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Why You Should Stop Making Excuses & Cook at Home

IMG_4493As a fitness expert, I know everyone wants to look like a supermodel and eat like Miss Piggy. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work unless you are one of those rare individuals with exceptional genetics and metabolism. Eating out all the time is too tempting and thus we blow our diets. So I recommend that most people cook at home. In most cases I encounter initial resistance, and a lot of “genuine” excuses. From my experience, the best training results from being careful about what you consume and eating a healthy, balanced, protein-rich diet with fiber, healthy carbs, and healthy oils. Unless you have a personal chef, you will need to shop wisely for healthy, affordable food and cook at least some of the time.

Let me share with you some objections to healthy food preparation that I have heard from my clients, along with my own commentary and insights:

“It’s too expensive for me”
True, it costs more to buy healthy food, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it to add a few more dollars to the grocery bill in order to boost your intake of essential vitamins and minerals for the benefit of your skin, hair, body and immune system. There’s no doubt organic food is more expensive than conventionally grown food, but it’s so worth it. It’s your body and you only get one. Even if you buy organic, cooking at home ends up being cheaper when you factor in the cost of health care. Food is prevention; food is a cure to whatever ails us. So many diseases are stopped dead in their tracks by your immune system when you get the nutrition your body needs. We are all exposed to the same environmental stressors (viruses, pollutants and so forth), but not everyone gets sick or to the same degree. Viruses are more likely to thrive in an unhealthy body that is full of pollutants such as chemical additives, preservatives and saturated fats and lacking in vitamins and minerals. Your immune system needs proper fuel to function. Invest in yourself and your health by cooking at home, and spare yourself the days off work, the medication, and the medical bills.

“I don’t have time”
Maintaining health takes time: time to train, to shop, to cook, to research, to plan, to attend workshops, to watch educational or inspirational videos. He who doesn’t invest time in his health will eventually spend that valuable time treating and recuperating from disease. Those who want something badly enough will find the time to accomplish it. If you are a busy person, simply cook for the whole week in advance on the weekend — partition the food into meal-sized portions in Tupperware containers and freeze half of it. Before you leave the house, just grab a container of prepared food and you have a healthy meal ready to eat. If mornings are chaotic and rushed, prepare your breakfast the day before. For example, prepare your shake/smoothie the night before by loading the blender with the various fruits and vegetables and put it in the refrigerator; then in the morning simply take it out, and the ice, liquids (almond milk etc.), powders (protein powder, green powder, etc.) and hit the Smoothie button. Or prepare steel-cut organic oatmeal the night before and reheat it in the morning for a quick and healthy breakfast.

“I have no idea how to cook”
Everyone has family (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins) or friends who know how to cook. Spend some quality time with them in the kitchen and — who knows — you might even enjoy it! Also, we live in the Internet age, with so many recipes, tips, and instructional videos available at our fingertips. With this wealth of information there’s no way you won’t understand how to cook. Be willing to experiment, to make mistakes, and it will turn out fine.

“I’m not a good cook”
This one is a total cop-out. This means you haven’t put enough effort into it. With enough trial and error, you will get to competence. There’s no need to cook gourmet meals to eat well and healthy. Start with something simple, like an omelet, and move on from there. Take it one step at a time, like a child learning to walk. You wouldn’t expect a baby to run long distances at one year old, so don’t set unreasonable expectations of yourself as a cook either. Encourage yourself every step of the way, celebrate your successes, and be patient with yourself. Like anything, the more you do it, the better you’ll be at it. One day you just might surprise yourself by teaching someone else to cook.

You can find me online at www.orionsmethod.com

4 Simple Tools To Change Your Life

Lucas muscle pose1. A Vital Body
You want to keep this vessel — your body — for many years to come. And the road to doing that starts today. This means doing all the things that keep your body healthy. Slacking off on keeping your body healthy makes no sense, because it takes away from the sustainability of the vessel that keeps you alive. To not take care of your body properly could mean years taken off of your life. So that involves drinking plenty of water, exercising, making an effort to eat healthy, quitting smoking — because this body is the only one you are ever going to have. This won’t just affect your longevity, but also the quality of your life as you live it.

2. Body Posture
What you achieve in life is absolutely dependent upon the way you carry yourself. Carry yourself well and people more readily accept you and respect you as a person. To do this, you’ll need open, inviting body language. Stand up tall and look people in the eyes. They will see you as confident and together, and treat you as such. A strong body posture affects not only how others see us, but also how we see ourselves. Not convinced? Watch Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk and give “power posing” a try.

3. Movement
Changing your physiology is an easy and effective way to change your overall state. Tony Robbins has been advocating this for years. When I’m in a lousy (unresourceful) state, I snap myself out of it by walking, singing, dancing, or exercising. Getting the blood pumping will do more than you’d expect and increase endorphin production in your system.

One day I was walking down the street in New York City, and I was mad. I was so upset; I felt that I couldn’t even look people in the eye. Just as a game, I decided to put a smile on my face. Now, this was a fake, terrible smile, it must have looked terrifying. But even after a minute of this, I felt so goofy with this fake smile that it made me laugh. With a smile on my face, people around me smiled back. Now remember that this is New York City, people don’t usually smile at each other as they pass by. Imagine how we could change the world simply by living our lives with a smile on our face and a good attitude. So go ahead, give it a try.

4. Focus
Combine your change in physiology with a change in focus to jumpstart major changes in your life. There’s a Hawaiian proverb: “Energy flows where attention goes.” Put another way, what you focus on manifests in your life. I invite you to step back and look at your life for a moment. You can evaluate it in two ways. You can focus on your fears and on the obstacles ahead. Or, you can appreciate what you have in your life and focus on and what you desire. Which of these two you choose will dramatically impact the quality of your experiences. The way you approach your problems impacts how well you are able to solve them. This will ultimately cause you to — or prevent you from — achieving your dreams. How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as a winner or a loser? Because at the end of the day, the only one preventing you from becoming the person you want to be is you. Your identity may be influenced by your surroundings, peer group and upbringing, but ultimately it’s created by you.

Are you ready to improve the quality of your life? To feel happier, to feel better about yourself and about your relationships? It is all inside you: the ability to positively affect your state by changing your physiology and your focus. It is easy to make simple life changes that will lead to a lifetime of happiness. Now get out there and lead an OUTSTANDING life!

What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror?

14/365 ~ That's not me in the mirror. [EXPLORE]

We’ve all had times in our lives where we did not love ourselves. Sometimes, we hate to even look at ourselves in the mirror. But even so, I was surprised recently when I was teaching a Zumba class and I noticed one student left around 15 minutes into the class. The next week I received this email from him:

“Dear Orion:
Thank you so much for the class. I chose to leave, and I wanted you to know it had very little to do with you, except for the fact that you chose to have us look in the mirror. I hadn’t remembered how awful I am in front of mirrors. I had to leave when I caught a glimpse of myself. It’s old stuff, but it’s a weak-spot for me. I cannot sustain, as of yet, images of my physical form in mirrors. I really appreciated the class and found your enthusiasm infectious. Thanks.”

I know how it feels. I have been there myself… and so I was compelled to reply:

“I believe you need to start working on self-love. Unless you are a vampire, you cannot avoid mirrors. Most gyms and fitness studios have mirrors; you can’t escape them. It’s not about vanity; looking in the mirror helps you improve your form and visually gauge your progress. If you don’t examine yourself, you have little indication of what to improve. You are here to realize your true potential, and looking at yourself in the mirror with love is a powerful tool. Love yourself no matter what, and be grateful for having a healthy body. Be grateful for the fact that you are able to move, to breathe, to simply be alive. When you appreciate what you have, you give up all of the guilt, blame, shame and self-criticism that do not serve you. The choice is yours; you can choose to live your life with your head in the sand, or to confront what you need to work on. In order to feel better, in order to become your dreams and live the life you deserve, you need to look at what is happening with you.”

Most nights I go on YouTube and listen to things that empower me, like Abraham Hicks, Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, and so on. We have all gone through difficult times in our lives. I know I have. But it is how you get up, not how you fall, that defines you. Getting up is what matters. Working on you is just how it sounds; it is work. But it is so worth it; meditation, self-exploration, dressing nicely, pampering yourself, working out and eating healthy food all make you vibrant and will change your life.

You need to want to change and YOU have to do the work, my dear. There is no magic pill. Life will put “mirrors” in front of you. People will reflect emotions back at you: when you are angry they will get angry back at you, and when you smile they will smile back. It’s all good because it helps you look at yourself and improve what you do not like to see in you. People also will reflect kindness at you, helping you to notice and appreciate your inner beauty. It’s up to you to “wake up”; open your eyes to the lessons and to a brighter reality. No seminar, self-help book, audio program, DVD, or human being will validate you. It will help direct you, but you need to validate and love yourself. It’s up to you. Believe in yourself like I believe in you.

When I was having difficulties with my self-worth, I learned an exercise called “mirror work” from Louise Hay. I did it when I was in a place in my life where not only could I not look at myself in the mirror, but I was walking with my head down! I remember when I started working on self-love and self-acceptance and saying “I love you” to myself in front of a mirror, I immediately started crying because I was so consumed with self-hate and self-judgment. I am happy to report that this affirmation (with some repetition) completely shifted my perspective. Today I love the girl I see in the mirror, even in pajamas and without make-up. Do this exercise every time you pass by a mirror, and I promise you, within just a couple weeks you can create a breakthrough for yourself.

Mirror work

Every day, look at yourself in the mirror and say out loud: “I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU NO MATTER WHAT.” When you hear that voice that says “Who are you kidding?” tell this voice “Thank you for sharing” and continue on. No matter what you did or did not do, you are worthy of love. If something good happened, run to the mirror and say “I love you, thank you.” If something bad happens, run to the mirror and say “I love you, I love no matter what.” Keep looking into your eyes with love and appreciation. You are worthy of love, just because you exist.

Remember this simple equation: work on your mind + work on your body + serve others = a life full of love and fulfillment.

I want to hear your stories. Please share how you found self-love and appreciation and any techniques that worked for you.

5 Ways to Stop Self-Sabotaging and Lose Weight Once and For All

Waldgeist Restaurant in Hofheim. Just make sure to take your Lipitor before bed.By Orion Talmay

The adage goes that you are the average of the five people you hang out with the most. So, it would logically follow that hanging out with people who eat fatty junk food will sabotage you and your diet.

Few of us consider that one of the things preventing us from committing to our weight and fitness goals is our environment – and that includes the people around us. This is especially true in America, where fast and “super sized” are glorified. We are surrounded by a junk food friendly environment – whether it’s the muffins offered to you in your company break room or the Italian “family style” dinner with friends. Everywhere you turn, advertisers are trying to hypnotize you into buying. We are bombarded with commercials for food which show joyful anorectic models enjoying chocolates and cheeseburgers. We were taught by our mothers to dutifully finish what’s on our plates. This world full of temptation, misconceptions, and immediate gratification just might affect our ability to get back into our jeans size from high school, don’t you think?

We are drowning in a flood of false information, thanks to all this pervasive and persuasive advertising. These advertisements train our brains to link unhealthy food with pleasure. As you pass a billboard showing a hot celebrity drinking Coca Cola, subconsciously you make a connection between what he or she represents to you – namely health, happiness, athleticism, vitality and success – and drinking Coke. In reality this sugary, toxic and chemically addictive drink is the epitome of unhealthiness, addiction, and obesity. In many cases, junk food is marketed to us as “healthy,” “natural” or even “organic,” but the opposite is more true. Even TV shows about weight loss such as The Biggest Loser glorify rapid, dramatic weight loss that unfolds before our eyes in an hour. And of course it doesn’t tell the whole story; we are spared the gory details, the high risk of injury, and the non-sustainability and unhealthy methods they use on the contestants. The TV magic and the glaring omissions give legitimacy to extreme rapid weight loss and create unrealistic expectations for the audience.

As I alluded to earlier, your peer group can also alter your decision-making. In general, people like people who are like them. For example, heavy drinkers prefer to hang out with heavy drinkers, and overeaters prefer feasting with fellow gluttons. The unspoken (or sometimes spoken) pressure is on, to fit in and be liked. Most social gatherings center around food and alcohol, so if you are dieting, you will need premeditated strategy and willpower if you don’t want to sabotage your diet.

Friends and family tend to appease each other when they fall off the wagon. When you look for consolation, they will tell you “It’s okay, it’s not that bad to take a day off; come on and live a little!” People become very forgiving because they want you to like them. They don’t hold you to a higher standard, in part because that’s not what you want to hear.

Unfortunately, not everyone wants you to be successful. Sometimes it can even be someone close to you like a spouse, family member, or friend who will try to talk you out of your goal. They might be afraid that if you feel better about yourself, you will neglect them or leave them. They might be afraid of “new competition” they will have when you accomplish your weight goals. Or, they may feel in competition with your “gym time” or even with your trainer. Bottom line is that most of the time they do it not because they don’t love you but precisely because they do. For instance, spouses may worry a “new you” may be less attracted to them. Sometimes, simply reassuring them of your love and friendship, keeping open communication and involving them in your health journey can solve these issues.

So, if you agree that the environment that surrounds you can sabotage your progress, what do you do? Well, since living on a mountaintop in Tibet is (probably) not an option, the best way to deal with misinformation or saboteurs is to plan for your success. When your mindset is stronger, achieving your outcome will be your priority. Nothing and no one will deter you. When you are prepared for success, you will win.

How do you prepare for success?

1. Surround yourself with supportive people. If your loved ones aren’t supportive of your health and fitness goals, convince them to change and be a part of your team or find some supportive peers to cheer you on. Succeed regardless.

2. Make sure you have accurate information about fitness and nutrition. Consult with a personal trainer and/or nutritionist. Nothing beats having a coach who can guide you to win the game the right way.

3. Plan your food shopping, plan your meals and plan your exercise time.  Don’t let anyone or anything distract you or steal your time.

4. Watch less TV. The number of commercials for garbage processed food is mind-boggling. These companies are paying a lot of money to sell to you and have mastered the art of influence. They (mis)use popular words like “healthy” and “natural,” but one glance at the label reveals how supposedly healthy, low fat, and natural it really is. Put your TV watching on a diet too, and it will facilitate your dieting and help you avoid unnecessary temptations.

5. Remember that you are a rock star. You can do it regardless of what anyone tells you, including your own inner critic. I believe in you. You put your mind to it and you will succeed.

* * *

picOrion Talmay is a fitness expert and life coach who helps her clients transform their bodies and their lives. Her fitness skills include yoga, weight training, kick boxing, Aikido, MMA (mixed martial arts) and Krav Maga. Orion completed the Tough Mudder, a 12-mile extreme obstacle course with an ice pool, electric wires, buttered monkey bars, and more. She’s not all hard-core though; she is also a woman of the arts — loves to dance and sing, went to acting school, and speaks three languages. She is a graduate of the American Academy of Personal Training and is AAFA, AAPT, KBA, and Zumba certified. She is currently working on an online coaching program for weight loss and self development, designed to empower people across all aspects of their lives: physical, mental, social and spiritual. Orion is also working on her first book, about transformational change. Originally from Israel, she currently lives in sunny Santa Monica, California.

“Affirmations Are B.S.” and Other Things You Shouldn’t Believe

UpwardBy Orion Talmay

“Affirmations? Yeah, whatever… I don’t do that new age B.S.! That’s only good for weak people with no self-confidence! The people I train don’t need that crap!”

I actually heard these words from one of my fitness mentors I look up to. His huge resistance to the idea of affirmations was kind of shocking to me. I, for one, believe in “that stuff”. Does that mean I am weak? Is it all a scam to make us feel better about life? Am I just a hippie dreamer?

In my free-spirited late teens, I read two books that really shaped me. One of them was The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy. Murphy spoke about the power of our thoughts and how they influence what we manifest in our lives:

There is a miraculous curative force in your subconscious that can heal the troubled mind and the broken heart. It can open the prison door of the mind and liberate you. It can free you from all kind of physical and material bondage.

The other book was You Can Heal Your Life by the remarkable Louise Hay. Hay’s philosophy is similar to Murphy’s. In the book she described using positive affirmations to eliminate self-defeating thoughts: “What you choose to think about yourself and about life becomes true for you. And we have unlimited choices about what we can think.” According to Hay, an affirmation is anything we say or think, therefore all of our self-talk is a stream of affirmations. In order to change your life, you must pay attention to your thoughts and choose empowering ones. By choosing thoughts that make you feel good and stating a desirable intention as a daily practice, you are retraining your brain how to think and speak and you are reprogramming your beautiful subconscious mind.

Affirmations are the seeds of your dreams that you plant for later harvesting. By writing your dreams down and affirming them in ink, or vocalizing them out loud, you bring them into the physical realm and one step closer to manifesting. If you say a lie over and over again, won’t you start believing it? If telling a lie can affect you like that, why not tell a good “lie” – one that has the potential to change your life for the better?

Many times when I’ve gone back to read what seemed originally to be “impossible” affirmations, I actually found they had manifested in my life. Who cares if it seems weird and too “outside the norm”? Who wants to be normal anyways? Popular thinking usually turns out to be average thinking. Galileo Galilei was sentenced to spend rest of his life in prison for his ideas. He vocally supported the Copernican hypothesis that the earth is not the center of the solar system, but one of many planets revolving around the sun. Three centuries later he was called the “father of modern science” by Einstein.

When researching this subject, you will find that in this day and age, science is backing “new age” thinking more than ever before.

At the dawn of the twentieth century, the tidy, objective, mechanistic view of the world began to fall apart…scientists began looking into the world within the atomic nucleus, and they were shocked to discover that on the subatomic level, the physical world did not behave at all the way Newton said it should. In fact, the “atom” itself turned out to be a sort of illusion: The closer scientists looked, the less it really appeared to be there…And when our vision of the atom fractured, the foundation of classical physics fractured along with it. Our view of how the world works was in for a radical transformation. – John Assaraf & Murray Smith (The Answer)

Quantum physics nowadays include theories like parallel universes. It’s no longer science fiction that the power of our thoughts affect physical objects and create new realities. No longer are we in an age where meditation sounds “funny.” Today’s science backs up the positive sweeping impact of quieting one’s brain waves into lower frequencies. People are opening up to possibilities in the realm of the unknown.

The ancients knew that space is not empty; it is the origin and memory of all things that exist and have ever existed…[This insight] is now being rediscovered at the cutting edge of the sciences [and is emerging] as a main pillar of the scientific world’s picture of the twenty-first century. This will profoundly change our concept of ourselves and of the world. – Dr. Ervin Laszlo (as quoted in The Answer)

When I train my clients, my rule is: no negative self-talk. “It’s too hard”, “no way can I do it” are being thrown out the window in the first session. I know for a fact that the body reacts to what you tell it. What you affirm feeds your future blueprint. One of my favorite clients once said “OMG, I am so bad at lunges”. So I told her: “Let’s change your self-talk about lunges. I think it would serve you better to instead say that I am getting better and better”. She looked at me frazzled and really forced it out uncomfortably, saying: “I am getting better and better.” Guess what? She did get better and better, AS SHE WAS SAYING IT! She started listening to – and modifying – her self-talk outside of our training sessions and consequently improved on achieving other personal goals.

But affirmations are not enough! If you look at your dirty laundry and say all day long “My laundry is getting cleaner and smells great” nothing will happen… You have to take action. Say you can do it, then do it! Just like saying I am getting better and better, while lunging. Affirmations will put you in the mindset to take action. They will keep you focused on your goals and desires. They will keep your unconscious mind open to all great opportunities around you. Previously you may not have noticed your self-talk if you were not attuned to it; but now that you are aware of its power, you will know to leverage it for positive action.

Please comment below and share your questions, stories, and experiences with affirmations. I would love to hear your thoughts; I greatly appreciate the feedback!

* * *

picOrion Talmay is a fitness expert and life coach who helps her clients transform their bodies and their lives. Her fitness skills include yoga, weight training, kick boxing, Aikido, MMA (mixed martial arts) and Krav Maga. Orion completed the Tough Mudder, a 12-mile extreme obstacle course with an ice pool, electric wires, buttered monkey bars, and more. She’s not all hard-core though; she is also a woman of the arts — loves to dance and sing, went to acting school, and speaks three languages. She is a graduate of the American Academy of Personal Training and is AAFA, AAPT, KBA, and Zumba certified. She is currently working on an online coaching program for weight loss and self development, designed to empower people across all aspects of their lives: physical, mental, social and spiritual. Orion is also working on her first book, about transformational change. Originally from Israel, she currently lives in sunny Santa Monica, California.

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