel like I’m on fire! That’s why I’m going to keep going until my maintenance photos are due in November – why stop if I feel so great?? What can you transform in 16 weeks?? Don’t limit yourself!

Posted by Ran Isner

Here we are, the final post of the “Light Yourself On Fire” challenge and the emotions are bittersweet. On the one hand, I am sad that it’s come to an end because I have put so much into it. On the other hand, I am happy because I know that my journey doesn’t end here.

I have been reflecting on this 16 week journey for the past couple of days and I cannot believe how much was accomplished during the time. I have created a healthy routine, I have held myself accountable to you and I have let go of things that have not been serving me and I was not open enough to acknowledge.

The most important one and the one that was affecting me the most was the overwhelming sense of guilt I’ve been living in for over a decade now. I have not allowed myself to be who I really was because I was feeling guilty about leaving my home in Israel and creating a new home here in the US. Guilt has almost broken up my marriage because I  refused to see that my actions were not serving the best interest of my family, meaning my wife and children, even though they are the world to me and I cannot imagine my life without them in it.

Owning up to me guilt has been instrumental in my transformation because it go me to reconnect with ME again and my soul so desperately needed that. It has deepened my connection with my wife because now I can truly express myself without any judgement and guilt. I am able to be present with my children and enjoy the moments we get to spend together. For the longest time I was so unhappy with who I have become and I felt that there was no hope.

Working on myself and understanding the events that have shaped my life have allowed me to be open to experience new things. Peta Kelly’s “The New Way Live” event in May is what inspired the “Light Yourself On Fire” challenge because it spoke about being the first one to do something so you can inspire others to do the same. The theme was about finding your jeaniius, the one thing that you can do so well that it is your moral obligation to share it with the world. I know now that I was put on this earth to change lives, to encourage people to find their own jeaniius and make a difference in this world. I gave myself the permission to operate from the space of love because I know n my bones that it emirates from me so brightly and that people deserve to know that they are loved and that they have permission to love, themselves and others. I call meek The Love Warrior because  love is the one thing worth fighting for.

I express gratitude every day and am thankful that I am where I am and that I am doing what aligns with my soul and that I am practicing to approach every thing I do with love.

I would like to thank you all for being a part of this journey and for holding me accountable to be the most honest, real me that I can be and for being my sounding board for my breakdowns and breakthroughs. This might mark the end of this challenge but it is most certainly not the end of this journey, it is merely the beginning. Life is lived in the present moment so it can never truly be the end.

Results:

Weight: 151.0( -5.5 since last week, -5.6 since start)

Cleanse days: 16 total for the challenge

Workouts: 42 ( 6 short of goal)

Books I have read:

  1. Love Louder by Preston Smiles
  2. The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield
  3. The Big Leap By Gay Hendricks
  4. 50 Ways To Yay by Alexi Panos

What I would like to be acknowledged for this challenge:

I would like to be acknowledged for finally loving myself enough so I could find the Ran that has been absent all these years. The Ran that dimmed his light so much that he was depriving the world of his true gift and his true sense of purpose. I would like to be acknowledged for focusing on the process and not the result.

I am a stand for all of you to find or re-discover what it is that ignites your soul and a stand for love and the notion that we all make an impact in other people’s lives. How are you going to light yourself on fire?

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Marie & Ran Performing, 2015

Here’s a list of all the songs that inspired my Blog Titles for the Light Yourself on Fire challenge.  Music is a big part of my life so I am happy to have incorporated it into the challenge this way! Enjoy!

Week 1 – The Devil Within, by Digital Daggers

Week 2 – Silent Night, Sung by Bing Crosby

Week 3 – Big Shot, by Billy Joel

Week 4 – Put a Ring On It , by Beyoncé

Week 5 – It Don’t Come Easy, by Ringo Starr

Week 6 – Don’t Blow It, by Eyes Lips Eyes and Honorable Mention: Get Over It, by Ok Go

Week 7 – Anything Could Happen, by Ellie Goulding

Week 8 – You Only Wake Up When’s It Over, performed by Marie & Ran Isner

Week 9 – What’s Life Without Losers, by Mikhael Paskalev

Week 10 – Delirious, by Steve Aoki ft. Kid Ink

Week 11 – Can’t Hold Us, by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Week 12 – Birthday, performed by Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr, live at Radio City Music Hall 7/7/10, because I was there and I saw it live!

Week 13 – Carry That Weight, by The Beatles

Week 14 – Imma Be, by Black Eyed Peas

Week 15 – Stars 4-Ever, by Robyn

Week 16 – Just Like Fire, by Pink

 

Posted by Ran Isner

Today my wife completed her “Light Yourself On Fire” challenge and I could not be more proud of her than I am right now. The morning started with her last way in and she was able to break her lowest weight since her pregnancy with our second child. This, by all means is an awesome result but she didn’t reach the goal she set for herself. Do you know what the most beautiful thing about it is? She wasn’t going to lose that weight anyway!

Now, what do I mean by that? Those lbs weren’t going to come off if she hadn’t started this challenge, at least not so impressively, and because she did the challenge, she lost that weight. She set her life in motion and created that weight loss for herself.

That has been my approach to this challenge the last few weeks. Whatever I achieved and didn’t… Those things weren’t going to happen anyway! Do you realize how empowering that shit is? Take that leap of faith because what you are about to do, wasn’t going to happen anyway!

Without taking that leap, my buddy Kevin wouldn’t have lost 145 lbs in a year and a half! Without taking that leap, my friend Kerri wouldn’t have completed her first Triathlon while having MS. Without taking that leap, my friend Bridget wouldn’t have lost 60 lbs and taken her life back! Without taking that leap, my sister in-law Rachel would’t have completed an entire screenplay!

I mean these are some phenomenal feats no matter how you look at them, and they all started by understanding that there was nothing to lose because none of this was going to happen anyway!

I feel like Robin Williams in “Good Will Hunting” but this message is so important because we hold ourselves back from doing so many things that even if we tried and it didn’t come out the way we wanted, it wasn’t going to happen anyway! we have the ability to decide how our life goes and it is only by taking those bold steps that we will ever really get to where we want to be.

This “mantra” if you will has given me something so powerful, it has given me permission to start taking more bold and brave actions and experiencing whatever comes along with them because as long as I keep taking those actions I can’t fail, the only way I fail is if I quit and as I said previously, that is not an option any more!

Week 16

So this is the final week, the final blog, the final weigh-in.  You can watch my weigh-in that was posted live on Facebook for all the thrills, tears and thank yous.  I feel like that video encapsulates everything I want to say in this blog, so I’m struggling to write a little bit. What I’m feeling is, “How much more could you possible have to say Marie?!??!”

Here’s what I will add to everything I’ve already said for the last 16 weeks.  All my life I have winged it, phoned it in, used my common sense and charm to get through most of the hurdles in life and NEVER really committed to myself or anything in my life (except for my marriage).  Even with my kids, I don’t worry too much about stuff, because I always rely on my ability “to figure it out when I’ll need to.”  I have a lot of confidence in my ability to figure it out when it’s necessary, but what that has led to for me has been this safety net of “don’t worry about it, until you HAVE to”.

It’s made it very easy for me to stay mediocre at things in life, my schooling, my singing, my acting, my career and my life.  I’ve been on a 2 year journey to reawaken to my greatness or my Jeaniius (as Peta Kelly would call it).  I knew that I was meant for a great life, not just mediocre one.  In the end, that’s what this Light Yourself on Fire challenge has been about for me – making a real commitment to myself.

That has meant getting more organized and systematic with everything in my life so that I make sure and get it all done.  Making a commitment to Ran so that he could go 3 nights a week to the gym.  Making a commitment to assisting at Landmark for 10 weeks so that others could experience transformation.  Making a commitment to everyone who was cheering me on that I wouldn’t give up. Making a commitment to myself that I wouldn’t eat dairy and eggs since I have a sensitivity.   I made crap-tons of commitments for 16 weeks, and the thing that came out of it was that I found myself feeling FREE, HAPPY, ACCOMPLISHED and here’s the biggie LIKE I MATTER.

I have heard from some of you that you were touched/moved/inspired by my journey and that’s the best part for me.  All I ever wanted was to make an impact and to know that I can make a difference and that I matter.  Thank you for allowing me to have that breakthrough.

FINAL WEEK 16 Results

Weight: 183.6 **New Lowest Weight!!** (-13.6 since start, -1.4 change since last week)

Cleanse days completed this week: 2 (18 out of 16 total for the challenge)

Workouts: 3 (42 out of 48 total for the challenge)

Non-Scale Victory:  Definitely shopping for a dress at Macy’s with only 1 hour to spare.  I didn’t have time to hem and haw and get all upset in the dressing room (this has happened before).  I ran in grabbed a bunch of dresses in sizes 12 & 14.  I didn’t want to get something like what I would normally get – something that would hide my body or camouflage the bad parts.  I wanted to get something fun and sexy and something that I would feel good about wearing.  I would usually try the bigger sizes first so see if I even needed the smaller size at all without have to stuff myself like a sausage into anything too small.  But not this time, I figured, “Lemme try the 12s first!” With excitement! I am very happy that I settled on a red lace dress that fit like a glove without any tugging or pulling.  Zipped right up and felt amazing.  I won’t even need Spanx!! LOL

What I want to be acknowledged for this week:  Completing my challenge! I had decided a few weeks ago that the best way to finish it off would be with a Facebook Live final weigh-in.  I didn’t tell anyone though!  I was leaving myself room to back out of it.  But once I declared it on my vlog on Tuesday, it was go-time!  I also decided to do it in my sportsbra and shorts which is probably the scariest thing I have ever done, because I had no opportunity to edit it (like with filters or cropping, like you can do in a photo) since it was live.  I am proud of myself for not worrying about being “pretty” and instead just being real.

Book I am reading this week: Love Louder, by Preston Smiles

Books I completed during the challenge:

Go Pro (for the 3rd or 4th time), by Eric Worre

Organize Your Life, by Susan Sly

The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield

Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight

You Are a Bad Ass, by Jen Sincero

This week’s title inspired by: Just Like Fire, by Pink

15 weeks down…

September 18, 2016

Posted by Ran Isner


Honestly I can’t belIeve that there’s only one week left to this challenge. I woke up this morning by my partner in crime telling me that she was gonna take kids to Long Island to have breakfast with her mother so I could sleep in and the old Ran would have taken that offer with two hands… but I didn’t. I told Marie that I wanted to go with them because I’d rather spend that time with my family than sleep and I was setting my intention for a day of gratitude.

If there is one thing I have learned from this challenge and I can’t stress it enough is that we must make it a priority to express gratitude for all that we have in our lives and embrace where we are at and who we are being at any given moment.

I know you have heard this from me before but if there is anything I wish for you to take away from all that I have written in the past 15 weeks is that we have so much to be grateful for and that by living life through gratitude we enhance every experience we have.

Since I started practicing gratitude my marriage got stronger, I  connecting on a deeper level with people and my stress level has decreased tremendously. You see, I was focusing on all the negativity in my life and acted as if life was happening to And I was merely a bystander with no power and no choice and that is no way to live life.

Today was about family for me. I started my day by spending time with my mother in-law and sister in-law and ended my day by spending time with my father in-law and step mother in-law. I don’t take these moments for granted as not every person has that so I am fully aware of how immensely fortunate I am.

So so much gratitude and love y’all!

Results:

Weight:156.6( +2.8 since last week, -.1 since start)

Cleanse days:1

Workouts: 3( 2 kickboxing, 1 Jiu Jitsu)

Book I am reading: 50 Ways To Yay by Alexi Panos

What I would like to be acknowledged for this week?

Letting go of stress. It will no longer dominate my being.

Week 15 – Stars 4-Ever

September 15, 2016

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Proud of how my midsection looks after 2 kids and several stretchmarks

Anyone with a 5 year old knows that when they find something they like, they play it to death.  So Dylan found the song “Stars 4-Ever” on my phone a few weeks ago, and it has been our non-stop playlist along with the ever present “Party Rock” for weeks.  He really loves this jam!

I’ve been bopping around the house singing the chorus, “You and Me Together, Stars 4 Ever! for weeks.  This week, after doing my video blog post about how the community provided me with such strong accountability that I wouldn’t give up, I realized – “you and me together, stars forever!”  It was exactly how I felt about this challenge.  As a community we have all achieved new outcomes and supported each other to reach our goals.  It’s when I realized that this challenge wasn’t just about ME getting fit, but was about how I can inspire others to achieve their dreams that I really started to get serious.  That’s why I became a health coach, was to inspire others.  For me, when I am feeling down about myself, I forget that it’s not just about me.  It’s so easy to go into pity-party mode with a pile of pad thai on my lap and chopsticks in hand.  When that happens now, as I’m sure it will in the future happen again, I will remind myself to LIGHT YOURSELF ON FIRE!! And get over myself!

Another big shift for me during this challenge has been on dealing with my fear of “looking good”. (See above picture of my stretch marks!)  For all my life, I’ve been way too consumed with “how it looks” or “looking good” or just NOT looking bad.  When my kid wants some sugary crap from the store to take to school I say, “No! I can’t have the teacher seeing you eat that!”  I’m not worried about him having the occasional Oreo cookie, I’m afraid of HOW IT LOOKS.  See what I mean?

How about this one, “I have to buy a one piece bathing suit, because what would people say if they saw my stretch marks on display at the beach?”

Or, “I’d better not order the cheat meal I want in front of my friends, because it will look bad since I’m a health coach.”

Or, “I’d better get my kid a new backpack for school, so he doesn’t look like the only kid who didn’t get one (even though his old one is fine!)”

I am doing it constantly! And guess what, it’s exhausting and inauthentic.

That’s why when I started the challenge I decided I would publish my deepest darkest secret every week, my weight on the scale.  It has been easy some weeks, fun others, and horrifying a few times.  But I’m human AF, and I am not doing this to “look good”, I’m doing this to transform.

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I took a Kickboxing Class with a bunch of strangers

As a result, I’ve tried new things this challenge like kickboxing, working out in the park, and posting pictures of myself that I wouldn’t normally TAKE let alone SHARE.  Because why not?  What if the one picture of my stretch marks inspires another mother to show hers and to CELEBRATE IT?!?! Instead of feeling ashamed (like I always have).

I am excited for the final week of the challenge to share with you all the transformations that have taken place in my circle of influence from some of my closest friends and family. Extraordinary things can happen in 16 weeks!  If you’re ready to join us for the next one, please email or FB me!

Week 15 Results

Weight: 185 (-11.8 since start, -0.6 change since last week)

Cleanse days completed this week: 2 (16 total for the challenge)

Workouts: 3 (39 total for the challenge)

Non-Scale Victory:  Pulled on a pair of jeans I got towards the end of Spring that I haven’t worn all summer and wore them out.  They fit great (better than ever actually) and I got a compliment from my neighbor who saw me walking from down the block and said he “didn’t recognize me, [he] thought I was some young mother!”  I told him thank you and I am still young at 35, aren’t I? LOL.  My hubby also asked me where I got the “new jeans”, so I guess they must look totally different now!

What I want to be acknowledged for this week:  This week I had to come to terms with the fact that the challenge is ending and there’s still a lot of goals I haven’t accomplished.  At first I wanted to be tough on myself, but then I realized that without this challenge, I wasn’t going to make this progress.  Sure, I’d have done some cleanse days and gotten to the gym, but not without the same commitment to myself. I accepted my challenge for what is it, instead of beating myself up over what it wasn’t.

Book I am reading this week: Love Louder, by Preston Smiles

This week’s title inspired by: Stars 4-Ever, by Robyn

Human AF

September 14, 2016

Posted by Ran Isner

 

The conversation I’ve been having with myself all week is that I kept telling m,myself that I will get organized and I have yet to do one thing about it. On a call with my coach last week I said that once my new planner comes I will sit down and I will organize my shit once and for all.

Guess what? The planner came today and I have done jack! the most disturbing part is that I felt guilty about not doing anything but made excuses as to why I didn’t. I know that I am not alone in this, that is what’s called being human as fuck and being human fucking rocks!

It’s awesome when I come to these realizations because it means that at least I am aware of the stuff that’s holding me back and now is the time to break the old habits and patterns and push on through. The first step to reaching that next level is awareness and it’s also very important that we recognize our successes. Success is also about being human because we have all experienced success of some sort at some point in our lives and it deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.

During the past 15 weeks I have been writing this blog twice a week, started practicing martial arts, said yes to things I would never say yes to before and lived my life with an abundance of gratitude and love. I don’t take these things for granted because those are things that wouldn’t have happened anyway unless I made a choice to pursue them and my life has change exponentially for the better.

There are only a week and a half left for this challenge and whatever I achieve by the end of it is the cherry on top because I created it, all of it! It has allowed me to fall back in love with myself and experience what it was like to be fully self expressed again. I fell in love with the process instead of focusing on the result.

I invite you to examine where you can push yourself to the next level and also to examine your success. Understand that nothing is good or bad, nothing is right or wrong and everything is just what’s so.

My name is Ran Isner and I am HUMAN AS FUCK!

Week 14: Heroes

September 11, 2016

Posted by Ran Isner


Today marks the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the world trade center, the pentagon and flight 93. I was in NYC at the time of the attacks and even though I was merely a visitor and had no idea that one day I would actually live here, I considered myself a New Yorker. My life would forever be interwoven with this city no matter what.

I have been living in this city for 12 years now, got married and started a family and I am proud to say that I am a New Yorker through and through. I have seen this city rise from the ashes through acts of kindness and love, the human spirit triumphed over hate and this city pressed on.

This day has alway had a special significance to me and I believe that it should be solely dedicated to remembering the men and woman who lost their lives on that day and the firefighters and police officers who died while doing their job. I didn’t know any of them but I still felt like I knew them all.

My friend Kerri lost her brother Michale 15 years ago. Only two days prior Michale completed the town of Hempstead’s Triathlon and that was the last time his family saw him. He died in the towers and his body was never recovered.

15 years later Kerri decided that in his honor she will also complete that same triathlon that Michael participated in. She trained for months and put her heart and soul into every training session, knowing that Michael was right there beside her. Kerri has Multiple Sclerosis, but she refused to let that be an excuse to not train her hardest or quit.

I am proud to say that she finished 3rd in her age group.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Michael is Kerri’s hero because he knew that by going in to the towers, there was a chance that he was not coming out of there alive but he went in any way. Kerri is my hero because she does not let her disease define her and she is ferociously determined to achieve the goals she set for herself.

As a witness to her journey, Kerri inspired me to push myself and work tirelessly towards achieving my goals and through her hard work and dedication she taught me that no dream is too big and that anything is possible.

We will never forget!

Michael Kiefer

Michael ‘s last Triathlon

Kerri Kiefer-Viverito after completing the triathlon



Week 14 results:

Weight: 153.8( -2.4 since last week, -2.9 since start)

Cleanse days: 2

Workouts: 3( 2 Jiu Jitsu, 1 Kickboxing)

Book I am Reading: The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

What I would like to be acknowledged for this week:

I went with my wife to the last session in the seminar she’s assisting in at Landmark Education and we sang a song together, the chords for which I learned the same day. Yay me!

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New Workout Gear for Week 14!

Fall is in the air!! I always loved going “back to school” as a kid (nerd alert).   As an adult, I’ve used the “back to school” fever to get myself organized and back on top of my goals/resolutions.  Honestly though, this year, (I’m happy to clean my house up a bit) but this challenge has kept me so accountable over the summer that I don’t need to RE-focus on my goals, I have been focused the whole time.  I went to so many BBQ’s and skipped dessert, extra servings, macaroni salad, hamburger buns etc.  I mean I really did the damn thing!  I didn’t use “summer” or “Bbqs” as an excuse.  I have been really dedicated since beginning this challenge.  I finally made a decision to transform and stop getting in my own way.

For so long I was afraid to take a stance and say “I’m not eating that” at family parties because I was afraid people would find me annoying or self-indulgent.  But now I realize that I was letting the FOWOT (fear of what others think) stand in my way for far too long.  Imma be me!  And honestly, no one has given me a hard time about being gluten & dairy free so that was all in my head!

I’m way behind on my workouts for the challenge by about 6!  So this Sunday when I arrived at the gym at 9am and there was no teacher for class I was a little panicked!  I waited a while, but then realized the class was cancelled.  I got home and rounded up my family for an impromptu workout in the playground on my street.  Ran also wanted to get a workout in and I figured at the playground we could do a circuit with my few dumbbells from home and some ingenuity.  I also figured no one would be there since it was the Sunday of labor day weekend at 9:45 in the morning, but we ended up bumping into 2 people we know!  They both complimented us on our workout enthusiasm so early in the morning.  I was determined not to miss a workout so I got creative.  Now I think we might start doing this every weekend and invite some local parents.  There’s nothing better than bringing your kids to your workout and showing them the great example of taking care of yourself.

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Doing some Rows in Cabrini Park

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Daphne looks on at Cabrini

Since Dylan had no school earlier this week, I had to bring him to bootcamp for a class with me (because again, I couldn’t miss a day) so I can work on completing the challenge. He is pretty well behaved there and talks about his “workouts” that he does at karate.  Plus he sees me “doing the damn thing.”  He also likes to see where I’ve been all those nights I said, “I’m going to bootcamp.”  It’s never easy to leave your family at night for an hour to get a workout in, but taking him has helped me show him what I’m doing so he understands why it’s important that I go.

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Dylan does his best “Superman”

I’ve started thinking about what comes next in 2 weeks when this challenge is over. What more can I layer in to make it more transformative?  I’m always looking for ways to push myself out of my comfort zone, because that feeling of personal growth is so intoxicating I’d hate to let it go.

So I’ve decided to do 2 extra cleanse days for the challenge.  I’d originally committed to 16, but now I am re-upping for 18 total.  My workouts are going well, but it’s likely I won’t hit my 48 goal by Sept 21.

Week 14 Results

Weight: 185.6 (-11.4 since start, -4.0 change since last week)

Cleanse days completed this week: 2 (14 total for the challenge)

Workouts: 4 (36 total for the challenge)

Non-Scale Victory:  Today at the gym one of the trainers said I look great!! She said my shoulders and arms have improved.  Arms are smaller and shoulders are more defined.  Plus my body fat percentage went way down!  I was very proud today to get on the scale.

What I want to be acknowledged for this week:  I went through my clothes and pulled out 12 items that no longer fit or are just old and need to be passed on.  In the past, I would have agonized with guilt about getting rid of “perfectly good” clothes even though they don’t suit me anymore.  But I have LET GO of this false attachment and removed some items to make space for the new.

Book I am reading this week: Love Louder, by Preston Smiles

This week’s title inspired by: Imma Be, by Black Eyed Peas

The Advanced Class!

September 7, 2016

Posted by Ran Isner

Tonight I had a conversation with my teacher at Jiu Jitsu about me moving on to the advanced class. It’s been about two months since I started taking classes and I have been very consistent. The first thing the teacher told me is that The teaching staff is certain I can handle that physically and that I am ready. It felt nice to be acknowledged for my hard work but I also recognized that I wasn’t looking for their approval, which is a change for me.

That also means a larger investment money wise. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was but it’s still an added expense. Between my son, my wife and myself taking various classes, the money adds up. I mean, I could stay right where I am and keep practicing at the basic level or, I can make the investment in myself and go for it. Like almost every human being on this planet, I have a tense relationship with money. I always worry how we are doing with our money and is there anywhere we can cut expenses?

One would consider this a problem and one of my mentors has a saying about problems. “Just outproduce your problems!”.  Simple, right? I used to think it wasn’t that simple and I thought that because of my own shit. You see, in network marketing the way you make money is by making connections with people and providing a solution to their problem and in order to do that one has to:

A. Step out of their comfort zone

B. Stop making it about you!

C. Belief

 

I have an issue with all of those areas.  Stepping out of my comfort zone scares the crap out of me because I have spent years being comfortable with being uncomfortable. News flash! Our comfort zone is anything but comfortable. It’s filled with self doubt, fear and guilt and who the fuck wants that? I have been working on stepping out of that zone and getting comfortable with being confident and successful.

By being afraid of what people would think when I talk to them about what it is I do in network marketing is making it all about me. If I don’t share this amazing gift with people because I am afraid they would think that I am weird and pushy, them I am possibly depriving them of something that they might be craving for and that is selfish.

Now this is the kicker. I believe in the products I have to offer people 100% because i know what they do. My belief in myself? That’s a different story altogether. For the longest time I didn’t think I mattered. I didn’t think that who I am was anything special and that what I said or did had any impact on anybody. The bottom line is that’s a load of bullshit! Every person on this earth matters and the value they have to add to this world is limitless because the universe is limitless.

There is a saying that goes like this ” When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. By being faced with deciding whether or not to move on to the advanced class I finally understand what it means to outproduce my problems. I don’t want to ever have to deprive my family or myself of things that enhance our experience on this earth because of money. I am fortunate enough that I have an amazing tool in network marketing where the sky is the limit financially if I choose for it to be so and if I put in the work required to achieve my goals. It’s time to peel off those layers, roll up my sleeves and get to work.

How appropriate it is that Jiu Jitsu’s advanced class is creating the clearing for me to move up to the advanced class of my own life?

Week 13: Vibin’

September 4, 2016

Posted by Ran Isner

I am beginning to realize how important is doing stuff you vibe with. I like the idea of vibration and how it affects your spirit. 

Going to Jiu Jitsu is something I definitely vibe with. I told Marie the other day that I like that it’s not  a “Cobra Kai” type environment( where are my Karate Kid peeps?) but that there is a theme for the training week and that there’s this community that supports each and every person in it.

I love being surrounded by individuals that genuinely want me to do well and also hold me accountable. I try as much as possible not to be around negative people because they lower my vibration and let me tell you, it makes a difference.

My brother just signed up to practice Jiu Jitsu at the same Dojo I go to and I am so happy extremely happy for him. He told me the other day that he couldn’t wait to come to class. I can tell it’s Vibin’ with his spirit. I think that people need a little nudge every once in a while to pursue the things they vibe with and I feel that people are very apprehensive about choosing to do things their spirit vibes with because they think somehow it is impractical. Nothing could be more impractical than denying your soul the freedom to search and find what it is it vibes with.

What I’ve found in the short time I’ve been doing this is that it’s absolutely VITAL for us to do the things we vibe with because it simply enhances the experience of living. The way we are in the world completely shifts and this unfamiliar yet exhilarating feeling sets in.

Love and gratitude have become so much more present in my life and those are two things that have become non negotiable in my life.

I’m Vibin’ and it’s a beautiful thing.

Week 13 results:

Weight: 156.2(+2.2 since last week, -.5 since start).

Cleanse days: 0

Workouts: 4( 1 kickboxing, 2 Jiu Jitsu, 1 personal).

Book I am reading: The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.

What I would like to be acknowledged for this week:

Being present and in the moment. Addressing things as they come and not waiting for the last minute.

Week 13

Earlier this week I wrote a post about gratitude.  It’s easy when everything is going well, it becomes a real skill when you can do it when things are really shitty around you.

This week, I went a little off the reservation.  I ate gluten, lots of it.  I don’t know how it happened except I decided it was ok and I just went full force I guess.  The doctor says my gluten sensitivity test came back negative, but that doesn’t mean anything because sometimes the tests do that.  So I guess that little devil on my shoulder started to win out (“Maybe YOUR test was right! Eat as much gluten as you want!”) That little devil is an asshole.

So, okay, I’m in a little funk about it.  Time to focus on what I’m grateful for in order to get outta this.  I’m grateful for my naturopath who is guiding me through my new dairy-free lifestyle, I’m grateful I didn’t gain more than 0.4lbs this week.  I’m grateful for the support of everyone who reads this blog to keep me accountable!

Not every week is a winner, but I’m committed to finishing this challenge strong.  I’ve plotted out the next 15 workouts over the last 3 weeks to make sure I reach my goal.  I’ve also worked out the final four cleanse days.  I’ve even got a surprise for the end of the challenge figured out to really light myself on fire.

Despite this challenging week, I’m really proud of myself for keeping up with challenge.  I’ve done a lot of scary stuff.  (Bathing suit photo anyone?)  No matter what the results of the challenge are on paper, I am really happy with the journey it has taken me on.  Thanks for coming with me!  3 weeks to go!

Week 13 Results

Weight: 189.6 (-7.4 since start, +0.4 change since last week)

Cleanse days completed this week: 0 (12 total for the challenge)

Workouts: 2 (32 total for the challenge)

Non-Scale Victory:  I went on an audition!! I haven’t done many auditions in the recent years because I had zero confidence about it.  But now that I’m feeling good, I went.  Even thought I was kinda unprepared.  I went.  I just got over myself for 15 minutes and sang my song to complete strangers.  And the best part is that it went well and now I get to be part of the Jalopy Chorus.  Very excited to sing again and meet some new people!

What I want to be acknowledged for this week:  I took on a larger role in my assisting responsibilities at Landmark this week and did several recreation calls for participants in the seminar.  I coached some wonderful people I had never met before.  I was really nervous, because WHO AM I? but I just focused on THEM and what can THEY get out of it and I’m happy to say it turned out great for me and them! (Lots of breakthroughs)

Book I am reading this week: You Are a Bad Ass, by Jen Sincero

This week’s title inspired by: Carry That Weight, by The Beatles  – Thanks to the show BeatBugs on Netflix, Dylan has learned a bunch of Beatles songs and this is one of them. He was roaming around the apartment today singing “Boy you’re gonna carry that weight!”  What a great reminder.  You’re gonna carry that weight, Marie – put down the chocolate chips.

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