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Why You Self Sabotage, and How to Stop It



Today’s guest post come courtesy of personal trainer, strength & conditioning coach, wellness coach, and owner of more certifications than anyone on Earth, Paul Levitin.

I’ve crossed paths with Paul several times throughout the years. He’s attended a workshop or two of mine and most recently we connected again at the Raise the Bar Conference down in Orlando, FL a few weekends ago.

We got to talking on a bevy of topics while down there and he expressed some interest in writing a guest post for my site on self-sabotage.

Not a light topic by any stretch, but I think you’ll enjoy his writing style. I know I learned a few things!



Why You Self Sabotage, and How to Stop It

“…Hey you.

You, yeah I’m talking to you…

Why do you keep doing that?

That thing you do… where you say you’re gonna do something, but don’t? Where you talk yourself out of things, give up before you get a result, or commit to obligations you know you can’t fulfill? You keep getting in your own way! STOP IT!…”


That’s me, talking to myself in the mirror, after yet another in a long line of instances of not following through on my commitments, doing what I said I would to, or achieving my goals.

It doesn’t matter if we are talking about a diet, sticking to a workout program, building an online business, or literally anything else. 

Working out

When it comes to achieving goals, or rather NOT achieving them, it really boils down to one simple thing:

We get in our own way.


I say “we,” because this is an inherently human trait.

Since you are reading this, I can assume that you’re either a human, or an incredibly smart dog, monkey, or octopus, in which case, idk, maybe self-sabotage is a thing for you too. If my hunch is correct though, and you ARE a human, then the fact of the matter is, you have a tendency to self-sabotage (see, I’m doing it right now, talking about octopus in an article about self-sabotage!).


We can make all of the excuses in the world, from lack of time, to not knowing where to start, to a million things in between.


If we are honest though, those are all the same. Different versions of self-sabotage.

  • Who controls your time?
  • Who controls what media you consume?
  • Who controls everything about you? 

(That’s not a trick question)

It’s YOU.

Therefore, if you aren’t getting your shit handled, it’s your fault.

YES, there can be external factors. YES some people have kids and jobs and families and pandemics and global economic crises. BLAH BLAH, I get it.


Those things are real, but they still don’t negate the one truth, the truthiest truth, that the only things you have control over in this life are yourself, your actions, and how you spend your time (to an extent). 

It may seem abrasive when put so bluntly, but trust me, I am not being judgmental. That’s why I started all of this by telling you a little of my own personal internal dialogue. A wise person once said, “the best research is actually me-search,” and let’s just say I’ve done a shit load of ME-search on the topic of self-sabotage.

I am the one who most holds ME back, and chances are, you are the one holding yourself back.

People don’t like to hear it. However, when we do hear it, we inherently usually (if begrudgingly) tend to admit this to be true, because well, it’s true. You can’t really argue against it (RIP my inbox, I know the keyboard warriors are coming for me).

Spartan warrior in the woods

There’s a keyboard somewhere in the background. Look closely. See it?5


I’ve spent this much time hammering this point because it is imperative that we get past this right out of the gate if we are to move forward. 

Now that we are on the same page, let me lay out three key mindset shifts that you MUST adopt if you want to have a chance in the battle of self-sabotage.

The First Key Is Acceptance

Acceptance lies at the root of all positive change. Acceptance of what is.

If I want to lose weight, I have to first accept that I am at a weight that I am unhappy, or otherwise uncomfortable at. I must accept that my decisions around food and activity up until this point have gotten me here.


If I want to build a successful fitness blog, I have to accept certain realities as well. I have to accept that I need to practice writing. I have to accept that an established blog like the one you’re reading this on, has a huge readership and trust that I don’t have yet, and that my clicks will pale in comparison.

I need to accept what IS, and what IS NOT.

What is a FACT.

Because, on the flip side of acceptance, is blame. Blaming others, blaming algorithms, blaming genetics. 

John Maxwell has a great quote on leadership that goes “we don’t solve problems that we didn’t create.” If you can pass the blame, pass the buck, you will also find reasons not to find the solution. 


So if you want to stop self-sabotage, and get out of your own way, it starts with accepting the realities of your current situation.

The Second Key Is to Set Better Goals

A big reason I’ve found myself, and my clients self-sabotaging in the past, is because we tend to work towards goals that don’t really matter.

When I say “don’t matter,” what I mean is, they don’t have a deep internalized meaning.

Sure you want to lose weight. Who doesn’t? If I had a magic wand and said I’d wave off a couple kilos of fat for you, pretty much everyone on the planet would take that deal. 



But when you set a goal to lose weight, are you thinking about what it really means?

  • Why do you want to lose weight?
  • Is it truly for you?
  • Why 20lb, not 10, or 23?

Is it because you want it, or is it because society told you that you’re supposed to look a certain way?

When you have chest and arm day scheduled, but would rather sit and eat a bag of Cheetos, is that you being lazy, or do you have no real connection to the goal of having bigger pecs?

Who said that was the ideal physique?


(NOTE from TG: My wife would call this “should’ing on yourself.” I should look “x” way, I should follow this training split, I should watch Yellowjackets on Showtime. Stop should’ing on yourself.)

We understand that fitness is important, and movement and exercise are a conduit to that. But does that mean you have to bench press?

Maybe you’d be better served doing pilates twice a week, and dancing to Zumba with your kids during playtime?

Trying to force-feed yourself goals, because they are accepted as the “standard” seems smart on the surface. However, deep down, your subconscious mind is all “uh, fuck that noise. I don’t even want any of that result, so why would I put myself through the stress of doing the work?”

When there is no connection, you’ll find it very hard to stay motivated.


If instead you have goals that aren’t just arbitrary, and are actually built around you, and make you feel GOOD, and make you EXCITED to go out and do the work it will take to achieve them, then you’re setting yourself up for success.


The Third Key to Stop Self-Sabotage Dead in its Tracks, Is to Embrace Failure

The biggest, most pervasive form of self-sabotage, is undoubtedly perfectionism.

We want things to go well, we want everything to work out perfectly. We expect them to, and when they don’t, the little thought gremlins come in saying “well, no point now!” or “see, I knew we couldn’t do this!”



This is the dieter who lets one meal off plan turn into a day, which turns into a weekend, into a “i’ll start next month.”

It’s the lifter who has five workouts scheduled, and when a life event causes him or her to miss three, decides the other two aren’t worth doing.

Logically, it’s easy to see why this fallacy holds us back. However once again, this stuff is human nature. This isn’t me or you, it’s just how our brains work.


To combat this, we must lean into failure. You have to understand that not only is failure probable, it is GUARANTEED. There is no world, no universe or time lines in all of Dr Strange’s multi-verse, where you are not going to fail.

It is as certain as the sun rising each morning, or as me clicking “I’m still watching” on netflix. There is no other way around it.

You cannot be perfect. You cannot be perfect.






Once you accept that (hey, that’s key one, that’s a callback!), then you don’t have to be so afraid of failing anymore. You’ll be able to push yourself more, to try things that normally you might not (key 2), and most importantly, when you do fail, which you will, you won’t let it get you down, because you’ll remember that it’s all part of the process (key 3).

Get out of your own way, and there will be nothing else in the world that can stop you!

About the Author

Paul Levitin spent a decade as a personal trainer & strength and conditioning coach, becoming the number one trainer in his entire company, while collecting over 30 certificates (CES, CSCS, PRI, PN1, FRC, & many more).


Wanting to better serve his training clients, he began to study behavior change, and eventually became a Board Licensed Health & Wellness Coach (NBHWC). This led him to create his education and mindset coaching company “The Healthy Happy Human Academy,” where he now helps clients deal with things like self-sabotage and perfectionism, to allow them to build a healthy, happy life.

He seeks to bridge the gap between the worlds of fitness and nutrition, and the frustrated, overwhelmed masses who just want to move more, feel better, and live a little longer.

The Healthy Happy Human Podcast

The Healthy Happy Human Academy FREE Facebook Group



The post Why You Self Sabotage, and How to Stop It appeared first on Tony Gentilcore.

Motivational,psychology,motivation,Paul Levitin,personal growth,self-sabotage

weight loss

A Complete Arms Workout That Takes Just 7 Minutes



Looking to fire up your arms, but don't have a ton of time? This HIIT arms workout may be exactly what you're looking for. In less than seven minutes, this routine will target both the front and back of your upper arms—your biceps and triceps.

One time-honored exercise technique for getting a lot of work done in not a whole lot of time is through high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, ACE-certified personal trainer, Sivan Fagan, CPT, owner of Strong With Sivan, tells SELF. HIIT workouts also raise your heart rate quickly because of its programming: You'll be working more than resting. That means you'll also get in some cardio work.

But HIIT programming isn't only for cardio workouts; you can also use it for strength training, too. Take, for instance, this HIIT arms workout below, which was created by Fagan for SELF.

For any effective arms workout—like in this one—you'll want to include moves that target both the front of your arms (your biceps) and exercises that hit the back of your upper arms (your triceps). While traditional arms exercises tend to be isolation exercises (moves like the biceps curl and triceps extension, which work smaller muscles), there is also a benefit for including compound movements (like the Z press and row, which work bigger muscle groups) as well.

In this routine, you'll be using both kinds of exercises with a technique called “pre-exhaustion.” This means you'll first complete an isolation exercise (say, a biceps curl) and then follow it immediately with a compound exercise that hits the same areas as the isolation exercise (like a bent-over row). Following up an isolation move with a compound exercise is effective for really targeting those small muscles in your arms, since they're working hard in both exercises—but they have additional support in the compound move from bigger muscles so they don't tire out too quickly.

A couple quick notes before you get started. First, if you're a beginner and new to HIIT routines, it's super important to pay attention to your form—quality of reps is more important than quantity here.

“If something feels iffy, definitely don't continue the workout or the exercise,” says Fagan. Take the time to reset and rest if you need to, and when you're ready to start back up, slow down. When you're working by time, it can be tempting to try to crank out as many reps as you can in that period, but slowing down and doing fewer reps with better form is the better—and safer—choice. Plus, when you take the time to keep your form on target, you can really make sure you're targeting the right muscles. And that makes your workout more effective.

Secondly, you'll want to choose the weight of your dumbbells carefully with this one. Because HIIT routines are more intense—and that's especially the case in this routine, where you're working with that pre-exhaustion technique—you'll probably want to use lighter weights than you would if you were doing straight sets. For instance, maybe you can use 10-pound dumbbells when doing a set of 10 biceps curls before resting and doing it again. But if you're doing biceps curls for 40 seconds, and then following it right up with a row for 40 seconds, you'll likely have to go lighter to make it through all that time with proper form.


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Beginner Workouts

5 Tips from a Dietician to Get Started with Plant-Based Eating




Whether you’re looking to make the move to a vegetarian or vegan diet, or just looking to add more plant-based foods into your diet that also may include animal-based proteins – we can all benefit from eating more plants. We get vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients from plant-based foods and research shows diets rich in these foods improves cardiovascular health, supports a healthy functioning immune system and good gut health, better controls blood sugar levels, and improves brain health!


With all these great health benefits, let’s talk through some simple tips for incorporating more plant-based eating into your diet:


Start small


If you’re new to plant-based eating, you’ve probably got some new habits to master. You’ll be modifying the way you grocery shop, plan, and cook and developing new habits and skills takes time. Rather than completely changing your diet all at once, set some small goals that will help you build toward your end goal.


For instance, you could have a Meatless Monday and eat all plant-based for one day of the week to start, or even just pick 1 meal to swap for now. Starting small will allow you to navigate your new habits and adjust as needed as you work to scale up.



Replace meat with a plant-based protein in a meal you already make


Rather than starting from scratch with new recipes, adopt meals you’ve already mastered to a plant-based version. For instance, instead of a beef hamburger or beef chili make a bean hamburger or bean based chili. Instead of an egg scramble, make a tofu scramble.


Plant-based proteins include lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, soy, tofu, tempeh, edamame, quinoa, nutritional yeast, and spirulina. Keep in mind there will be nutritional differences between an animal protein source and a plant-based protein source and you may need more of the plant-based protein in order to meet your protein needs.


Add more plants to your current meals


Along the same lines, instead of swapping the protein source, you can simply add more plants to your current meals alongside animal-based proteins. Add extra veggies to your pasta sauce, to scrambled eggs, on a sandwich, in a smoothie, soup, or in a casserole, on a pizza, in stir-fry, or in tacos.


Pre-prep plant-based snacks


Including more plants in your diet can be accomplished in a number of ways throughout the day. Make eating more plant-based easier by pre-cutting fruits and veggies that you can eat as a snack. Pre-cut bell peppers, cucumbers, mango, and pineapple. Dip veggie slices in hummus or a cashew-based dip.



Order a plant-based meal at a restaurant


Eating more plant-based doesn’t always have to mean cooking at home. Try a vegetarian or vegan restaurant or order a plant-based meal off the menu. Check out ethnic restaurants – many Indian dishes are plant-based. Thai, Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean restaurants typically have plant-based dishes as well.




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How 3 Moms Use Life Time



Motherhood can be a challenging world: From work demands and kids’ schedules to household chores and other obligations, there’s a lot to juggle. However, some of the most critical items on that agenda include mom’s efforts to maintain her own health and wellness.

Physical activity, healthy eating, and stress management can often fall by the wayside amid the daily to-dos, but prioritizing them is not only essential for mom to stay healthy, happy, and strong, but it’s also a great opportunity to show kiddos the importance of cultivating healthy habits — while including them in your activities.

Get inspiration from these moms who use our spaces and offerings to support their family’s healthy way of life.

Kellie McLarney

Member at Life Time in Mount Laurel, N.J.

What is your favorite thing to do at Life Time?

Honestly, my favorite thing about being at Life Time is the community. It’s like my home; I feel so comfortable there. I love walking in and being greeted by Janelle at the front desk, then taking a yoga class taught by Jaime Marrero. We also really appreciate the Kids Academy team — they’re so great with children, and our kids truly enjoy all the staff there.

How do you and your family spend time together at Life Time?

My family enjoys going to the indoor pool to play and relax together. It’s always so warm, it feels almost as if we’re at a resort on vacation.


Do you have a Life Time “hack” you could share?

These days, it’s using a silicone insert inside my face mask. I don’t even feel it’s there during class!

What’s your go-to Life Time offering?

For sure the yoga classes. That’s when I get my me-time. My favorite is the FLOW format — I leave feeling refreshed and, of course, extra sweaty.

What does your ideal Mother’s Day look like this year?

We’re looking forward to spending the day together as a family at the Jersey Shore.

Idell Brown

Member at Life Time in Florham Park, N.J.

What is your favorite thing to do at Life Time?


My favorite way to work out at Life Time is in the small-group training classes or with a personal trainer. I thrive on working out in a group setting — a little competition never hurt anyone!

How do you and your family spend time together at Life Time?

Family time for us is typically spent at the pool. Lately, after my youngest son finishes his swim class, we’ll have lunch before enjoying family swim for about an hour. I’m sure when the outdoor pool opens for the season that will end up becoming a full day at the pool!

Do you have a Life Time “hack” you could share?

As a full-time working mom of two boys with a husband who works six days a week, the Kids Academy is a genuine lifesaver. I typically take both boys to Kids Academy while I go to my Saturday morning Zumba class, which falls perfectly before naptime. After my class, we have a “picnic style” lunch in the back seats of our car with the trunk open, which the boys love doing now that the weather is getting warmer. On the drive back, both boys fall fast asleep.

What’s your go-to Life Time offering?

The Alpha and GTX classes. Both are an amazing way to work out with others, develop perfect form, and build strength and endurance.

What does your ideal Mother’s Day look like this year?

Mother’s Day for me will be sleeping in until 9 or 10 a.m. (my boys are up by 6:30 a.m.!) then having a spa day before meeting up with my family for an earlier dinner. I’m a firm believer in self-care.

Melissa Moore

Member at Life Time in Peoria, Ariz.

Melissa Moore with her husband and daughter.

What is your favorite thing to do at Life Time?

I love taking the barre and yoga group fitness classes, particularly the SURRENDER format for yoga. The instructors are professional, motivating, and always have great high energy.

How do you and your family spend time together at Life Time?

Most days we drop our daughter, Zoe, off at the Kids Academy. While she’s there, I like to take a barre class and then sit in the whirlpool. On Sundays, we all swim together in either the indoor or outdoor pools.

Do you have a Life Time “hack” you could share?

Always sign up for a class even if it looks full and you get added to the waitlist. Nine times out of 10, I end up making it into the class because of cancellations or no-shows.

What’s your go-to Life Time offering?

The barre and yoga group fitness classes. I love the barre classes in particular because I can get in a great full-body workout in just an hour. I also enjoy getting a massage at the LifeSpa.

What does your ideal Mother’s Day look like this year?


A day of relaxation at the spa — totally unplugged!

The post How 3 Moms Use Life Time appeared first on Experience Life.

Have you tried this NEW workout plan that everyone is talking about?

Try Bikini Body Workouts

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