3 Ways to Push Through Wednesday + MADabolic Innovation

Welcome to Wednesday, otherwise known as the day that simultaneously sells you on a ‘slow descent into Friday’ and slams you with all the things at once.  The only thing you can do is slam it right back (with maybe a little more force?) and take that sweet little ride into the weekend.

Three things happen to me on days like this:

1. Hyper-structuring.  Every moment is accounted for, every detail is organized, and edges are just a little sharper.  It’s about getting things done and propelling forward, because honestly, there’s no other option.

2. Food becomes fuel.  Efficiency is the goal, and that includes meals.  Somehow with limited time meals seem to come together with a greater purpose — and that purpose is to fuel me through the next phase of motion without a crash.  I don’t know why (or how) but the most innovative and delicious combinations always come out of these days.

3. Definitive thinking. Hyper structure typically breeds more than just sharp edges.  Thoughts become more black and white, capacity for the unnecessary is limited, and emails tend to have a little extra bite to them.  It’s business time y’all, and apparently there is no more space for the grey area.

So, lets be honest, while today started off presenting as a bear of a day, it has since been defeated thanks to some great developments on all sides of my world — beginning with our exciting morning news that greatist named MADabolic as one of The Top 28 Most Innovative Gyms in America.

fuel sweat grow: MADabolic Cville

This was definitely a big endorsement and an awesome compliment coming from the greatist blog which happens to be one of my own top 28 blogs to follow (and that full list is a lengthy one).  Just over three years ago when Dar and I went to the first preview class at the MAD headquarters in Charlotte we knew that it was the next thing — with the crux being the program design and science that goes into it.  We both immediately began to resent the other fitness concepts we were knee deep in opening and knew it was only a matter of time before we would have to make a change to bring the MADness to Charlottesville.

You live and you learn I suppose, and it didn’t take us much time at all to find a way to get back to the roots.  I think that’s what I love the most – the science behind the programming, the functional elements, and the informed reasons behind those patterns.  It’s really hard to find methods that are smart when it comes to functional movement patterns or the ‘why’ behind it all, and that’s definitely not something I will ever compromise on again.

So, here we sit two years later, and all we have to show for it is an amazing community (communities, really) of MADones, healthier lifestyles all around, and a brand growing in both power and numbers.  Not a bad place to be if you ask me.

After this morning news peak my focus thankfully remained and I was able to leverage hyper-structuring mode to get some more ducks in a row.  I can only hope to be all set for mother nature’s next slap in the face.  Tomorrow is looking like it will be a pretty definite snow day, so here’s to keeping things in high gear, fuel included, to march hard into Friday and a three-day weekend.

The Whole Damn Thing II: The 5 Day Plan

Today was a long day, that’s for certain, but the little sunlight that managed to peek between the snowstorms made it all worth it. I can’t begin to express how desperate I am for a little boost of vitamin D, but since that looks like it’s not totally here to stay, I’m going to boost the best way I know how: the fuel + sweat 5 day plan.

fuel sweat grow: the whole damn thing

In January we launched The Whole Damn Thing with our Charlottesville MADabolic community and had upwards of 90 awesome friends participate.  We’re not particular about what your preferred path is, but generally speaking our group did either Paleo, Whole 30, or 28toLife, and said buh-bye to processed foods, refined sugars, and in most cases also alcohol for a full month.  It’s definitely a commitment, but with so much support it passed much faster than I think we all thought.

Now, a month after completion, I’m ready for a different commitment – in the form of a 5-day plan – to keep the lifestyle strong, and my energy boosted, but without such strict restrictions and the ability to let loose on the weekends just enough to explore all of our local offerings.

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Like some of the clean eating plans out there that base themselves on points or rewards, this allows some ‘cheat-ish’ days where strict eating isn’t the focus.  The focus here is on keeping the foundation strong the majority of the time, to maintain a strong and healthy balance.  Personally, prepping on Sunday and going straight through until thursday night with clean home cooking is my preferred mode, allowing Friday and Saturday for going out and living a little harder.  Outside of the natural social flows that support this schedule, I tend to be more active on the weekends when time isn’t quite as difficult to come by.

So, want to know when we’re kicking this off?  Sunday if you live in my house, but Sunday March 22nd, 4pm, at MADabolic if you want to get in on The Whole Damn Potluck, round II.  

The last potluck was amazing and there are only a few rules:

1. Bring a copy of your recipe

2. list what plan it is compliant to (paleo, whole 30, 28tolife…vegan…whatever)

3. bring serving utensils for your dish, please!

4. join the Facebook group and get in on the conversation/meal posting (okay, so it’s not really mandatory, and it’s a private group so your other friends won’t know you’re ‘one of those people.’)

5 Commitments for Balance + Productivity

It’s Sunday night, and once again as we stand at the close of this week and the start of the next, I keep coming back to the same thought: the weekends are too short.

fuel sweat grow: weekend days

It’s not that I necessarily need more rest — I’m not sure if the weekends are actually better for that these days.  My focus has been on trying to do less constant gear shifting,  and getting into a better rhythm of taking things to completion without a constant emphasis on multi-tasking.

It sounds somewhat like an oxymoron, but what I’m really going for is organized and balanced structure.  Organization in my environment, structure in my schedule, and a combination of the two when it comes to my calendars and work streams.  Time blocking is my best friend, and OneNote is my deepest passion — the only thing that I’ve been putting a little on the back burner is the food part.

It’s really not common for me to ever cook anything that isn’t Paleo, whole30, or 28toLife friendly because I’m just so used to it by now that I don’t really even know what I would cook otherwise.  What I’ve been slacking a little on lately is meal prep and planning, keeping things interesting and not monotonous, as well as doing actual at-home cooking.  The emphasis on restaurants and my red wine security blanket to get through these last four weeks of winter brutality has thrown me and my system off a little — so it’s time to re-organize, re-structure, and re-energize ALL the aspects of my life(style) and not just the work pieces.

So here are 5 things I’m doing on Monday to kick off the week:

1.  Email Organization. By the end of the week my email is usually out of control, so it’s helpful to start off monday morning not only clearing out the lingering unread messages, but also following up on anything that may not have been urgent at the moment but needs to be actioned.

2. Create a list of 5 action items to tackle each day before the first meeting of each day.  They can all be small milestones towards a bigger task, or completely unrelated, but I always like to start with the things that I either keep putting off or struggle to remember once I get caught up in the day.

3. Set a sweat schedule.  My daily schedule doesn’t always appear conducive to a regular fitness schedule, but my lifestyle is intertwined with it, so taking the time to be intentional not only with my schedule, but also the balance, brings me both sanity and a structure I can work around.

4. Plan meals out + go to the store.  I usually do this on Sundays and spend the afternoon prepping a number of different meals for the week, but with the craziness that has been filling up my weekend days lately, this can sometimes fall onto a Monday. And that’s exactly what’s happening this week.  I’ve got a little ‘whole damn thing’ spin-off brewing inside my head, so stay tuned for those updates coming soon, and as always, please join me.

5. Commit to down time.  This is everything right here — it’s the thing that constantly gets compromised or squeezed out, and it’s the most important part of the whole.  When I’m not zoned in on getting something done, or hyper conscious of my every-loving and constantly growing to-do list, every thing seems to become more clear.  When I slow down my mind is able to wander, creativity is heightened, and ideas generate at a faster and more connected way than normal.  It’s a 2015 priority for me, and it certainly deserves it’s space in my week.

So here’s to the start of this week, of March, and the hopeful ascent in temperatures and vitamin D. It all has to circle back at some point.