On my life – long journey to discover and realize ultimate wellness, I have been guided by the following principles. They are my five rules to live a happy, balanced and rich life. Don’t short – change yourself. The success of my 555 Ultimate Family Wellness Plan, and all of my other programs is not premised on just a quick – fix weight loss diet plan, it is a wellness/lifestyle guide. The following rules will help to galvanize your mind and spirit from the inside out, as the exercise and nutrition components of any exercise plan strengthen you from the outside in. Embrace the following concepts, and you’ll learn how to: Live in the moment; be accountable; learn how to avoid, or at least deal with stressful situations; believe in yourself; and, incorporate healthy living – eating and exercise into your daily routine

Live in the moment – We all know people stuck in the past, or planning in and for the future. I’ll often sit with friends and clients, stalled with their wellness programs, mired in the past. To live a healthy, balanced and productive life, you need to live in the present and say to yourself “today is the first day of the rest of my life!” The saying isn’t “tomorrow is the first day …” I like to look at the past as a series of ‘teaching moments’ that help guide us to where we are and should be in our lives. Carrying the past around like a ‘ball and chain’, serves no one, least of all, you!

Be accountable – it seems like a simple concept; that often eludes us. How many times do we say to ourselves “if only he didn’t stress me out so much, I wouldn’t have eaten the pint of ice cream”; or, “I would’ve worked out, but the kids had a rough night and kept me up”. Look, I’ve been there – as a single father of eight – year old girls, I have had my share of sleepless, and /or restless nights stressful, shortened work days; and too little time for a proper workout. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, I often get pulled in so many directions that finding “me time,” seems an impossible task. I don’t always have the answer; nor do I always do the right thing; but I refuse to be a passive victim. I own and try to learn from my mistakes. As a parent, we raise our children to be accountable, tell the truth, and when wrong, “own it”, and apologize. As a parent, I like to show by example and hold myself up to an even stricter standard. There definitely are times when I say to Emilia and Francesca, “daddy was wrong for saying or doing…. and he’s sorry!” You’ll find that accountability is ultimately empowering as it will give you a higher sense of self, which will help enable you to stay the course on your health and wellness program.

Believe in yourself – “Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” Christian D. Larson. I am raising Emilia and Francesca with these invaluable principles. I take great pride and pleasure listening to my daughters speak Mandarin to each other, ski, play tennis, chess, piano, and handle difficult situations with grace, poise and confidence. They are far from perfect in all of the things they do, but they try to do their best, and in so doing, embrace the power of possibility. We can accomplish anything we set our minds and hearts to do. I try to instill that same level of confidence in my clients in our initial consultations and throughout. Successfully completing any training program will instill a renewed self – confidence and belief in your abilities. “We are who we believe we are.” C.S. Lewis

Stress has been the undoing of many diets and exercise plans. To be fully transparent, being a single father of twin girls, though immensely rewarding, can be incredibly stressful at times. I’d like to share with you some of my stress – busting tips:

1. The power of five – deep breaths will help diffuse the most stressful moment. Trust me, I have those days when the “stars are not aligned” in my house and at work! It took me a while to learn how to deal with really stressful situations, and realize the power of breathing. Allowing that moment to collect and connect with yourself will help you immeasurably. I found a quote that I really love and want to share with you. If you know the art of breathing you have the strength, wisdom, and courage of ten tigers. – Chinese adage

2. Visualization – find that ‘happy place’! When something is stressing you, try to remove yourself – mentally and/or physically. Whether it’s the tender moment you had with your partner, child or friend; a special place you visited and loved; or something extraordinary you did, call upon those moments when you need a mental or spiritual lift.

3. Exercise – there have been times, too numerous to recall, when a simple set of pushups has helped me connect to my inner self, calm and ground me. I learned this from my father, as he would often descend to his ‘inner sanctum’ – his makeshift gym in my childhood home at the end of a long workday, or after a stressful moment in the house. To this day, he’s drawn to the healing properties of exercise. I, too, like my father find strength, solace and healing in movement. Exercise has been the prescription for much that ails me. It empowers me! Remember, pushups aren’t for everyone. Don’t underestimate the power of walking and moving your body. I watch the effect it has on Emilia and Francesca when after a long day of school, we ride our bikes, go swimming, play tennis, or just play tag at the playground. We can all learn from our children’s boundless energy. Movement is good and healthy!

The final rule to live by, Connecting Mind and Body, applies to the exercise we do, and the foods we eat. Being mindful of how and what we eat, and whether and what we do for exercise, will help guide and enlighten us on the path to total wellness. What goes on inside your head is just as important as the food you eat and the exercises you complete. To maintain the results you get with this or any program, you must make a deep internal change that will flip your motivation switch, helping you stay on your wellness program for the rest of your life. That change will involve, among other things, sound thinking.

For example, do your emotions affect your eating? Do you eat when you are angry, sad, frustrated or stressed? Or do you get so stressed at work that you have no energy to workout after work? Are you sometimes so depressed that you can’t motivate yourself to get off of the couch? If you don’t address the reason you eat the way you do or the way you live your life, you won’t be able to maintain your results well past this intense five 5 – day program, or any other training program you do.

The 5-5-5 program and all my training programs are physically and mentally challenging. To be successful, you will need inner strength – that ‘can do’ attitude. It’s the belief that you can do anything you set your mind to. Simply put, what you believe influences what you will accomplish. Here are some helpful tips:

· Stay in touch with you – keep a journal of your thoughts, feelings and physical accomplishments;

· Find your motivation – define the reason(s) you are doing this program. This will help keep you on track;

· Make exercise a daily ritual – like washing your face and brushing your teeth, exercise must be added to your daily to – do list;

· I will eat to live and not live to eat! Fuel to move and function and not to mindlessly indulge. Start to look at food as fuel for your body and stick to premium unprocessed foods. Listen to your belly – as I’ve taught Emilia and Francesca. Ask yourself “am I really hungry? Is this what I should really be eating?

· Be comfortable with failure – don’t let the fear of failing prevent you from attaining your goals;

· Accept that you can and will be the best you can be. Stay in the positive – embrace your demons, and tackle them ‘head on’ – FEAR IS NOT AN OPTION!!!

· Redesign your life for success – your home, kitchen, pantry, family and supportive friends.

Getting a handle on your inner world can help create more energy for your wellness program.

I remember a blog I wrote for the Huffington Post in July 2014, titled The Time is Now – It seems a simple enough phrase. All too often, I hear people living in the past or in the future. So much of our lives are uncertain. We’re born with the power to manifest greatness, yet somewhere along the way, we get sidetracked. Why do some people succeed, while others futilely see success slip past them? As a fitness and wellness expert for over a quarter of a century, I have helped many men and women realize their wellness goals. That’s not to say I haven’t had my share of clients that try as I might and sweat as they should, failed to realize or maintain their wellness goals. The difference between success and failure is often so slight, yet success, ostensibly so unattainable.

Before one embarks on a fitness/wellness regime, you need a plan of action. You need the following:
• A set of realistic goals
• A timeline
• A fitness and nutrition program that will suit your lifestyle
• Motivation and behavior modification

The first three points are quite obvious and on the surface, easy to identify. The last step, motivation and behavior modification are often difficult to harness and overcome. Failure to recognize and implement all four steps above will sabotage the surest wellness plan. There’s a kind of symbiosis between motivation and behavior – when both are in sync, they make “beautiful music” together. However, behavioral aspects of your personality are often mired in the past — self-doubt, self-loathing, and self-worth. “I can’t work out,” “It’s too difficult to eat healthy food,” “I’ll never look like ______? Turn the negative into positive affirmations: “I will try my best to move my body every day,” “I will be mindful of the things I eat and drink,” and “I will strive to love my best self.”

Many people live most of their lives as if they were robots, going through the motions at work and in their relationships. They feel little inner passion. It’s not that the passion isn’t there; they are just not tapping it. If only they tapped their passion, their lives would become so much more fulfilling.

People often fear passion. It is misunderstood and sometimes applied in the wrong way toward the wrong things. But the clearer your path and the stronger your passion, the greater your chances of success.

Inner passion makes life much more clear, easy and meaningful. When you live your passion, everything falls into place, and it opens up energy for you to pursue your wellness goals of eating healthy and exercising. We all have to find our passion, strive for the best and most importantly, and live a fulfilled life that exudes goodness and spirituality. We are all born with amazing possibilities and potential.

I have suffered through a lot of adversity in my life. Once I realized the precious nature of time, I also decided that my life was too short to waste on negativity. True, every once in a while I have a bad day and feel down because of it. But rarely do I ever allow myself to stay down for long. It’s a waste of time, and I’m in better health because of it. I am also blessed with the two most amazing daughters — my little angels — and just a smile and hug from Emilia and Francesca is enough to lift me out of the darkest place.

Negative emotions — anger, jealousy, depression, frustration, worry, anxiety, you name it — all drain your energy, and they all put you at a higher risk for disease. Some things are worth feeling sad about, but many are not. You need to find a way to get your inner peace in order.

So how do you change your emotions? The surest path to change is – slow down; notice them; and take corrective action. The Chinese have a phrase, pu shih, which means you accept what comes in life, whether you perceive it to be positive or negative. You create negative emotions when you fight this acceptance. Once you embrace this philosophy, as I have, you will see that anything is possible. All you need to do when you meet a barrier — any barrier — is examine it, break it down, and deal with it one step at a time. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirsch/the-time-is-now_b_5606499.html.