motivation

VLOG - TOP SECRET project Updates and More!

Quick update on our big VR project! and something came in the mail that Renny has been dying to get since Christmas!

@RennyGrames
@Bostology

a Freakin Rad film.

VLOG - Girls take PINKY SWEARS seriously.

The PATS WIN!!! We have a healthy celebration! -and we make a promise to wake up early and perform at Tom Brady level in our own lives. Or at least at Matt Ryan level... in other words we are going to be pro-artists and win the video-bowl.

@RennyGrames
@Bostology

a Freakin Rad film.

Reframe Your Game

I was in the midst of a 6 mile run last summer when I heard an impressive interview on The Fat Burning Man Podcast featuring Nicolas Cole and his story of being a 90-pound, competitive gamer in his teens to a ripped, competitive body builder in his early 20's.  

About a year later, I heard Cole interviewed again on the same podcast, and then, I discovered Quora, (a new obsession of mine) where Nicolas Cole's voice was heard through his written articles of advice on all sorts of topics-- from how his discipline as a gamer influenced his discipline in body building, to how to have better habits, to how not to talk to a girl.

Courtesy of  nicolascole.com

Courtesy of nicolascole.com

Since he kept turning up it everywhere I looked, I decided to reach out to him and interview him. I soon realized there was much more to his story than just being really skinny and then getting super buff.

First of all, Cole fractured his spine playing hockey when he was young, which is why he started gaming.  And then, he started having symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis where if he said, "if you don't keep your muscles active, they start to cramp in on themselves and it can be extremely painful." His father, who had the same condition suggested he really needed to "spend some time in the gym" in order to offset his symptoms. Finally, he found out he had Celiac Disease at 18 years old.

What's key here is the decision Cole made in the face of all the obstacles and the action that he took.  

In this so-called game of life Cole was handed some pretty hefty challenges, but instead of being down and out about it, he chose to reframe the way he looked at his situation.  Instead of moping about not being able to eat the All-American-Diet (as he put it, 'flour, flour, bread, bread') like a normal 18 year old, or instead of succumbing to a really painful condition, he used them to his advantage.  He noticed his new diet of brown rice, chicken and vegetables was the same diet that body builders actually chose to eat to gain their physique, so that's exactly what he did.

Talk about turning a weakness into a strength.

Courtesy of nicolascole.com

Courtesy of nicolascole.com

It's not like he was 90 pounds and then bam, suddenly a competitive body builder.  He said, "The hardest part's the habit. Thousands of very, very small moments - I didn't even look like I trained for 5 or 6 years.  I was skin and bones."  

When I asked him what his deeper motivation was to keep going he said, "I do a lot of creative stuff as well, so I'm very in my head. When I train, I treat it much like a meditation. Every time I go to hit my set, for those 30 seconds it's total silence.  For me, that's a practice."

Speaking of a practice, he is not only disciplined in the gym but meditates regularly, his work has been published on TIME, Forbes and the Huffington Post (among many other publications) and he has also become a one-on-one coach for those who seek him out as a mentor.

When I asked him about his successes and how he started mentoring he said, "I just starting writing and sharing what I knew, and then things started to come back to me. I've had so many people reach out to me asking, 'Can I work with you?', so I started one-on-one coaching. I have mentors myself-- either people who I work with very closely or who I see once a week.  That's how I'm learning, so if I can pass that along to someone else, I see a lot of value in that."

To top it all off, he's also a musician. He's got what he calls a "Dual Project" in the pipeline, "a music album and a book. We're shooting a short film as well, so you can watch it, listen to it and read it-- it's all different dimensions to the same story."

So, there is a lesson to be learned here from this skinny gamer turned body builder turned writer/entrepreneur/musician: Reframe your game and level up.

 

*You can find Cole and his work such as "Skinny to Shredded" on his website.

*Follow Cole on Instagram, Twitter and my new favorite, Quora.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Reasons to Track Your Progress

For the first time in my life I am measuring my food, my workouts and tracking my progress.

I have always beens active or worked out. But, I've always done what I feel like when I feel like doing it and have never bothered to measure anything other than step on a scale every now and again.

I wear my Garmin pretty much every day and my heart rate monitor whenever I work out. I also measure my stats once a week.

I wear my Garmin pretty much every day and my heart rate monitor whenever I work out. I also measure my stats once a week.

What have I learned?

1. Progress is motivating!!  

2.5 months ago I could barely get out 10 pushups, I recently hit the 100 pushup mark (no, not all in a row). I recommend shooting for a measurable goal that can be tracked easily so that you're motivated to keep improving.

2. The scale is deceiving.

Pick a day once a week to measure and record your stats.  Seeing a half inch to an inch decrease is actually much more satisfying than seeing the scale drop (and a relief when the scale goes up!). Meeting with my coach once a week and reporting numbers to her forced me to measure my waist, butt, thigh and neck - not just step on a scale.   Both my waist and my thighs tightened and lost inches due to my resistance training. I don't know that I would've noticed that half inch to an inch difference around my thighs if I hadn't actually measured.

3. Accuracy.

If you're going to measure your fat mass percentage, get it done at the most accurate place you can.  At the beginning of my Transformation, I did two different fat percentage tests.  One was a calculation just based off of numbers versus a $20 BodPod test, (more on that here), which is one of the most accurate ways you can test your body fat.  Let's just say there was 6-7% discrepancy between the two tests.  Luckily, the BodPod which is more accurate was the lower of the two!!

4. You probably eat more than you think (and exercise less).

I'm also using my fitness pal -- don't get me wrong, I hate counting calories and I don't live or die by it - especially, because I believe the value of your calories counts way more than just the pure calorie count itself.  But, counting calories does have its place and my fitness pal is super simple, convenient and syncs to my Garmin (which tracks my steps as well as my heart rate).


Do Something New

One thing I love about being an actress and a fitness/adventure enthusiast is all the new things I get to try.  Last month alone, I played an attorney, an addict and a rock climber.

According to Gretchen Rubin, one of my favorite podcasters and author of "The Happiness Project" as well as "Better than Before",  "trying something new is an excellent way of boosting happiness". (You can listen to her podcast here).

Well, a couple years ago, Coca-Cola challenged filmmakers in a competition to make a web spot about having an experience trying something new for the first time.  

So, Boston, Andrew Hancock and I took on the challenge and decided to do 100 new things in 10 days.  We made a rule for ourselves that as long as 1 of the 3 of us had never done a particular activity it qualified and we would film it.

So fun . . . Well, it was the middle of winter so a lot of our activities were filmed in the cold - like a polar bear swim.  And it turns out, doing 100 new things while filming, is a lot of work, resulting in not a lot of sleep especially while holding normal jobs, celebrating Valentine's day and planning a surprise birthday party. But, it was worth it: we won the contest and Boston was named Coca-Cola's International Online Content Director of the year, which we find funny because we don't even really know what that means.

We did a lot of really cool things for this spot, like flying airplanes and going ice climbing, but I still have yet to go sky diving . . .