33 Lessons from Boxing, Book Writing, Building a Business and Being a Dad

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

Another year has come and gone.  Looking back, as cliche as it sounds, time really does fly by when you’re working your ass off.  The past year has had its fair share of wins, challenges, breakthroughs, ups, downs and moments where I wanted to quit everything.  Everything has been amazing and everything has sucked. This blog is a gathering of my thoughts and lessons from my 33rd year on this planet – I hope you enjoy them.

1. I took up boxing about halfway through year 33. I’ve always been a fan of the sport, but I never jumped into actually learning the sweet science.  Life is too short to avoid trying new, challenging and uncomfortable things. It’s been an incredible undertaking to learn the basics and master the beginner levels of boxing.  I must say I am quite happy that I decided to start. After working out for 20 years the feeling of being a beginner is truly refreshing.

2. Writing a book was a goal I wrote down for 2018.  I did it, but it wasn’t easy. The best advice I can give for such a big goal is to write daily.  That’s it. Just write daily. Don’t skip a day.

3. I love coaching people.  But there are times where people aren’t coachable.  This past year I’ve worked with quite a few amazing individuals as well as a few really bad apples. Allowing people with no morals, zero integrity and poor work ethic into my coaching program was a massive mistake.  For all you coaches reading this – be thorough when it comes to your client selection process.

4. Do what you say you’re going to do.  That mantra has been replaying over and over in my head all year.  It hasn’t been easy to do everything I’ve said I’d do – but aiming to follow through on it all has made a world of a difference.

5. In boxing you’re going to get in the face.  Sometimes you’ll see it coming and other times you won’t.  What you decide to do after that will change the course of your progression forever.  The same is true in business or life for that matter. My suggestion? Shake it off and keep going.

6. Being a decent father is challenging.  Being an incredible father is monumental.  My focus continues to be on showing up as a great dad every single day.


7. Building anything great takes time.  That goes for your body, business, relationships or Instagram followers (Follow me here).  Rushing the process tends to leave you susceptible to making big mistakes. Take your time.  What’s the rush anyway?

 

8. Many books have been written on many topics.  At times, as I was writing my book, I began to doubt myself.  After all, many great minds have written on the power of nutrition before me.  Why should I consider myself special? It wasn’t until I saw the movie “A Star is Born” and Bradley Cooper says “ Look, talent comes everywhere, but having something to say and a way to say it so that people listen to it, that’s a whole other bag. And unless you get out and you try to do it, you’ll never know. That’s just the truth. And there’s one reason we’re supposed to be here is to say something so people want to hear. So you got to grab it, and you don’t apologize, and you don’t worry about why they’re listening, or how long they’re going to be listening for, you just tell them what you want to say.” that I realized my message matters.

9. Rough housing with my boys is truly one of my favorite things.  It brings our bond to new levels of strength very quickly. Putting my phone away and being present with them is incredibly refreshing.  Do yourself a massive favor and get rid of distractions for at least an hour per day.


10. Helping people each day is the fastest way to grow a business that is both profitable and fulfilling.  I get messages daily from people all around the world that have been impacted by my podcast, blog, YouTube videos, or coaching programs.  Help people more and your life will improve.

11. Boxing is both an art and a science.  The same is true with getting in shape, being a great husband, father or friend, or becoming successful.  Learning the science is super important, but putting your own spin on things is where you really get to new levels.


12. Eating healthy food is tremendously important.  When you’re constantly creating a demand for mental clarity and focus your food choices have to align with those needs. The more jam packed my schedule gets – the more I notice the positive effects of high quality food sources.

13. Shadow boxing is phenomenal cardio, but sparring is a completely different animal.  Practice is important, but don’t be surprised when real life feels much more difficult (that’s because it is).

14. My kids ask a million questions.  They are infinitely curious. It’s a reminder to never stop learning.  Learning, for me at least, keeps me mentally in the game and reminds me that there’s so much more to explore in this world.

15. The power of habits and routines was never more evident than when I was writing my book. The daily habit of putting words on paper led to an incredible accomplishment of finishing Diets Suck.

16. Having a team is necessary no matter what your goals are.  Want to be a good father ? I suggest you surround yourself with other good fathers.  My wife and I are a team when it comes to our boys. My business isn’t just me – it’s a combination of different team members who all contribute to the goal. Boxing is no different. Top boxers have a huge team of people who work together to ensure the final product is successful.  

17. One of the fastest ways to learn is to teach others.  When I learn something new – I immediately teach it to someone else.  This helps tremendously when it comes to gaining a better understanding of what you’ve learned.

18. One of the best pieces of advice I heard this past year on raising my boys is to picture them as younger versions of you.  It’s easy to lose your patience but when you imagine they are just tiny little versions of you who haven’t experienced all that you’ve experienced – it changes perspective. I’ve noticed a massive shift in my level of patience after hearing this advice.

19. Sleep is not overrated.  In fact, I consider it the beginning of my day.  If I don’t start my day with 7-8 hours of sleep, I know I won’t be 100% on top of my game.  I’m sure there are people who will argue that they don’t need a lot of sleep. Good for them. Personally, sleep is an incredible tool.

20. Writing my book was an amazing accomplishment, but it’s not what I’m most proud of.  Honestly, I’m most proud of my marriage and my family. These days it’s not easy to stay married and raise two boys, especially while growing multiple businesses and staying in shape.  My family is something I’m very proud of.

21. In boxing – the better counter puncher usually dominates.  You must have patience and be calculated with your punches in order to beat your opponent.  The same is true in life. Don’t overreact to life – be proactive and patient.

22. My boys are already imitating everything I do.  Want a wake up call? Have kids. They’ll mimic all your bad habits – which, if you’re anything like me, will drive you to correct yourself quickly.

23. I’m going to get vulnerable with lesson #23.  I’m scared as hell of death. Not because I don’t have faith in God, but because I love my family so much.  The idea of leaving them behind is truly agonizing. I am a Christian and I believe in Heaven, but I’ve never been there nor has anyone else. How am I dealing with this? By simply praying and living as best I can each day to ensure my family feels loved.

24. Reading is my secret super power.  Ever since I was a kid, the more I read – the better my life gets.  I read all types of books and I encourage you to do the same.

25. I’ve avoided watching the news this entire year.  I haven’t missed it at all. I still catch the big headlines, but I don’t get sucked into the petty crap that only distracts me from getting things done.

26. My sparring partners in boxing aren’t afraid to jab me in the face.  In life, you need people in your corner who will keep it real with you.  I’m thankful for my sparring partners in all areas of my life.

27. This past year I had my first ever major surgery.  More than anything this reminded me of the importance of health. I was out of commission for almost a week and it drove me nuts.  Take care of your health – it’s the most important thing we have.

28. Day dates with my wife saved our relationship this past year.  Date nights weren’t possible for an extended stretch – so we opted to take a day off every few weeks and spend it together while the kids were in school.  I highly suggest you give it a shot.

29. I stopped taking myself so seriously this past year.  It’s important to laugh at yourself from time to time.  After all we do some really weird and wild things.

30. The more I take time to be grateful for what I have – the more abundance comes into my life.  When I’ve focused on what I don’t have – that’s when things get worse. Appreciate the blessings you have and life will improve.

31. Don’t avoid doing the little things you’ve always wanted to do.  I’m starting a movie review company in 2019. Why? I’ve always wanted to do it.  Life’s too short to not do what I dream of doing.

32. Writing my book gave me ideas for 10 more books to write.  Yes, 10 more. Sometimes tackling a huge project gives you incredible clarity on how to tackle even bigger ones.

 

33. I’ve created a life motto to live by and I want to share it with you:  Hug and kiss the people you love, stay active, eat well, laugh daily and remember – life moves fast so make it count.  

4 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO TO STOP LETTING LIFE CONTROL YOU

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

What does it mean to be a strong person? To be someone who has mastered their emotions, roll with the punches and never give up?

When we think of what it means to be a strong person, the first thought that may come to mind might be an Olympic athlete or maybe a famous MMA fighter, right?

If we look beyond the surface, we would see that both of these athletes have similarities despite being in completely different sports. When we strip it down, we can see that they both have a challenge to face and they know there is going to be a struggle, especially if they want to come out on top. Despite the pain and the challenge ahead, they push through and go at it full force. They don’t complain that it’s too hard, and they don’t quit.

 

Despite the struggle, they persist.

 

When we look at it this way, it’s easy to see that people just like you and me also have the capacity to be a strong person. No matter who you are, each one of us has a struggle we’re dealing with, likely several. Whether it’s heartache, financial struggles, a high pressure job,  or trying to eat better and exercise to lose weight, each one of us has something challenging we’re currently going through or have gone through in the past. However, the way we react to the struggle is what will set us apart.

 

No matter who you are, life is full of obstacles.

When faced with an obstacle, most of us have good intentions to change it. 

For example, You decide you want to lose weight, so you go on a diet. 

You start out with good intentions to improve your life. You go grocery shopping and buy tons of healthy food.

Then on Friday it’s your coworkers birthday and donuts are brought to the office. You can’t resist, so you have one bite. Then one bite triggers you and before you know it, you’re two donuts in.

You immediately feel like a failure. When a wrench gets thrown in and things don’t go according to plan, you get thrown for a loop and fall off the wagon. You get frustrated that things can’t ever seem to go right when you want to make changes.

You solemnly accept that life is simply too hectic right now to be successful. Between kids birthday parties, donuts at the office and the in-laws being in town, there’s just too much going on. 

If only circumstances were different you say…

Fast forward a few weeks or months later, you see a movie or facebook video that pumps you up, so you start a new, even stricter diet than last time… and repeat the exact same cycle again, only to feel defeated once more.

You are reminded that your life is just too busy. Your job is too demanding, your kids don’t like to eat healthy. It’s too expensive anyway… so you go back to the old patterns and behaviors.

You resolve that if your life looked different, then you would be successful! 

This is a dangerous mindset that will keep you stuck.

 

When we’re beginning a journey to become a strong person mentally and physically, we need to keep the keys to success at the forefront of our minds:

 

The first key to success is accepting that shit will happen. No health and fitness journey is perfect or linear.

Second, our reaction to the obstacles thrown in our path determines our success and our happiness.

 

Let me explain. If we are unable to adapt away from the mindset of ‘bad things keep happening to me,’ then we will stay stuck in a corrosive cycle and continue to suffer and fail.

The alternative isn’t easy, because it requires a mindset shift and taking personal accountability. However, this alternative path leads to freedom and long term fulfillment.

 

On the path to becoming a strong person, when an obstacle is thrown in our path, yes it will be frustrating, but we don’t stay consumed in the emotion for too long.

We acknowledge and accept our feelings.

At the same time we also ask ourselves what is within our control and more importantly, what we will do next.

We take the challenge as an opportunity to learn and become more resilient.

We adjust course and continue to persist.

We ask,

“How is this happening FOR me?”

 

Acknowledging the struggle for what it is and accepting the pain is part of the process. The next step is asking yourself what is within your control to improve the situation.


The long term result is that you strengthen yourself mentally and emotionally and become resilient. Becoming resilient will help you handle future obstacles more gracefully.

You become liberated because you’re no longer at the mercy of whether things go how you thought they should. By taking personal accountability, you sit in the driver’s seat. Yes, you still have to put gas in the car, get the oil changed and keep up on the maintenance, but it is your vehicle and you’re the navigator.

At the end of the day, what determines if you’ll stay stuck or move forward is how you deal with the struggle. Whether you hide from any feelings of discomfort, and allow it to eat you alive while also firmly declaring there’s ‘nothing you can do about it’, or if you face pain head on, learn from it, and grow from it.

 

Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties and rise up stronger every time you’re knocked down. It’s the ability to endure and keep climbing. Strength is the ability to continue charging on despite the struggle and pain, and as a result you grow and level up.

The wonderful thing about this concept, is you can learn to become strong in mind and body even if you don’t feel that way right now. We all start somewhere. Even if you feel stuck or have given up in the past, it’s never too late. You can always try again and decide to look through this new lens the next time you’re faced with an obstacle.

 

What matters is that you don’t give up. That you see any future struggle as an opportunity to learn and grow because that is where strength and resiliency begins-in the mind.

You can choose to take control of your life and you can choose how to react.

When you realize that events happen, and you can choose how to respond to them, then you’re on the path to success and to strength. You can learn to build the resilience and persistence to never give up. No matter what, life happens FOR you.

When you’re faced with a struggle, follow these 4 steps to better improve your mindset and how you handle it. As a result you’ll begin feeling stronger and more liberated.

 

1. When something uncomfortable happens, ask yourself how it makes you feel. Acknowledge and accept your feelings. If you try to push your feelings away and deny them, they will only eat away at you. It’s okay to validate your feelings. Do try not to get eaten alive by them. The next steps will help with that.

 

2. Ask yourself what IS and IS NOT within your control. Once you understand what you can’t control, it’s easier to let it go and stop obsessing over it. 

 

3. Once realizing what IS within your control, decide what you need to do to make it better. Everything you can’t control, try to let it go. If you put too much energy into what you can’t control, you’re going to feel more anxiety and stress, which will sabotage your progress. Put energy into changing what you can, whether it’s changing your perspective to a more positive one, or actually making moves to change the situation.  

 

4. Ask yourself what lessons can be learned from this struggle? Be open to learning from this experience. Ask what you liked/didn’t like about the situation and even about your own reaction so you can learn from it and continue to make better choices each and every time you’re faced with a new obstacle.

 

It doesn’t matter who you are. Any one of us has the capacity to be a strong person. Each one of us has the potential to develop a Warrior’s mind, if we consciously put in the effort.  

It starts with us as individuals and making the choice to become strong and resilient.

 

In strength,

-Jordan Raye

 

If you want to read more or reach out to me, you can find me here:

 

www.AlphaMaiden.com

www.Instagram.com/Alpha_Maiden

https://www.facebook.com/AlphaMaiden

 

Action Based Goals for Long Term Success

Josiah Novak

 

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”

– Aristotle


I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that you, dear reader, want something that you don’t currently have… a better job, six pack abs, a loving significant other, etc.

Whatever it may be, you believe this goal will drastically improve the quality of your life.  Chances are, it probably will.

So why is it that only 8% of goals set each year end up actually getting accomplished? Why do so many people struggle to achieve what they so desperately want?

Here’s the secret: too many people are focused on the OUTCOMES instead of the ACTIONS.
Real quick, stop and imagine yourself already achieving your goal.

What does that look like for you?

Would you be less stressed?

Would you sleep better at night?

Would you feel more confident?

You might’ve pictured yourself rocking a six pack with a hot thang on your arm, happy as can be, sleeping like a baby.

Did you also picture the hours of hard work in the gym? The weekly meal prep? The Saturday nights spent getting 8 hours of sleep instead of drinking with pals?
It’s easy to picture what we want our outcome to look like. Happiness, confidence, more vitality… These are all outcomes that drive us to set goals in the first place.

However, we often forget about the habit changes that must occur to get there. The space between point A (where you’re at now) and point B (what you want) is where the magic happens. This is where you take action. Here, you develop skill sets that make your goal a reality.

These skill sets can’t be obtained by chance (or over night). They require specific actions that you create and practice starting today. Not tomorrow, not next month when things aren’t as hectic, no, TODAY.

In other words, to achieve your goal, you must create habits now that mimic the habits of your future self. You must stop dreaming for the outcome to occur and instead start focusing on what you need to change.

Doing this allows you to look at the bigger picture. The Long Game.
When you focus on habits, you won’t be tempted to try the latest “quick-fix” diets because you’ll understand that your future self will have nothing to do with them. (C’mon, who wants to be dieting for the rest of their life?)

You’ll be able to convince yourself to wake up early to exercise because you know that’s going to be the normal routine for Future You with the six pack abs.

You won’t base your progress off of the number on the scale because you’ll realize these things take time and that rushing it and stressing won’t make you leaner any quicker.

Practicing the habits of your goal-accomplishing future self ensures sustainability long after your desired outcome has been reached, simply because you’re making a lifestyle change instead of a short-term fix.

Now you may be wondering: okay, great. But how do I start practicing these actions?

Start with the questions above, the vision of the person you wish to be. Break the vision down into what you’re really after.

You picture yourself with less stress once you reach your goals, right?
Well, why do you think you’ll have less stress?

Only because you’ve obtained your desired outcome? Nah, let’s be real. Stress will always be that ex that can’t let go, always trying to squeeze its way back into your life.

So if what you’re really after is less stress, you can start practicing relaxation skills and planning activities that help you unwind.

You don’t have to wait until your outcome is achieved. This is a skill that you can practice RIGHT NOW.

Same goes for sleep. You don’t just automatically start sleeping better when your life gets better. It takes practice & consistency. If your future self sleeps better, you’ve built habits that influence better sleep.

Confidence, too, is a habit that needs to be developed. It’s probably the biggest misinterpreted outcome people expect to accomplish.

This is because it’s extremely easy to base your c
onfidence on accomplishing a desired outcome (body weight, six pack, muscle mass, performance, owning a business, etc).


While all of these could potentially help boost your confidence, you’ll need enough confidence to achieve them in the first place. This confidence is required on the hard days when doubt overwhelms you and will be the factor that drives you forward.

Confidence, like every desired outcome, is gained through daily practice.

As you can see, by taking a look at what life looks like after achieving your goal, you can figure out what you need to practice today to move in the right direction.

Once you figure out these actions, you’ll have something measurable to record as progress. These are ACTION based goals that lead you to your OUTCOME based goals.
This is extremely effective because unlike desired outcomes, we have complete control of our everyday actions.

You aren’t able to predict that you’ll achieve your desired outcome within the next three months BUT YOU CAN ensure that every single day you’re taking the actions that will get you there.

If you want to get fit so that you stress less, sleep better, & have more confidence, start focusing on your actions and habits. Overtime, you will build a skill set identical to the person you wish to be.

Each skill set can be broken down into a daily practice:

Lower your stress by implementing five minutes of deep breathing every other hour.

Sleep better by creating a morning & nightly routine.

Build confidence by surrounding yourself with positivity & celebrating your wins.

The beauty behind this approach is
that it is completely individual to your current circumstances meaning that a small step in the right direction is all it takes. The options are endless. No matter the action, if you stick with it, you are guaranteed to see progress.


Each day you practice your skill set, you’re one step closer to your desired outcome.

Do this and you will create momentum, making uncomfortable new skills eventually become simple, normal habits – habits that will allow you to live your best life.

What are you waiting for? Take action.

 

– Chris Sexton

Lifestyle Optimization Academy

If It Fits Your Health (Do It)

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

Have you ever woken up after a day full of eating all sorts of food (some good and some junk) feeling absolutely miserable? I’m not talking about feeling guilty (even though that’s part of it). I’m talking about actually feeling physically ill. Maybe it’s stomach pains or maybe it’s a headache. Even worse maybe you feel a cold coming on or a sore throat from all the excess sodium you consumed. As soon as your eyes open, you know all that food was a bad idea.

Well, I’ve woken up like that before. And to be honest I’ve felt crappy due to my diet choices many times. It’s not a fun feeling waking up and immediately knowing the day ahead is going to be a tough one because I’m physically not up to par. It’s truly a motivation killer to realize that getting through the day’s activities is going to be an uphill battle from the start.

At times we don’t even realize that our lack of energy or enthusiasm for the day is due to our diet choices. We eat like total crap on a Sunday and wake up wondering why Monday is so daunting. It’s no wonder that getting to the gym feels like an impossible task when our bodies hurt and our energy is on zero due to all the stress we put our digestion system through.

This is such an important topic. I hope that you walk away from reading this with a better understanding of where we’ve gone wrong with nutrition as it relates to our health, fitness levels, muscle and fat loss goals, and our enjoyment of life. I’m just as guilty as the next person of making huge mistakes with my personal nutrition at times over the years. I’m writing this blog to open your eyes to how unbelievably powerful our eating habits can be.

 

If you google “The Best Diet to Lose Fat” be prepared for an overload of information. Hundreds of diets, meal plans and products will be shoved down your throat before you even start eating. You’ll be stuck in an avalanche of product pushers, strict meal plans, and the latest and greatest diet strategies. Save yourself the trouble and forego the google machine. Today’s world is truly the most confusing it’ss ever been when it comes to diet and nutrition. It’s also a battlefield between who’s right and who’s wrong when it comes to their diet “methods”. The truth is that nutrition is actually quite simple so there’s hope, but it’s going to take some work.

The common theme for most online “gurus” or “coaches” is to take on clients and start them off on a very strict meal plan. They tell them what to eat and when to eat it each day to lose fat, build a toned body, and feel great. This is all based off their “expert” analysis of the client’s needs and goals. The client comes to them with the attitude of “tell me what to eat and when because I don’t want to think about it” so it makes perfect sense that these coaches cater to the clients demands. The client jumps on the meal plan and immediately starts to see results. This may go on for a month or maybe a few months before the client realizes that it’s just not sustainable for them to eat the same foods day in and day out. They start to get irritable and they feel ashamed when they report to their coach that they’ve cheated on their diet again and again. After all, following a meal plan is what all the top fitness competitors do so it’s the best way to get in great shape…right? Wrong.

Strict meal plans that limit your food choices and force you into a set regimen each day can cause more harm than good long term. It’s been proven that meal plans can set people up for a terrible relationship with food, create a desire to binge, and severely limit the healthy aspects of a diet full of variety. Not to mention, it’s pretty hard to live an enjoyable life when you have to follow a meal plan to reach your goals. Most people who follow a strict meal plan end up reverting back to their old diet habits once they realize that their meal plan just isn’t feasible for their lifestyle.

For the longest time, if you wanted to lose weight or build muscle you would hire a coach or nutritionist and they would immediately put you on a meal plan. However, after many years of severe restriction, the fitness industry fought back.

Enter: If It Fits Your Macros.

Counting calories has been around for quite some time. Arnold Schwarzenegger was known to count calories (and he actually had a pretty well rounded diet plan). However, counting calories has recently made a huge comeback. It’s gone one step further too. We know now that it’s not just about calories. It’s about the type of calories you eat too. Having the right amount of protein, carbs and fats in your diet is crucial for overall health and wellness. We all have our unique needs when it comes to these nutrients so just counting calories won’t cut it. We need to figure out where we get our food from so tracking macros has become all the rage.

However, as we’ve seen in the past, the fitness industry can take a good idea and turn it into a very bad one very quickly. Macro counting has been dubbed IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) because the new rule of thumb (keep in mind this is in response to the strict meal plans) is that you can ANYTHING you want as long as it fits your daily numbers for protein carbs and fats.

This could literally mean eating ice cream every day along with some candy because it fits your daily numbers. Ok confession time. I’ve been known to promote this type of eating over the past couple years. Why? Well because I count macros each day and my mind was blown a few years ago when I dieted down to 5% body fat eating ice cream just about every day before bed. Was this a healthy approach? Heck no! I would wake up and hit the toilet with a very irritable bowel movement just about every day. I didn’t feel great every day because I was eating way too much junk food simply because it fit my macros. I was rebelling against the severe restrictions of meal plans (an understandable reaction) but I wasn’t paying attention to my health.

Knowing how much food we eat is very crucial to our long term success when it comes to taking care of our health and feeling/looking great! However, simply applying numbers to our day and eating whatever we can fit in is not the healthiest choice. We’ve taken a great concept (counting macros) and turned it into a cult following. It’s become all about what sort of junk food concoction we can create that fits our macro needs. Health and feeling awesome is secondary to hitting perfect numbers with as much variety as possible. We forget to take into account whether or not we are getting enough vitamins and minerals. We ignore how our bodies feel when we fit in some McDonalds simply because it fits our macros. This is a dangerous path to go down.

If you’re still reading this…it’s not too late.

You might be confused at this point and that’s normal. It’s a very confusing topic for most people! However, let me simplify it for you. I’m very fortunate that I was born with the strong desire to learn as much as possible. Plus, I’ve been super lucky to be surrounded with very smart people who have helped me craft my current approach to nutrition and now it’s my job to pass along that help to you.

I want to walk you through my approach with my clients when it comes to setting up a successful nutrition strategy. Some of you reading this will be more advanced than others, but I still think its important to cover the basics as a refresher. You’ll be pretty amazed to see that we often forget about the basics.

Let’s say I have a married couple come to me looking to lose fat. They aren’t happy with their appearance and how they can’t seem to get motivated to get in shape. They’ve been eating a ton of food and not working out for about 6 months. They’ve tried all sorts of diets but nothing seems to work. We won’t address their workout plan in this blog, but let’s jump into the diet strategy.

First things first, I want to know what they’re eating now. I would like John and Jane Doe to write down everything they eat for a few days and report those food journals to me. Now, I would also keep in mind that working with a coach can cause some food journals to look better than an average day so I would also ask them to write down exactly what they ate (if they can remember) the days leading up to working with me. This gives me an accurate idea of what their nutrition looks like now so that we can start to implement new habits.

So, the next logical step is to write a meal plan right? Wrong. Taking a client from zero to 100 in a day isn’t realistic. We need to implement good habits one at a time while building momentum to increase motivation.

One of the first habits I want people to implement is to avoid drinking their calories as much as possible. I’m referring to sodas, sugary drinks and the lovely Starbucks menu that is jam packed full of sugar and high calorie drinks. Having a diet soda here and there down the road is fine, but for now I would suggest that John and Jane stick to water, coffee sweetened with Truvia, and tea. If my clients enjoy alcohol consumption, I would recommend cutting out alcohol for the initial portion of the plan. I also want to educate them on how alcohol works. If cutting out alcohol completely isn’t an option due to work demands or upcoming events — I would outline a simple strategy to control their alcohol intake.

While we implement the liquid habits, I also want my clients to start to track what they are eating in an app or food journal. Tracking calories and macros for a period of time can truly be eye opening. Most people severely underestimate their calorie intake. It’s important to gain the knowledge and information so that we are educated on what we are putting into our bodies.

The next habit I like clients to utilize is getting 2–3 servings of green veggies and 1–2 servings of fruits per day. Obviously I want my clients to listen to their bodies and take note of how they are feeling after they eat certain foods. Most people feel a lot better after getting into the fruits and veggies habit due to increase in fiber and vitamins and minerals. Eating more of these amazing nutrients will also help curb cravings and help most people feel more satisfied. Health is our number one priority and fruits and veggies are a tremendous source of health benefits.

Now comes the only time that I utilize meal plans. I never instruct my clients to follow an exact meal plan each and every day. However, it can help to write out a “perfect” day of eating a wide of variety of healthy foods to show clients how it can be done. This usually means 3–4 meals that contain a tremendous amount of nutrients but also provide the client with meal options that could be eaten at a restaurant if needed. To make things even easier, I like to provide my clients with 3 or 4 options at each meal to ensure that they never feel tied down to a meal plan. Plus, I want my clients to continue to track what they eat so they can learn how much food they are consuming and they can plug other foods in to ensure they are getting adequate variety.

Educating ourselves on how much food we need each day can help guide our food choices. Learning to eat properly for health and wellness takes time. Plus, there may be goals or events coming up that require us to change course and implement new strategies. There may be times where our bodies just aren’t feeling right and we need to make changes to our nutrition to ensure we feel our best at all times.

This leads me to the most important point that we all need to understand. If we aren’t feeling right, something needs to change and often times it’s our eating habits. Having a meal plan or macro numbers to hit every day doesn’t take our health and how we feel into consideration. If we are feeling overly full at a certain caloric intake then we probably don’t need that many calories. If our energy is terrible on low carbs and we feel super weak, then we probably need to add some carbs into our diet. The same can be said for low-fat. If we try out a keto diet, but we just don’t feel great — then it’s not the diet for you!

I hope this blog sheds some light on nutrition. I’ve made all the mistakes so want to help you avoid them if possible! There is no one-size-fits-all method that works for everyone. If that existed then this blog wouldn’t be necessary. You have to find a strategy that you can follow every day and make small tweaks to as your goals change. Going from binging every 3 days to eating “clean” meal plan is not a tweak. That’s an eating disorder and we need to stop creating more problems for ourselves by going from one extreme to the next.

 

Let’s stop eating things if they fit your macros — instead let’s eat things if they fit your social, taste,  mental and physical health (IIFYH).

I’m always here to help — just email me josiah@thetruetransformation.com or visit www.thetruetransformation.com/start-here to get started on your own journey today!

 

The Best Fitness Advice for 2018

What are the best fitness tips for 2018?  What strategies should you follow this year to finally get in the best shape of your life?

Good questions.

This article is going to help answer them.  Use this information and these 13 “best” fitness tips to help change your body, health and life this year.  Thank me later.

 

Fitness in 2018

In today’s world we thrive off of speed.  How fast can we get something delivered, downloaded and changed?  We look for overnight results.  We buy pills and whatever else we can get to quickly satisfy our need for change.  


It’s no different when it comes to health and fitness.  The fact of the matter is you’ve been lied to.  Due to your desire for quick, fast and easy – the marketers and gurus of the world see dollar signs everywhere. They carefully craft messages that prey on your need for instant gratification.  Due to all these marketing campaigns and advertisements, health and fitness has become complicated.

 

What diet is best?  How do you get started?  Should you do P90x or powerlifting?  Should you run or squat?  Are fats good for you?  Should you go low carb?  What supplements should you buy?  The list of questions go on and on and on.  Of course the answers you’ll get depend on who you ask.  Usually the answer is part of a bigger sales pitch to buy a diet book, supplement or special 7 Minute Abs workout program.  

 

After having gone through this horrible maze of complicated and contradicting answers – I always ended up back at square one.  Out of shape, miserable, less money, and more confusion.  That’s why today my mission is to help you get crystal clear on what matters and what doesn’t when it comes to your health and fitness strategy.  I’ve sifted through the BS and laid out 13 tips that will give you massive results right now, plus help simplify things for you so that you don’t worry about all the noise and nonsense out there.  

 

If you take action and implement these things I’m about to outline for you, you’ll find that fitness becomes simple, gives you a return on your investment, and possibly even becomes a healthy addiction.  The one caveat though is this: this stuff requires effort and accountability.  You actually have to do some work.  I know, that part isn’t the fun part, but let me remind you that nothing great (seriously nothing) happens without great effort.  The good news is that you’ll be able to put in the effort knowing that you’re doing the right stuff and not wasting time on the fads and the snake oil that a lot of folks want to sell you.   You’ll sleep well at night knowing your routine is going to net you some phenomenal gains both physically and mentally.

 

So let’s not waste another second.  Here’s my 13 Action Items to Get Your Fitness in Order:

 

1. Understand that Food is Fuel

Calories are how we measure that fuel.  If you eat too many calories you will gain weight. Period.  There is no arguing that.  Most people’s activity level each day doesn’t require a lot of fuel.  Imagine your body is a car.  How often is your body moving ?  Just like a car, the more you drive (move) – the more fuel you need.  In order to shed unwanted weight, we need to burn more calories (fuel) than we take in each day.  And we need to do that for as long as it takes to lose the weight.

Action: Take an inventory of the amount of calories you’re consuming on average (including weekends) per day.

 

2. Pick One Program and Follow it for 3 Months

Most people handicap themselves by trying to follow 2-3 different workout routines and diets. Pick ONE.  Commit to it 100% and follow it for 3 months.  Even if that’s a running routine – as long as you’re committed you will see change.  My suggestion is to focus first on a routine that is built around getting your body fat to a healthy level.

Action: Pick one workout routine and commit 100%.

 

3. Start with Training 3-4 Days Per Week

99% of my clients train 3-4 days per week (including myself).  Stop making the excuse of “zero time” – you don’t need TONS of time to get massive results.  Personally I train 4 times a week for 45-60 minutes.  The key is to put it in your calendar and make that time sacred.  For me it’s mornings, for you it might evenings.  

Action: Put 3-4 blocks of 30-60 minutes on your calendar for workouts.

 

4. Make Nutrition Simple

The easiest meal plan in the world looks like this: Eat 4 times per day.  Fill up your plate with 50% veggies, 30% protein, and 20% carbs or healthy fats.  Drink water, coffee, and unsweetened tea.  Watch the fat start to melt off.  

Action: Start with a basic approach to eating and get the most out of it before going to the next level.

5. Know Your Why

Getting in shape will have moments of struggle and failure.  That’s part of any self-improvement process.  One thing that helps is to have some “Why” resources nearby when you feel like saying “Screw it!” and going off the deep end.  For me its a video montage of my wife and kids that reminds me why I take care of myself.  For you it could me something else.  Find it.  Have it nearby.  Always.  

Action: Put together your Why Resources

6. Start with Five Minute Workouts

If you truly don’t have time…start with 5 minutes of basic bodyweight work in circuit style.  Simply do push-ups, squats, and burpees for 5 minutes straight.  Even 5 minutes is better than nothing. Combine that with walking more and being more active doing daily tasks and you’ll be well on your way to getting in better shape.

Action: Stay active – start with 5 minutes.

 

7. Win the Day

Start each day with a win.  You might have heard this before.  Do something that gives you a quick feeling of accomplishment.  Make your bed, floss your teeth, chug some water, etc. This will translate into a positive vibe for the day which makes it much easier to be focused on health.

Action: Start the day with a small victory

 

8. Listen to Your Body

It’s not ok to live in pain or feel horrible each day.  If eating certain foods or working out a certain way makes you feel like crap – stop it! Just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it works for you.  Our bodies are incredible and by listening to them we can uncover what truly works.

Action: Take note of how certain foods or activities make you feel. Change things when necessary

9. Focus on Behavioral Goals

Set primarily behavior based goals – instead of focusing on outcome goals.  Getting rich and losing fat are really no different.  But if our goal is to make $50 million yet our daily habits and behaviors don’t align with that outcome – we will struggle big time.  Focus on habits and routines that will ensure that your outcome goals are met.  Having clear behavior goals will allow to accomplish more and build momentum instead of getting frustrated that our ultimate outcome hasn’t been hit.

Action: Put major focus on habits and routines.

10. Enjoy Life

Enjoy life. But don’t abuse it.  Alcohol, bad food, high stress, and no sleep are a part of life from time to time.  But not all the time. Take accountability for the things in your life that are harming your health. Be real with yourself and be sure to avoid abusing life’s unhealthy pleasures or bad habits for temporary gains.

Action: Enjoy life’s amazing journey by putting health first 

11. Avoid Cult-like Thinking

Avoid any advice that says it’s the “only way”.   There are many ways to live a healthy life.  There are many ways to get in phenomenal shape.  Find one that works for you.  Your choice should always center around the question “Can I do this forever and enjoy it?”  If the answer is yes, go for it.  

Action: Try new things.

12. Lower Your Stress and Get Quality Sleep

High stress and bad sleep are major killers of health.  Meditate, listen to music you love, sing in the shower, get a massage, go to bed a little earlier, avoid caffeine later in the day, and have a evening and morning routine.  

Action: Develop a morning and evening routine that sets you up for success

13. Have Perspective

Remember that being healthy and fit is a lifelong habit.  It’s something we must adopt forever.  This gives us the best chance of being around for our loved ones as well as enjoying life to the max.  I truly believe our highest potential as a person is only truly met through health and fitness.  

Action: Enjoy the journey

Now What?

You have the tools, now it’s time to take action.  Work on a few of these items over the course of the next month or two.  Don’t try and tackle every single one at once.  Combine patience with consistency and soon you’ll see massive positive change!

By the way – I’d love to hear from you.  Drop me an email – Josiah@TheTrueTransformation.com and let me know how you liked this article.

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this out on your social media – you never know who it might impact in a big way!

 

What  FIT GUYS  Know  about  being  lean

Josiah Novak
Imagine being at the pool, beach or that summer vacation and feeling totally at ease with walking around in your bathing suit.  Your body is lean, confidence is high, and you feel proud of the fit body you’ve achieved.  How would that feel?

What if there was a secret that all these fit guys walking around had that could drastically cut down on the struggles you face when it comes to getting in shape?

Feeling comfortable with taking your shirt off in public and revealing a lean body comes from more than just doing a few sit ups and chugging some protein shakes.

And while there are no magic pills that can give you a dream body overnight, there is one strategy that I want to share with you that can get you results 2x as fast in 1/2 the time.  Interested?  Cool.  Keep reading.

While your friends are all hopping from one diet to the next and from one crossfit box to the orange theory down the road….I’m going to change the game for you.

It’s TIIIIIMMMEEE!! (UFC Voice)

There’s a secret that all these lean guys have that took me years and years to learn.

It was literally 10 years ago that I was sitting on my bed, stuffing my face with Papa Johns pizza, and wondering if living life even made sense anymore.  I was 80 lbs. overweight, depressed, broke and just flat out sick of life.

It took me a long time to come out of that dark place and get my life in order.  It took many ups and downs to figure this whole “getting fit” thing out.  I can’t say it was easy.  In fact, it sucked ass a lot of the time.

However,  I uncovered a secret that the guys who have abs and seem to enjoy the heck out of life have.

You ready?

Instead of chasing after every new diet, new supplement, new workout routine that comes along, or some other weird voodoo method that some guru preaches about….they simply do the work.

They have a simple routine.

Their diet is both strict and flexible when it needs to be.

They don’t follow the trends.

They do the work.

While everyone else chases keto, paleo, or eating poptarts – they stick to the basics.  They ignore the 10 new forms of creatine that come out and instead they invest in quality food.

They train consistently.  Sure, they change things up, but its always with a clear purpose.

Bottom line…

They do the work.

Picture

It’s not the sexy stuff that’s going to give you the satisfaction of achieving your dream body.  There are no magic potions or strange diet hacks that will bless you with abs tomorrow.

It’s all about the work.

The consistent weight training workouts.

The consistent and well balanced nutrition plan.

The good sleep you get most nights.

The flexibility to enjoy life and get back on track right away.

As my friend Daniel DiPiazza said – “having ideas isn’t the hard part – actually creating art from those ideas is what separates the best from the average”

Getting lean and having a body you’re not ashamed of comes down to work.

Are you ready and willing to do the work?

GRAB  THE  FREE  GUIDE  FOR GUYS  WHO WANT TO  GET LEAN

24  HOURS  OF  ZERO  SOCIAL  MEDIA  ( WANNA  TRY? )

​Is this Your First Time Here?

In case this is your first time reading my blog or being introduced to me. Let me give you a crash course on who I am and what I do:

My name is Josiah Novak.  I have 2 boys (ages 2.5 and 1) and a beautiful wife who somehow puts up with 3 maniacs in the house.  I grew up a skinny kid who wanted to be strong to defend himself, then I fell into a tailspin of eating my stress away and blew up to 280 lbs.  I fell into a deep depression, but fitness saved my life.  My mission is to help others experience the life changing power of health and fitness.

I run a company called The True Transformation where we design programs for people who want to get more functional strength, build a body they can be proud of and enjoy a nutrition plan that includes foods they love.  We do this while coaching our clients on the mental side of transformation which includes habit and routine formation, understanding our “why”, overcoming self-doubt and building a strong community around ourselves.

Besides all that, I enjoy reading a book per week, watching shows like Power, Breaking Bad, the Walking Dead and The Night Of.  Plus I root my ass off for Chicago sports, I love chillin on the beach with a Moscow Mule or an Orange Crush (shout out to the 757), playing with my kids, and traveling with my wife.

Growing an  Online  business  takes  time

Running an online business has been incredible.  I won’t lie and say it’s been easy.  In fact, besides being a father and husband, it challenges me more than anything on a daily basis.  A huge part of running my business is managing my social media.  In fact, I do about 70% of my business through social media – whether it’s Facebook groups, Facebook marketing and ads, or Instagram and YouTube posts, my business is heavily involved on social.

This of course takes a massive amount of time.  I’m not talking about 40 hours a week either.  Try closer to 80 hours a week.  With most of that time being spent on email, social and client programs.  We live in an incredible time, but with all those hours being spent on social – there’s a tradeoff.  And it’s not always a good one.

A few weeks ago I did some self-evaluation and realized that I was spending an absurd amount of time on social media.  This evaluation had come up because I found myself feeling anxious if too much time had passed since I had last checked my social accounts.  It had started to feel like an addiction and so I wanted to look into the amount of time I was investing into my social presence.  The results were pretty eye-opening.   I had spending way more time on social media than any other part of my business.  In fact, I found myself checking on my client groups, marketing ads, and status updates during times where I had committed to focusing solely on family stuff.  Not cool!

Social  media  is  Amazing  But,…..

Now, before I go on I want to say that social media is incredible.  It’s changed my business and life forever.  It’s such a powerful tool to connect with people from all over the world and spread your message to folks who need to hear it.  It’s similar to the gym.  The gym is an amazing place, but if you don’t balance gym time with family and personal time, you’ll quickly get caught up in the addiction of it.  It’s important to note that social media is designed to hook you in. It’s built to make you want to come back for more each day.  The “likes” and “hearts” you get trigger pleasure centers in brain – which of course makes you want more and more pleasure.  It’s no wonder people live on their phones these days with the easy access they have to social media. I was one of those people.

Admittedly I wasn’t the first to embrace social media.  Apps like Instagram took a few years for me to really accept.  I wasn’t the first to the party.  Naturally I wasn’t comfortable with sharing my life at first, but over the years I’ve realized the impact i can have on thousands, heck even millions, of people if I show value and help them solve their problems.  But, as I mentioned earlier there’s always a trade off.

After my self- evaluation I knew something had to change.  I was waking up early and spending valuable time checking my social accounts.  I was checking my social accounts right before bed.  I was checking my latest Instagram post and missing little moments that my kids were having right in front of me.  Very uncool.  So I decided to go completely off the grid for 24 hours.  No social media for a full day.  I wanted to evaluate how I was using it and ensure that it was serving it’s purpose while gaining clarity around an action plan moving forward.

What   I   LEARNED  GOING  24  HoURS  WITH NO SOCIAL

24 hours was a cake walk, but it was eye-opening for me.  I knew that social serves a massive purpose in my life, but I also knew that it would be a massive negative in my life if I continued to misuse it.

So it was time to put a plan in place.  Of course, as I always say, fitness is a metaphor for life. And this time was no different.  There were 3 lessons that I learned after this whole experience and I want to share them with you now.

  1. The World Won’t End if You Take a Break

My clients always compliment me on how accessible I am.  They email me and I get back to them within 24 hours.  They comment in our client coaching Facebook groups and I respond very quickly.  They know that I’m there for them all the time.  This is one of the things I pride myself on doing.  I’ve built a business that gives people who shell out their hard earned cash a high level of accessibility to me as their coach.  Social media has helped me build this and make it super easy for clients to reach me.

However, I need to practice what I preach.  I tell my clients all the time that they need to put family and their health as a priority.  This includes taking breaks.  I’ll use a car analogy.  If you drive your car 100 MPH without stopping for gas…you’ll end up coming to sudden halt pretty quick.  However, if you check in with your car to see how it’s performing and whether it has the energy (fuel) it needs – you’ll be able to schedule breaks to give it the care it requires.  The same is true with our minds and bodies.  Social media takes up a lot of attention and energy.  If we don’t take scheduled breaks we’ll eventually run out of juice.  If we run out of juice we can’t serve our clients or our audience at a high level.

Taking a break, for someone like myself, is scary.  I’m driven to help as many people as I can while building a brand and community so a break sounds like a bad idea to me most times.  However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Taking a break won’t destroy your business or cause you to lose clients.  It’s just like a battery in our phones – we have to plug in (or in this case plug out) and recharge.  That way we can present our best, full of energy, selves to those who need our help!

Moving forward there’s a few actions I’ll be taking:

-Every Other Sunday is a Social Free Sunday – no social media at all for 24 hours to give massive focus to my wife and kids.

-Every day from 6PM-9PM is Zero Social Media

-Once a month I will be taking off a normal workday to spend the day with my wife and avoid work completely!  

2. Social Media Isn’t the Best Food for Your Brain

We live in a world where we constantly compare ourselves with others.  Keeping up with the Jones’s is something we’re all guilty off.  We see perfect bodies, houses, cars, etc. and think “Why don’t I have that?”.

Now, I’m not saying its possible to completely eliminate that comparison gene in our heads, but I think it’s important to take a step back and be grateful for what we have.  Trust me, it’s not easy to not want the amazing things we see on social media.  I mean after all, if you’re reading this blog you’re probably someone who enjoys taking care of themselves and improving your life.  Aiming for improvement is healthy, but only if we control our desire for a better life.

Social media is jam packed with people posting their highlight reels.  The problem is that we compare our behind the scenes daily life to these perfectly captured moments in time that look incredible.  We think “wow, my life isn’t that great” and our brains become jaded with negativity.  Even if it’s not a conscious thought, subconsciously we are thinking we aren’t as good as the people we see on social.  I’m just as guilty of this as the next person.  I’m also guilty of posting some amazing pictures to inspire others.  I think there’s a right way and wrong way to go about dealing with this.

First of all, don’t stop sharing the beauty in your world.  I know I sure won’t.  But, be willing to share struggles too!  Keeping it REAL is what social should be about.  Trust me, if you ever met these social media superstars you’d be highly disappointed to find out that they are 100% normal and have many many flaws.  Don’t waste time thinking you’re not as cool or as good as the perfect lives you see.  There is no such thing as perfect.  Use social to inspire and motivate you to share your journey.  Your journey will inspire plenty others that are going through life dealing with the same battles you deal with each day.

Feed your brain with positive energy.  Give back positive energy.  Win win 🙂

3.  Social Media is the Truly PHENOMENAL 

This article is not me throwing shade at social. Quite the opposite actually.  Taking 24 hours completely away from social gave me massive perspective.

First of all, I’m grateful to the geniuses who have developed these apps and allowed us to connect with billions of people across the world.  I mean, it’s truly incredible.  My business has grown year over year simply because of the ability to connect and help people from every corner of the globe.

If used properly, social media is hands down the most incredible tool on the planet.  You can literally start a business, connect with a potential spouse, find old friends and see whats going on right this second anywhere in the world all from your cell phone.  It’s wild!

My challenge to myself and to you is to use social media wisely.  Don’t allow it to run your life – even if you run your business like I do on social media, it’s extremely important to give yourself a break.  If you find yourself constantly checking your phone – it might be time for a break.

Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!

If you’re interested in learning more about my online coaching services – please email [email protected]

33  TIps  That Will  Help You  Start A  Fitness  Plan

“Hey Josiah – I haven’t been working out for awhile and I want to get back into it.  Where’s the best place to start?  What kind of routine should I follow?  What about my diet –  what’s the best diet out there?”

I get this question or something similar just about every day.  People tag me all over social media when someone asks about starting a weight loss plan or getting back in the gym, so I figured I’d write a helpful checklist for you.

I know how hard it can be to start on your fitness journey after being away from it for awhile, so I’m going to break down some real simple things to think about as you get back into the swing of things.

This is a list I wish I had when I was struggling to find my way years ago.  I’ve made plenty of mistakes and my goal is to help you avoid doing the same thing.

Ready to start?  Let’s go!

  1. Know your why, but make it matter – having abs isn’t going to make you happy.  Being alive for your kids will.  Make your why count
  2. Have an objective goal (what you want to achieve) but focus more on behavior goals (daily habits).
  3. Write down your goals – seriously this matters.
  4. Focus first on FEELING better, not looking better. Looking better takes time, but feeling incredible can happen quickly.
  5. Set up an accountability system.  Hiring a coach, having a workout partner, or support partner can be a huge difference maker.
  6. Don’t expect overnight success.  Sure, you might get some fast results, but if you don’t, just keep pushing forward.
  7. Focus on progress, not perfection!
  8. There is no magical pill.  Repeat that 10x.
  9. Remind yourself daily that consistent exercise and good nutrition will be the ONLY thing that ever truly works.
  10. You don’t need to hit the gym to start. You can get a lot done at home or at a park nearby.
  1. you enjoy things like yoga, jogging, or riding a bike – do them!
  2. Need some ideas?  Here’s one: Start your workout routine with just a daily walk in the morning (or at night).
  3. Next add 3-4 resistance training workouts with weights, bands, or bodyweight.
  4. Full body workouts 2-3 times a week also work great for those who are super busy.
  5. Remember, the routines that you read about the fitness models doing are usually unrealistic for the average person.  That fitness model’s job is to workout each day.  I would hope they have time to train since that’s their main source of income!
  6. Schedule your workouts in your calendar each week.
  7. If you think you have zero time to workout, try working out while you do other things.  For example, most of us are working during the day.  Try this fun “game” with yourself.  3 times a week try and see how many push-ups and squats you can do during work hours without it affecting your work.  Trust me – it s an amazing game.
  8. Once you’ve been consistent with a basic routine, feel free to add in additional workouts if time permits.
  9. Always include recovery days no matter how advanced you get.
  10. Recovery days do not mean laying around on the couch and eating Nachos all day while watching Breaking Bad reruns on Netflix.
  11. Stay active even on days when you don’t train.  Take walks, go hiking, do some stretching and mobility work.
  12. If you’re super short on time and want a challenging workout that will boost your metabolism try incorporating metabolic cardio – these are higher intensity workouts that will push you to your limit in a very short period of time. ​
  1. You don’t need to count calories to lose weight, however it’s a good skill to learn to have in your toolbox.
  2. Your nutrition should be based around lean proteins, veggies, some fruits, healthy fats and carbohydrate sources that work well with your body.
  3. A great place to start if you have a lot of bodyfat to lose is to go low-carb, high-fat when first starting out.  This will help improve your body’s ability to handle carbs later on when you reintroduce them.
  4. Start by making a list of healthy food that you enjoy eating and that makes you feel great.
  5. Never include foods that make you feel lethargic or crappy – even if someone tells you to eat it.  For me that was oatmeal.  I’d eat it and immediately feel like death.  Everyone swore by it, but I couldn’t stomach it.
  6. Fill up half your plate with green veggies or salad (keep the dressing and butter on the side).  Give ¼ of your plate to protein and ¼ of your plate to healthy fats and you’re good to go as a starting point.  Eventually you can replace a little bit of the plate with some carbs and maybe some additional healthy fats.
  7. Drink water, tea and coffee. Liquid calories are such a pain in the butt and they’ll kill your progress QUICKLY.  Avoid them!
  8. Once a week enjoy a FUN meal (not a Cheat Meal).  The word CHEAT is so negative and it builds an unhealthy relationship with food.  Think about it like this.  Your spouse says go out with your friends and have FUN!  She/he doesn’t say Go CHEAT right?  Thought so.  So enjoy a reasonable meal.  Share an appetizer, dinner and share a dessert with a beer or glass of wine sounds about right.
  9. Prepare food in advance and wipe out all the trigger food in your house. Trigger foods are foods that you will immediately eat on sight!  For me it’s peanut butter and oatmeal raisin cookies.  I can’t be around them!
  10. Measure your progress by measuring your body parts and taking pictures.  Do not rely on the scale for at least the first 3-6 months.  The scale will love you one day and hate you the next so avoid it.
  11. Health and fitness is never owned.  It’s rented and rent is due daily.  Being fit, lean and healthy is never going to be super easy, but it will become easier and more enjoyable as you progress.  You will eventually fall in love with the process and learn to love the benefits you get from working out.  Building habits and routines take time, but the journey is well worth it! ​
As you can see from this picture above – I wasn’t always ripped or in shape.  It took awhile to become the man you see on the right, but most importantly it took one step forward each day.  Starting a plan can be tough, but the results you can achieve once the momentum gets going will be incredible and well worth the struggle!

If you need additional help in starting your fitness journey – please reach out to me at [email protected]

21 RAW Truths on Being a Dad and (Working On) Being Fit

Josiah Novak

LIFE IS HARD AS HELL FOR SOME OF US

The crazy thing is that if there’s one promise or guarantee in life…its that it will be TOUGH at times.

It will knock you flat on your ass.

Nobody is waiting to save you either.

There’s no fairy godmother or Peter Pan waiting to sprinkle weight loss or get rich quick dust over your head.

Life throws curveballs at you and all you can do is be patient and smash that motherfu$*er as best as you possibly can.

You might think “I got this” or “I’m ready” — but when life happens…there isn’t a playbook for the crazy situations you find yourself in.

Being a new Dad was one of these situations.

My wife and I both had never wanted kids.  We’d had younger siblings and we both were very independent (at times selfish) people.  Not selfish in a bad way.  Just selfish in the sense that we liked to pursue our dreams and ambitions.

But when we met we decided that having a family together was something we now wanted so we took the plunge.

MY PARENTS WITH OUR 2 BOYS

Having my first son changed everything for me.

I no longer had the freedom to create the perfect schedule.

I couldn’t get my perfect 8 hours of sleep.

There was no more unlimited gym time.

Fitness has always been the one part of my day that remains consistent, but after baby #1 it became much harder to remain consistent.

Of course having my son was incredible and it goes without saying that there’s nothing I’d trade for my kids.  I’d die for them plan and simple.

Notice I said kids.  As in multiple.

Because when my son was 9 months old we found out my wife was pregnant again.  We were shocked…how did this happen??

Must have been all of those late night “when the kid is asleep” workouts…

In May of 2016 my second son was born and I’ll be first to tell you that there are no books, blogs or articles that can prepare you for the stress of having 2 (wild) kids under the age of 2.

I figured the best way to shed some light on how things change when it comes to health and fitness after kids is by giving you my top 21 RAW Truths of being a Dad and trying to be fit.

1. Forget about 8 hours of sleep – ain’t happening fam

2. Your kids will poop right when you’re headed to the gym.

​3. Getting comfortable with working out at home is crucial.

4. Don’t turn your music up too loud in your headphones – you might not hear the daycare page you to come get your kids.

5. All the shoulders on my shirts are stained – not from sweat, but from baby throw up.

6. At times dinners will be what the kids will eat – not what fits your macros.

7. Kids get sick – be prepared to miss workouts.

8. Supplement money ?  Oh you mean formula and diapers?

9. The day will come when you’re kids ask for a sip of your protein shake – enjoy every moment.

10. Sometimes poop finds its way onto your clothes and you won’t realize it until set 10 of your workout.

11. Stress is going to be higher – accept it and move on.

12. After a long day you’re not going to want to workout – get up early and get it done.

13. Cardio?  Oh you mean stroller pushing?

14. If you count macros don’t get pissed when your kids take handfuls of your food directly from your plate after you’ve planned out your meal perfectly.

15. Interrupted sleep sucks.  But it will happen a lot.  Ride it out.

16. There will be plenty of days where you want to eat your stress away because you feel like you have nothing left to give. That’s normal. Just do your best to get back on track.

17. Your kids watch everything and at some point they’ll ask to workout with you.  Hell of a moment that is.  Makes it all worth it.

18. Drink lots of water (and some wine)

19. There will be days where you’re just over it. Remain calm and remember to laugh at how crazy kids can be.

20. Remember, the reason you workout and eat right is staring at you each morning waiting for you to smile at them.  Don’t ever forget that.

21. Forget about being perfect.  Focus on the big picture.

Hope you enjoy this small glimpse into the reality of being a young parent and working on your fitness simultaneously.

Just know…you are not alone.

If you need more help…I’m here.

How Successful Men Start Their Day 

Josiah Novak
Picture

“Are you a morning person?”

The lady at the grocery checkout asked me this as I was buying
formula and pampers at 6am

I’ve always hated that question.


“Are you a morning person?”

The lady at the grocery checkout asked me this as I was buying
formula and pampers at 6am

I’ve always hated that question.

I don’t think there is a such thing as a morning person

In fact, I think people who dominate life tend to CHOOSE
their outcomes versus relying on their natural feelings.

For most people mornings SUCK…they’re tired, groggy and,
let’s face it, headed to jobs that they hate.

I don’t blame them for being sort of pissy in the morning.

It sure doesn’t help that they hate how they look in the mirror
and their energy levels suck because of poor diets.

So how do LEAN BADASSES start their day?

How do you BECOME a “morning person”??

Well, my friend, let me show you the way…

Btw, here’s a chance to grab my MAN Diet Checklist to
help you start your morning right:

After speaking to folks who maintain a healthy bodyfat and kick
major butt in life…there are 4 things that their mornings have in common:

1. Peace

Meditate, pray, relax, etc.  Whatever you call it – spend some time in peace
and quiet to help calm your brain before starting the day.

2. Exercise

Go for a walk, do some push-ups or crunches, or even hit
the gym if you have the time.  This helps pump up
your energy for the rest of the day and burns a few hundred
calories to give you a head-start

3. Hydrate

Get the water flowing through your veins my man.  Don’t skip
out on re-fueling after a long night’s sleep of no water.  Staying
hydrated can help keep you sharp and focused.

4. Learn

Spend some time on personal development. This could
be a book, a podcast, or a webinar (I’m hosting one soon
by the way).  Something that teaches you valuable information
is crucial to keeping your mind in the game.

You might be saying “I don’t have that kind of time in the morning”

DUDE

Yes you do.

Wake up earlier.

The badass who has a six-pack, a stellar career, a strong spiritual life,
and friends and family who he loves says SCREW the alarm clock.

Thats part of why I tell my clients to MAKE time.

Don’t wait for free time…there’s no such thing.

If you need a blueprint on how to start your day:

The MAN Diet Checklist is a great place to start.

You’ll get a blueprint on how to kick start your metabolism
and have incredible energy all day long.

​The link to grab it for no charge is below: