Sunday, October 28, 2012

Self-Hypnosis and Subliminal Technology by Eldon Taylor; a review

The good people at Hay House publishing sent me a review copy of Eldon Taylor's book and CD, Self-Hypnosis and Subliminal Technology. I wasn't paid for this review, and this is my own, honest opinion. As a personal trainer I've long been fascinated by this subject, and its effect on personal change, specifically breaking through weight loss and bodybuilding plateaus. Eldon Taylor is an expert in his field, with over 30 years of experience. He's written many books. This was my first exposure to his writing. I give both the book and the accompanying audio CD a hearty thumbs up. This is important work. Nowadays many of us are spending a lot of time running around on autopilot, or the subconscious mind. The more we can learn how to influence that underlying mind, the more empowered our lives will be. The ideas in this book teach you ways you can rewire, or reprogram your inner self; your excuses and self-imposed limitations can be pushed to the side and you can reach previously unreachable goals. There is a section on creating your own subliminal self-hypnosis sessions. It teaches the basics to really personalize a program and make it work for you. The CD is brilliant, I've used audio programs designed by other professional hypnotists, and I have to say this disc is superior to most of them, maybe all, I need to listen some more. It definitely took me to a very deep hypnotic state. My mind is swimming in the possibilities that opened up to me after reading this book.

The "W" Press

My current favorite shoulder exercise:the W Press. Start with arms by side, making a "W" shape, and by pressing up and out you hit all 3 heads of the deltoids while avoiding strain on the rotator cuff. (At least for me, still experimenting.) You don't have to go heavy to feel this one. I saw this move in Iron Man Magazine, but a google search says it's an old school bodybuilding move created by Larry Scott.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Review of Neale Donald Walsch' book The Only Thing That Matters

Wow! I can honestly say, I have never read a book like this one. Ever. And I've read most of the Conversations With God series. I've gotten a lot out of the works of Neale Donald Walsch over the years, though I did find Happier Than God a bit confusing on the first read. That said, The Only Thing That Matters really, and I mean really, stands out from the pack. There's some mind blowing stuff in this sucker. A couple times, I just put the bookmark in, closed it, and stared at the back cover while I assimilated what was just communicated. This is Book 2 in the Conversations With Humanity series, I haven't yet read Book 1, but I didn't find that to be any hindrance whatsoever. You know, it's really great when a self-help book actually helps you better understand your self, your place in the grand scheme of things, and how to improve your experience of both. The Only Thing That Matters lays it all out in a way that is easy to understand (once you get past startled). It also contains five powerful gifts that will change your life if you let them. It's ironic that a book on spirituality and oneness can be so unique, the author truly outdid himself on this one. I swear, I'm not just saying that. FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Road to My First Marathon

I ran a lot as a kid. I ran a lot in the army, but only because I was told to. When I became a civilian in 1996, I didn't really run again until 2005, after a huge amount of weightloss and lifestyle change. Manchester holds a Thanksgiving Day 5k annually, I ran my first race in 2009. Hated it. However, I noticed the effect it had on my wife. She's a former high school cheerleader, so she's always gotten really excited about any athletic endeavor I've ever attempted. She was right there with me on all the Body For Life and challenges, offering tons of support. Also really supportive of my weight training, and personal training biz, and will gladly listen to all the different theories and new breakthroughs in the science of bodybuilding and weight loss. However, the effect the race had on her was incredible. She loves the spectator side of it, which I don't really get, but I appreciate. Must be the old cheerleader in her.
In 2010 my personal training business was just starting to take off, and I was loving my full-time gig as a stay-at-home dad, when I had a major back injury. I had previously worked a year and a half at FedEx to save money for my certification. Not knowing what I know now, about the importance of a strong core and steady posture, I'd done some minor damage to my lower back. Summer '10, I was training a client who was squatting a little over 200 lbs. They thought they had placed the bar securely in the rack at the end of their set, but the left side of the bar wasn't racked at all. As the weight came crashing down, on instinct I reached out and grabbed it. That split second of time really messed me up bad. It got more and more aggravated over time, as I tried to "push through the pain" and continue my daily training schedule. One day I was at Gold's Gym, running on the treadmill, and my middle son was in his first kid's yoga class. I saw that the class was over, got excited and jumped off the treadmill, wiped it off, I walked over to the classroom forgetting there was a step down to the main floor. I felt my ankle snap, as all my weight shifted to the right of it. One of the gals from the kid's club helped me get my guys out to the car, and as soon as my wife could meet me at home to watch the kids, I stumbled into the hospital using a folded up umbrella stroller as a cane. The fracture healed with some ibuprofen, and the old R.I.C.E. (Rest Ice Compress Elevate) treatment.
I continued to train around my injuries. I think I looked better than I felt. My back would get better for awhile, then it would get worse. Sometimes it got so bad, I had to use two canes to get around. The canes were the biggest blow to my ego. There I was trying to model good diet and training as a certified fitness professional, yet I was falling the hell apart. Twice the doctor tried giving me steroid shots into the lower back muscles. That did nothing for me, except make me feel more of a hypocrite. I started attending yoga classes which helped a lot, but I'd still occasionally have a bad back spell. I remember a few times walking into the class with my cane, and having it right beside my yoga mat, doing what I could manage, and just laying there in corpse pose when they did a pose beyond my abilities. After 6 months, the docs said it was chronic and I went into physical therapy. Just as that was starting to work, I managed to overdue the stretching, and developed a hernia. So summer 2011, I went into surgery had the hernia patched, and spent several weeks maneuvering around with my 2 canes. I say all that to say this. I knew better. The whole damn time I knew better. I knew about law of attraction. I'd read Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life, and knew that my lower back pain was a physical manifestation of some psychological underpinnings. I knew my mind was cluttered with negative shit. I knew I was over-training at times, and I knew I had unrealistic goals. When I look back at the whole boring story, I can see how I attracted each painful piece of the puzzle. But as Esther Hicks' teachings of Abraham talk about, that contrast between where I wanted to be and where I was was vitally important. Where I was was my bouncing off place. I decided to heal.
So I ate cleaner, trained smarter, but most of all I worked on my mindset, or consciousness, heart, whatever you want to call it. I stopped complaining, to the best of my ability, and when I was with someone who was negative, I tried to listen without judging. I started looking for the good, and expecting it. Then it showed up everywhere, and things started to flow. There was a zombie walk for hunger a few towns over, so my best friend and I drove over, he got made up like a zombie, I got made up like a victim and we walked a mile and a half or so. I have some cool pictures of me walking with my cane, covered in fake blood and a pretty realistic looking head wound. I started feeling much better, and taking more responsibility for my health. I fell in love again with High Intensity Training (HIT). Brief, but heavy, intense weightlifting sessions that focus on building muscle by hitting momentary muscle failure quickly, and safely, so that recovery and growth time is maximized. It's a much more healing way of pumping iron, as opposed to the High Volume over-training I'd done in the past. I also started running, and that more than anything helped my back. I was also still doing yoga, but for some reason running just worked for me. I had to start with slow jogs on dirt trails, but eventually I worked up the stamina to run on asphalt. That year I ran the Thanksgiving 5k again. In the spring I did a challenge, dropped some weight, and haven't needed the canes since. In the summer I ran my first 10k.
That was something I didn't think I was capable of. I decided to challenge myself and run the 1/2 Marathon in Hartford in October. So I started training for it. While training a friend of mine died unexpectedly. That had quite an effect on me. I sort of felt guilty that I have so much knowledge about how to get healthier and stronger, but ultimately it seems like most people don't want to hear anything about it. I came to the conclusion that I can't "talk it" so I have to "walk it." But, "walk the talk" sounds so pompous, and also a lot of work. I just wanted to "have fun and do what needs to be done." I decided I was going to run the full marathon. 26.2 miles. Something I never dreamed of in a million years, but I trained smart, and I listened to my heart. And I ran it. My goal was 4 hours 20 min. And I ran the Hartford Marathon within 4 seconds of that goal. The thing that blew me away was how much I enjoyed it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Secrets of Meditation by davidji

The author begins by telling his personal story of transformation, how his life was quite successful in many ways, but he'd fallen into that easy trap of drifting through the days, working and making money, yet not feeling any inner peace or fullfillment. A state familiar to many of us. The story of his awakening was very cool, and interesting, so I won't spoil it for you. After the author tells about his personal journey, the rest of the book is a breakdown of different techniques, tips, ways, and means of meditation. Many questions I've collected over the years, were answered by this book, so I'd highly recommend it to anyone, regardless of whether they're a beginner or a seasoned meditator. The author is very good at keeping the subject interesting. Stillness and quietude can have a profound effect on one's life, but when life gets overwhelming it's often easier to just stay an overwhelmed victim, rather than dedicate yourself to a daily practice. It can be tough to see the benefits of meditation when you're caught up in the volume and drama of the daily grind, but davidji has written a great book that clears up a lot of misconceptions, and teaches how you can make time for and benefit powerfully from meditation. I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.