The paradox of vulnerability in relationships

February 24, 2009          Comments (3)

People fascinate me. Relationships fascinate me more. One of the things I enjoy most about MyBodyTutor is I get to work with such a wide range of people. When I say I’ve helped all types, shapes and sorts of people I mean it.

Which is why a majority of the books I read are sociology, psychology or philosophy books. I can have the best game plan and tools in the world (diet, workout plans, etc.) but if I don’t understand why we (humans) do certain things then all that means nada.

In any real relationship with your friends and especially romantic, you need to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is a key to likability. No one likes dealing with a robot.

Not that you have to complain to be likable but you need to vulnerable somehow. As Penelope advises admit shortcomings, confess stuff (which also builds trust), and ask for advice to name a few.

I think this is true for both friendly and romantic relationships. If you can’t be vulnerable with your friends then they aren’t real friends. Or maybe you’re just scared they’ll judge you. Or maybe you have a hard time opening up and being vulnerable.

(Interestingly enough, it is my clients who are the most open that succeed the most especially those with deep rooted emotional eating issues.)

But if you never let people see the cracks in your surface they’ll never find a way in. And that means you’ll never be really close to anyone.

Did you ever hear the saying, “Never sleep with your hero because you’re only going to be let down?” I think there’s so much truth to this.

On one hand, when relationships first start they are very exciting and new. We are intrigued more and more by the person. We don’t know what to expect. We see them as this God or Goddess. Everything seems so special and it feels so good. Heck, every time we see the person we get to see them in different clothes.

You can call it an adventure. A challenge. You really like the person and you want them to like you back. They feel the same way but you don’t discuss it. Instead, you’re just inseparable. You choose to spend every waking moment together.

Until…the girl or guy says, “I really like you!” Or maybe she/he says, “I love you.”

And then…just like that…the adventure, the thrill, the pursuit, the chase…is over!

Vulnerability (it doesn’t get more vulnerable than telling someone how much you like or love them) ensues.

Maybe the guy starts farting. Maybe the girl starts complaining about things you find ridiculous.

Comfort follows and security takes over.

Now you’re going to the bathroom for 25 minutes at a clip reading your book. Hey, who cares? We’re comfortable with one another. You’re complaining about the dumbest things. You don’t pay much attention to what you’re wearing because you already ‘have’ him/her.

But comfort is the evil of all romantic relationships!

Comfort = security = boredom! (For many)

Did Chris Rock say it best? Married and bored or single and lonely?

In this great NY Magazine piece relationship researcher, Arthur Aron, has pointed out that new experiences, rather than repeated favorites, are the best way to keep romantic feelings alive in a marriage, based on a series of six studies of hundreds of couples.

But still…you know the person. Doing loads of unimportant tasks doesn’t make them important. Doing all sorts of cool things with the same person doesn’t make you know the person any less!

It’s the less that is more. It’s the less that is so sexy and so intriguing…

Or is it not?



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Yahoo! Shine, Wes is down 54 pounds! and the Happiness Project

February 19, 2009          Comments (1)

I was interviewed by Katie McCaskey of Geezeo.com and the subject of the interview was ‘How does fitness relate to finances?’ It was an interesting topic that was certainly fun to explore. It got picked up by a number of larger websites which was pretty, pretty, pretty cool!

You can check it out here on Yahoo! Shine.

You can check it out here on Mainstreet.com.

And you can also check it out here on DivineCaroline.com.

(For my devotees no need to read all 3. They are all the same interview!)

Then Wes, a man who needs no introduction, posted this. For those keeping score at home Wes has lost 54 pounds! Check out this post I wrote on October 27, 2008. Only 4 months ago, Wes was 460 pounds. He’s now 407!

There’s no doubt about it. Wes, will get to where he wants to be. I won’t let him not! He is a warrior in every sense of the word and he understands the importance of consistency. He focuses on consistency! Not the numbers.

As Tom Seaver said, “In baseball, my theory is to strive for consistency, not to worry about the numbers. If you dwell on statistics you get shortsighted, if you aim for consistency, the numbers will be there at the end.”

And that’s exactly what I help my clients do: Help them stay consistent with both their diet and exercise. But what amazes me so much about Wes (besides his tenacity and attitude towards this journey) is how self-aware he is.

In fact, the first step to getting in the shape you want to be is to admit that you’re not in the shape you want to be in! Most people can’t do that.

Finally, Gretchen Rubin, of the ‘Happiness Project’ mentioned me on her wonderful blog. You can check it out here.

Her blog has become one of my top reads. Happiness is something I think a lot about and have written a lot about. This post is really what woke me up. Because I realized I had the “I’ll be happy when…” or, “I’ll be happy if…” mentality which is very scary to me.

Life and happiness is right here, right now. (This doesn’t mean you can’t aspire or desire. I just feel as though when you need anything or anyone to make you happy, you’re never going to be happy! When you look to the future for your happiness you’re letting your life pass by which is frightening!)

I wrote about that in this post here. What I love so much about her blog is it’s all about the small things you can do everyday to make yourself happier. And I’m really grateful for her mentioning me because Gretchen is obviously very passionate about helping people become happier and I’m very passionate about helping people become happier via health and fitness. I think the two coincide a lot more than most people realize.

Finally, I’m off to Mardi Gras for a bachelor party for the kid that inspired this post. (Easily my most controversial post ever. And no Mom, I’m not saying I don’t ever want to get married! It was just a little food for thought.)



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Age really is just a number

February 10, 2009          Comments (2)

When I was a little kid I always thought adults had it all figured out. That they didn’t think about the things kids do. You know. They were adults. Everything is all good!

I think every kid believes this. I can vividly remember dreaming about what I’d be like when I was 26. Kids believe adults are more refined than children.

What I’ve learned is that adults are children with more responsibility…and maybe perspective and insight…and maybe not.

I think we become who we are at a very young age. Curious people will for, the most part, be curious their entire lives. Warm people will be warm. Trusting people will be trusting. Assholes, for the most part, will be assholes. Ambitious will be ambitious…

But as we grow up many of us lose our idealism. We forget about our dreams. We forget what we really want for ourselves.

“Reality” sets in. I’ve realized that reality is an illusion. You can make your reality whatever you want it to be. But unfortunately, as an adult fear becomes a dominant part of our life.

When you’re a kid you don’t think about reality. You’re fearless, for the most part.

For some, what other people might think plays an even bigger role and drives us in directions we never even wanted to go in.

But when when we’re young, we all think we’re invincible.

I think about how I used to drive as a high school and college student and I can’t believe how much of a maniac I was. I was fearless. Nothing can happen to me! Nothing can happen to my friends!

I look at my brother in law who just bought a quad. For his birthday my sister got him this awesome remote control car. He will always be a kid at heart. And I love that.

So what happens to so many of us? Why do so many people tense up? Harden up? Lose our ability to have fun? Become numb?

And ironically, when we’re kids we’re always looking to the future. We can’t wait for it!

So, as I turn 26 today, I think there are two important lessons that I want to remind you (and really myself) of:

One: The grass is always greener on the other side. The problem with always looking on the other side is that you never appreciate what you have on your side! I think being grateful is extremely important to your happiness. After all, it’s impossible to be grateful and unhappy at the same time! This is exactly why I ask my clients to tell me 3 things they are grateful for every night. (Although it has nothing to do with their health and fitness it has everything to do with it!)

Two. Happiness (which is what it’s all about) is right now! Not later! When we’re kids and even adults, many of us live for that person or thing or event to make us happy. “I’ll be happy when…”

But if you’re not happy now, what makes you think you’ll be happy later? And when you’re looking to the future to make you happy, you’re not living life now!

And before you know it, you’ll be an old man or woman wondering where the heck your life went…

And that thought makes me act like the idealistic and fearless boy I always want to be!



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The difference between inspiration and motivation and how it can change your life

February 4, 2009          Comments (4)

Motivation is a huge business in America. There are thousands of speakers waiting to motivate you on how to sell, how to close, how to work better, how to motivate others and any other subject you can imagine!

Motivation is worth every penny.

For example, I believe everyone should (and can) be in awesome shape. But not everyone is.

The reason is because we (the people who aren’t in the shape we want to be in) have trouble staying consistent with exercise and/or healthy eating.

If you don’t have a problem staying consistent with your diet and/or exercise, you should be in great shape!

A highly motivated person wouldn’t have any problem staying consistent though.

As Zig Ziglar said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”

But most people keep searching for more tactics. The problem with that strategy is it delays action. And consistent action is the only way to get to where you want to be.

I don’t think you can teach someone to be motivated. Motivation has to come from with in.

However; I know inspiration can absolutely make someone motivated!

I believe motivation occurs once a switch is flipped in your mind. Maybe you caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and don’t like what you see. Maybe your jeans aren’t fitting the way they used to. Maybe you have a vacation coming up. Maybe a Rocky marathon was on TV. Maybe your Body Tutor wrote something that hit home with you…

Inspiration, on the other hand, is all about looking inside yourself.

If he can do it why can’t I? If she can do it why can’t I? If I was able to do this back then why can’t I do it now?

I don’t know any kid who dreams of being overweight and out of shape. It just happens. Life happens! Work, kids, friends, and on and on….

But when no one is forcing you to look inside yourself (I believe good inspiration should) and to be honest with yourself; it’s really easy to lose sight of the life you want to lead. It’s really easy to rationalize all of your excuses.

Tiger Woods has 3 coaches. The finest musicians and athletes all have coaches. Why shouldn’t you?

These highly successful people are highly motivated. But like any human being sometimes we slip up and sometimes we lose sight of where we’re going and we lose our motivation.

This is when you should:

Listen to your favorite music. Look at pictures. Read great articles and books. And whatever it is that you do that inspires you.

Know the difference between motivation and inspiration. And when you’re loosing motivation; seek inspiration!

If you’re losing motivation often then you should:

Surround yourself with inspiring and motivating people. Accomplish one small task every day. Take a look at everything around you. What’s bringing you down?

You don’t want mediocrity for yourself. You know you don’t. Don’t ever convince yourself that you do. And the most successful people I know are constantly investing in inspiration whether it’s from books, seminars, coaches, music, etc.

Inspiration = Successful!

[Some nice comments over at BrazenCareerist.com!]

[If you want to take your health and fitness to the next level, consider joining MyBodyTutor. I know you’ll love it!]



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