Take Time To Take It In

Right now I can feel the morning coolness coming in through a living room window. I hear multiple birds singing and if I don’t try to hard I can imagine the sounds from the freeway are a not too distant waterfall. The singing of the birds seems to be becoming more intense.

How often do we miss the opportunity to appreciate nature and the physical world?

When was the last time that you spent time without the internet, television or radio (or the movie theatre?)?

About 10 years ago when I attended Expressions Unlimited Toastmasters every single week almost without fail we had a guest from Orange County who traveled to Carlsbad regularly. He was heavily involved with the internet and I think I asked the wrong question because he never returned. Here is that question:

What do you do to get away from the internet?

I don’t remember his exact answer, but he seemed to think it was a terrible question.

He response was basically, “WHY would you take a break from the internet?”

I’ve seen articles written about such things in recent years. Maybe I was ahead of my time.

Recently we had fires in our area. You can see photos I took at Instagram.com/ACrowdFunder.

In dealing with that situation and the other things that got put on hold during the fires I found my schedule for Coach Zero disrupted.

Now our lives are being disrupted again by a beagle puppy that our son, Stuart, has named Bones. You can see video at Vine.co/ACrowdFunder.

I’m taking more time to appreciate nature and the physical world today. I believe my original schedule for Coach Zero is out the window.

By the way, maybe “out the window” is where we should all be looking more often.

Maybe we can get up and open the door and go outside and touch, see, hear, smell, taste and feel what we see when we look out the window.

In other words, take time to take it in.

That’s what I’m going to do as soon as I get this puppy to stop biting my foot.

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Tweak It

When you’re starting a new habit, method, procedure, etc… you may find that you need to tweak it to get better results. You know you better than others know you. While you definitely need to be willing to learn and grow as a person, that doesn’t mean blindly following every single thing you’re taught.

In May I decided to use an Atkins-style diet again for the first time in a long time. I knew I had to do things differently this time as I had gout a little over four years ago. I suspected it could be controlled without drugs, but the jury is still out.

Now I’ve lost 20 pounds in about five weeks, but the other day I started to get that familiar, painful feeling in my foot. At first I thought it was just my flat-footedness kicking in because I was dancing more when using SuperBetter.com. [I highly recommend SuperBetter if you want to reach goals and grow personally. You don’t have to be recovering from an injury to use it. I’m on level 14 and have already created one new customer in my business since starting with the site.]

Instead of doing the high protein-low carb-meat heavy diet straight up, I decided to see if I could switch into a less meaty version over time and get good results. What did I do differently this time?

First, I am drinking almost zero Coke Zero. (I have messed up once or twice.) No matter what your opinion is about the ingredients there is one thing you can’t deny. This beverage helps push water out of your body. That’s not good. You need to drink plenty of water anyway and this doesn’t help. So I won’t bother talking about the ingredients today. Whether you like it or not, you need to drink at least half your weight in ounces of water each day. If I weigh 280 pounds, I need to drink at least 140 ounces of water a day. Drinking Coke Zero means I need to drink more water to make up for it. By the way, that goes for coffee, too. If you must drink coffee, you need to drink even more water to make up for it.

Second, I’m using SuperBetter.com. I know I’m drinking more water, eating a little less and doing other things I want and need to do because of Jane McGonigal’s site. SuperBetter is the gamification of personal growth and injury recovery. That’s the most concise way I can describe it. I’ve been a fan of Jane McGonigal’s for years on TED.com and was surprised to find out she had created SuperBetter after she got injured. Over a year ago I was talking about creating something like this someday and a couple months ago I found out that she’s done it! Watch her video and find out more. Watch Jane Talk About The SuperBetter Game!

Third, I’ve added plain coconut milk from Trader Joe’s to my diet. An entire half gallon contains only 8 carbs. I’ve found that it helps me curb my appetite as well. Is it yummy? No. I tell people that it tastes like creamy, very incredibly low fat milk IF it were created by a computer like on Star Trek. Not much taste. Yet it works. If you want to lose weight, it’s a great helper. I actually prefer it to 1% milk.

Fourth, I’ve exercised some. Not a lot. About once a week so far (not counting a few little bouts of dancing in SuperBetter), but I’ll do better in the future. I prefer swimming and I’ve done 176 lengths total of the pool at L.A. Fitness. My wife and I have already talked about going back today after my phone meeting.

Fifth, but maybe most important, I have been using incredibly well manufactured vitamins and minerals. Most people don’t realize that IF they are taking supplements they are probably using something that is not effective, hardly effective or even harmful. That’s why a recent study concluded that taking vitamins is not helpful. This is true if you are taking the wrong ones! Talk to me about getting these truly good for you AND EFFECTIVE supplements.

Sixth, I have also been using a special snack bar before I workout that helps you burn fat faster AND a protein shake after the workout to add muscle. These products really work when you use them properly and they taste good! Again, talk to me and we will set up a time to speak on the phone or in person. Use the “Start Creating Your Dream Now!” form on the right. (While you’re at it, tell me about your dream!)

Finally, I am tweaking what I’m doing because of the mild recurrence of gout. I transitioned off the Atkins-style regimen to semi-vegetarian over the last two days and I can see the symptoms of gout becoming milder. If I don’t lose weight as quickly that’s a fair trade-off for not having a full-blown outbreak of gout. If that did happen I’m pretty sure I’d have to go for the drugs the doctors want to give virtually everyone who has gout.

If things go as planned I can go back to a more Atkins-style diet in a couple weeks.

By the way, I make these tweaks because I have some experience in these areas. I am not a doctor and you will want to consult one or more doctors before you change your diet and exercise regimen.

That being said, you know you better than someone else knows you.

When you tweak something you’re taught, keep you in mind!

Be Creative With Negative Events

Less than an hour ago I was at the San Marcos Costco and someone took my parking space before I could back in. I yelled out my window, “Hello! Hello!” and I couldn’t tell if [I’ll call him] Mr. Oblivious even knew that I intended to back in.

A [less than helpful] Costco employee told me that he was backing out. “No, he’s not. He’s reparking to do a better job of taking my space.” I was not a happy camper for a few minutes after I parked further away. I even took note of the man after he got out of the truck as I limped to the entrance on my gouty foot.

What did I want at that point? I thought it would have been nice if the Costco employee simply asked him if he realized that someone else was parking there when he took the space. He didn’t say anything to the customer.

I envisioned a lot of “remedies” [Think the movie “Falling Down”.] and of course I would never actually act them out.

[Really. I wouldn’t.] Though they might be helpful in a science fiction story that I’m thinking up.

When I sat down to write I simply decided to write what was/is on my mind. I didn’t even have a title.

One thing I’ve learned is that it feels good to grow.

You might say that I shouldn’t have gotten upset in the first place. Maybe you’re right.

But I didn’t hurt anyone. I didn’t cuss anybody out or even confront the guy.

I thought about it and decided to use it as fuel for fiction.

Have you had similar experiences and turned them into something creative or something positive?

Comment or fill out the [Start Creating Your Dream Now!] survey on the right side of Coach Zero and let me know what happened. You can fill out the stuff about your dream if you like, too. Or not.

It does feel good to grow.

Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did.

My wife knew I had to read this. Great stuff!

Pearls Before Swine

Bill Watterson is the Bigfoot of cartooning.

He is legendary. He is reclusive. And like Bigfoot, there is really only one photo of him in existence. 

Few in the cartooning world have ever spoken to him. Even fewer have ever met him.

In fact, legend has it that when Steven Spielberg called to see if he wanted to make a movie, Bill wouldn’t even take the call.

So it was with little hope of success that I set out to try and meet him last April.

I was traveling through Cleveland on a book tour, and I knew that he lived somewhere in the area. I also knew that he was working with Washington Post cartoonist Nick Galifianakis on a book about Cul de Sac cartoonist Richard Thompson’s art.

So I took a shot and wrote to Nick. And Nick in turn wrote to Watterson.

And the meeting…

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More Value #1

Today I’m starting a series of special posts for people in the San Diego area who find their way to CoachZero.com. Maybe I commented on your blog and you found your way here or maybe you’ve seen one of my Giving You Value videos and decided to check out Coach Zero. However you got here I’m about to share with you a fun & free event at Liberty Station in the Point Loma area.

My wife and I were definitely going to go and then we remembered that we have something we promised to do on Saturday so we will not be there. I really wish we were going. We know a member of one of the bands, Boxcar Chief [ReverbNation], and here’s the new BoxCar Chief Instagram account.

On Saturday, June 7 from 9 am to 4 pm you’ll find a costume contest, live music, a beer and food garden, a kids’ zone and 32 teams competing in a Bocce tournament. It’s the 4th Annual “Bocce for Autism” Tournament & Family Festival and what a beautiful area to have it in. I’m pretty sure that Boxcar Chief [Facebook] takes the stage around 1 pm. If you get there at 11:45 you’ll have time to park and get something to eat and walk around. If I’m wrong and the band starts at noon you can still have time to park before they start. Just because WE can’t make it doesn’t mean you should miss it. This looks like a really fun time. Enjoy.

On another note, check out SuperBetter.com. I’ve been playing and I have to say, it’s a game that will help you keep things positive. I even ran into someone at church last week who is even more of a candidate for it than I am. Don’t underestimate it because you have what you consider to be a normal life. Jump right in and challenge yourself to some quests!

Finally, please follow me [ACrowdFunder] on Twitter!

If you comment on these posts you’ll help me create more value for you in the future. What would you like to see in More Value?

Watch for my next More Value post soon!