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  #1  
Old 01-02-2015, 12:41 PM
Craig Ballantyne's Avatar
Craig Ballantyne Craig Ballantyne is offline
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Default Craig's "Streaking" Transformation

I'm going to use my simple little “streaking trick” as the theme for this Transformation Contest. Here's the premise:

Using small steps & little bets leads to BIG victories. A researcher from Stanford University, BJ Fogg, calls these, “Tiny-Habits”. He believes you can make big transformations if you start with tiny changes. It’s all about getting started & sticking to it => what I call, “getting on a streak”. Once you get on a good-habit streak, you won’t want to break it.


Here’s what you must do to start the Good Habit Streak:


I want you to start a streak that will last a long, long time. Pick the simplest healthy habit that you can choose, and resolve to do it every day in 2015. Maybe it’s having a daily Green Tea or eating 20 grams of protein for breakfast. Or maybe it’s committing to doing at least 1-minute of bodyweight exercise for the entire year.


By starting a streak, you are constantly reminded that, “Hey, if I’m on this Good Habit streak, I might as well as eat right and sleep well, too…and get in 3 fat burning workouts per week…and have my morning shake, etc.”


If you get on a Good Habit Streak, your momentum will build and you’ll make more and more of the Right Decisions each day, allowing you to make incredible progress in 2015…


[UPDATED]

My 5 BIG "Streaking" resolutions are:

1) To write 3000 words per day.

This has been excellent (I started on the 26th). Yet here's the cool thing. I have FAILED every day. First day was only 1600, then it was 2000, then 2200, etc. Up until today (when I will finally hit it for the first time), my best day was 2,850 on New Year's Eve.

Yet simply setting this goal has pushed me to write a LOT more, and a lot sooner each morning, then I had been doing in the past.

The concept alone has been a breakthrough for one of my important projects. And it's helped me get a couple of lingering ETR essays out of the 'half done' folder.

2) No Post Dinner Binge Eating

Like many TT members, and even a few TT Trainers, and my good friend Bedros, I get into binge-eating mode about once every 6 weeks. Once I start eating, I can't stop. It happened again on New Year's Eve and left me really uncomfortable for almost 20 hours. I'm sick of it. So I'm going on a streak and I'm not going to be beat by it.

Having you as accountability will be most helpful!

3) 1 Drink Maximum

This is connected to the binging. The binges only happen if I've had 3 or more drinks. That's why most of my binges have come on BioTrust bars in hotel rooms after drinking with Bedros, Matt, or Joel on one of my many business trips. (That's also why I've quit packing the bars!).

My plan is to have only one drink per night out.

Why even have one?

Because I enjoy my cocktail hours. I like my Black Russians. I like the feeling of taking the edge off. And I've found in the past that going to the Extreme and denying yourself everything can often backfire.

4) No Outbursts or Snarkiness

When I get asked a question I don't want to answer, I am prone to snarkiness. When I get frustrated, I am prone to outbursts (whining, raising my voices). Neither are out-of-control, but these are not the behaviors of a British Gentleman (of which I aspire to be).

I will improve these. I was snarky on January 2nd. So the streak starts today (Jan 3rd).

Time to speak and answer with a smile at all times!

5) Healthy Gut Days

Decisions such as avoiding wheat, all grains (thus gluten), and even dairy are easy for me now. I know the first two are important for me, and I'm experimenting with dairy. In addition, avoiding excess caffeine, alcohol, 'fake ingredients', artificial sweeteners, and the wrong cooking oils will make for Healthy Gut Days (i.e. eating almonds roasted in oil cancels out a healthy gut day). These days are easy to achieve at home, but with all the travel I do, and the temptations of being in other people's pantries, I will remember my accountability to you to power me through.

***
Those are the 5 streaks I'm focusing on for the next 12 weeks.

I don't need help sticking with workouts. I simply won't miss one, it goes without saying.

I don't need help eating greens/vegetables each day. That also goes without saying.

And my meditation streak, starting nearly two years ago (on January 29th, 2013) is not at risk either.

But those might be three ideas for your streaking goals in this transformation.

I hope that helps.

Start your streaks today,

Craig
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Old 01-03-2015, 01:44 PM
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January 2nd - Great day.

1) 3000 words per day - 3100

For an ETR project, I've been writing a lot of profiles on famous American historical figures, particularly Presidents. It's amazing what you can find out online about their daily routines.

2) No Post Dinner Binge Eating

We had New Year's Eve leftovers, and despite not having eaten a lot over the day (due to travel, meetings, and writing deadlines), I didn't have the urge to overeat. However...

3) 1 Drink Maximum

Thanks to YOU and the accountability you are offering, I stuck to one. I was very tempted to go back for another. And that might have messed up goal 2, above. So thanks!

4) No Outbursts or Snarkiness

Got a little snarky when Joel asked me a silly question (it wasn't HIS question, it was someone asking Joel to ask me a question). I didn't handle the question well. I'll do better next time.

Time to speak and answer with a smile at all times!

5) Healthy Gut Days

Very healthy gut day...I've made good progress with my digestive issues in the last few months, but haven't figured out everything. Eating so much on New Year's Eve was a set-back, but 2015 has been great so far.

Most people don't think about the damage that their food and drink choices due to the lining of their stomach and intestines. After all, "out of sight is out of mind". You can't monitor what is going on, but if you eat junk food, if you overeat (excessively), if you pour 6-12 beers down there every day (like my father did), then chances are you will have significant health issues.

Keep your insides healthy. Make the right choices for your happy, healthy gut today. And always take a good probiotic, too.

Alright, good start. Today's been good so far, and tonight we go out for dinner, but I'm prepared for what's on the menu (it's a good steakhouse).

Tomorrow I drive to Miami,

Craig
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:56 AM
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Sunday's Update

On Sunday I moved the South Florida party from the West Coast over to Miami. I woke up early and did some writing in the office at Joel Marion's house where I was staying. Joel was still up, and he remained hard at work on some important BioTrust issues until 7am. He's a machine.

The night before we went out to dinner at a nearby steakhouse, where I had a healthy gut friendly meal of steak, a baked potato, and steamed spinach. I met my writing goal again, and overcame an outburst opportunity at dinner where a couple of us got confused within a conversation. Fortunately I stayed patient. Three years ago I would surely have said something snarky. Overall it was a good dinner, and I love spending time with Joel, his wife, and his in-laws.

After my Sunday morning writing and a good Meathead upper body workout, I drove my little red Nissan Altima rental car over 300 miles to Miami, arriving right at Sunday noon hour hotel checkout rush hour. Ooops, didn't plan for that. Fortunately the highways were empty, and I made great time on the road.

I had a meatless Sunday, sticking to fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, coconut oil, and coconut butter. It was more of a snacking day than a sit-down meal day, and I finished eating at 4pm. I wanted to get to sleep early and while I failed last night, I try to have at least 3 hours between dinner and bedtime (to help avoid heartburn). I have a lot of restaurant eating planned this week, so it was good to have a day off from long, late meals full of nutritional hazards and temptations. And it was a zero drink day, as well.

My streaks are going well, and I've hit my writing quota again thanks to another interesting American Success Story profile and some ETR updates. I'm cranking out the content as fast as ever, and can do about 500 words in 15 minutes. It's not polished and needs editing, but right now I'll all about volume.

Keep your streaks going today,

Craig

PS - Whatever...

Whatever is in your way, you're stronger than it, you're tougher than it, and you're better than it. You're going to beat it. You can't have a physical transformation without a mental transformation…the same habits that drive success in fitness work for making all areas of your life better…time management, discipline, goal setting, social support, etc. It's never a bad time to start a physical transformation, to set goals, or to hang around positive people. Never, EVER give up on what is important to you.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:19 AM
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Not the worst view I've ever had from a hotel room...although I had to change my rooms because the music was too loud for this grumpy ol' man ... next a picture of the Moon just beginning to rise over Miami...and then this morning's Miami Meditation image. Great to look at when my 25 minute meditation session was over. Followed that with a run through of some of the NEW Home Workout Revolution 2.0 workouts that I'm filming later this month in Denver, including this one:

Bonus Workout 4 – 4-Minute Arms & Abs Blast
1) Plank-to-Triceps Extension – 30 seconds
2) Squat Curls – 30 seconds
3) 90% Pushup Rocking Plank – 30 seconds
4) Squat Thrust – 30 seconds
- Go through the circuit two times with no rest between exercises or at the end of the circuit.

























Monday, Jan 5th

1) 3000 words per day - On pace

This morning I wrote about George Washington and Ben Franklin, and then completed all of the workouts for HWR 2.0. I'm halfway to 3000.

2) No Post Dinner Binge Eating

I'm going to eat really early again today so that I can have another amazing morning on Tuesday. It's tough to sacrifice now, but I'll be out every night from Wednesday through Saturday and not finishing dinner until 9pm.

3) 1 Drink Maximum

No cocktail hour today.

4) No Outbursts or Snarkiness

This will be easy because I'm writing all day.

5) Healthy Gut Days

No caffeine and no diet soda today. It's always tough to get through the early morning...I like to justify a caffeine hit saying that it's needed for my workout, but it's not (always). Today I fought through.

Great start,

Craig
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Old 01-07-2015, 02:41 PM
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Ha, handsome devil and great advice...from the January issue of Women's Health magazine. On the same page as Al Roker!










Ha, handsome devil and great advice...from the January issue of Women's Health magazine. On the same page as Al Roker!






Wednesday, January 7th Streaking update

1) 3000 words per day - On pace

Hit 3000 yesterday and am at 2250 so far...this one will be close. Very busy afternoon schedule.

2) No Post Dinner Binge Eating

Great early dinner at Wolfgang's steakhouse last night: Sea bass, giant baked potato (almost as big as the football-sized sweet potatoes at Brian Kalakay's favorite restaurant in Lapeer), and steamed spinach. Poured liberal olive oil over everything and had one black russian with chopin vodka.

Perfect formula.

Plus, great conversation with Bobby the Bartender, a former New Yorker transplanted to Miami to open up this location. Wolfgang's is a legendary institution in NYC.

3) 1 Drink Maximum

Tonight I'll have one with dinner as Bedros and I are having a steak night.

4) No Outbursts or Snarkiness

Got a little impatient with Bedros during a conversation in which we were both confused and talking about different things...it was just a misunderstanding, but I could have done better.

5) Healthy Gut Days

I had cacao nibs this morning. These are from a bean, and beans might not be the greatest for the digestive system because "cacao, like all seeds, contains phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that interfere with the digestion process and inhibit the absorption of nutrients. That’s why it is recommended that seeds be soaked or fermented prior to consumption. This deactivates the enzyme inhibitors and lessens the phytic acid."
Cacao, like all seeds, contains phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that interfere with the digestion process and inhibit the absorption of nutrients. That’s why it is recommended that seeds be soaked or fermented prior to consumption. This deactivates the enzyme inhibitors and lessens the phytic acid. - See more at: http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/07/...O3afm.dpufacao, like all seeds, contains phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that interfere with the digestion process and inhibit the absorption of nutrients. That’s why it is recommended that seeds be soaked or fermented prior to consumption. This deactivates the enzyme inhibitors and lessens the phytic acid.


Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Never stop. Always keep moving ahead. There is no failure – only results. Take the lessons you learn, no matter how painful they might be, and apply them to better habits and brighter days. Leave the dark days and deep dips behind. Things will get better when you keep moving ahead. You can achieve your big dreams and goals. Prepare your plan. Lean on your social support. Hold yourself accountable to a positive person. Pick out a prize for when you reach your success. And set a hard deadline that motivates you to action every day. Never give up. Never stop. Never quit. This is your time. You can change. It starts now. Let's go!

Push on,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Really want to scare yourself about cacao?

Read this:
- http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/is-...eally-healthy/
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:27 AM
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Today's workout brought me back to LA Fitness. Time for some Meathead Upper Body pressing and pulls. I was well fueled after the last couple of days (see below) and despite a bit of tightness in my right pec, I had a great workout.

Lots of WYLIT, pushups, band pulls, etc to warm-up.

1A) Bench Press
1B) Bodyweight Row

2A) Military Press
2B) Wacky Hammer Strength Low Row in honor of Jay Ferruggia

(Jay and I always try to find the weirdest rowing machine when we visit commercial gyms.)

3A) Triceps Extension
3B) Shrug

Wednesday evening I dealt myself setbacks on my streaks. I went out for dinner and ate way too much. I knew it, too, but at least it was at dinner and not a post-dinner binge. Heck, we ate and ordered so much food that our server tried cutting us off! I ate so much I wasn't hungry all day on Thursday.

My mistake stemmed from too many drinks. I got caught up in a celebratory mood with Bedros. We had a great day of coaching high-energy entrepreneurs and we were catching up on the good times of the holidays and celebrating the New Year. Ironically we even talked about my resolutions while we sat there destroying them. Geez Louise, I can royally mess up. But I'm looking back on it and laughing.

Last night, after a day long fast and a late afternoon session of intervals and burpees, and a much needed hour long nap, we went to Prime 112 for dinner. I was certainly full after dinner, as that place brings mountains of food, and we ate a lot of shellfish (oysters, stone crab claws, shrimp, and crab legs). I had plain grilled sea bass, a baked potato, spinach, sweet potatoes, and some collard greens. That was clearly more than enough. I enjoyed watching my friends, the Hadsalls, Joel, Bedros, Rick, and Westy eat the crazy desserts that were brought our way (fried oreos, fried cupcakes, etc.). Those are way off my diet plan.








Dinner with the gang (Bedros, Shaun & Karen Hadsall, Rick Kaselj, Ryan Colby, Mike Westerdal, and Mr. Miami, Joel Marion). I'm busted with my mouth full of crab. Sorry! Great meal at Prime 112 of oysters, shrimp, crab, tuna, stone crab claws, sea bass, baked potato, and spinach. Amazing times!





On the bright side, I went for another swim yesterday and today. That's 10 days in a row. That streak will probably end on Tuesday morning in Denver, as I don't think that my hotel has a pool.

Friday, January 9th Streaking Update

1) 3000 words per day - On pace

Will hit 3000 due to an early morning wake-up session.

2) No Post Dinner Binge Eating

The good thing about eating too much the other night is that there is no temptation to overeat for several days. Always look on the bright side of your mistakes. Learn your lessons, move on, and remember that each second ticking away on the clock takes you further away from your mistakes of the past. You can't change them, but you can leave them behind. Don't dwell on the past. Focus on the future.

3) 1 Drink Maximum

Last night was one, and tonight will be none. We have a big group work dinner and during big events like this (there will be 50 people there), I don't drink at all...only when it's small groups of friends in non-formal work situations. And then I'll end the weekend by returning to the 1-D max on Saturday night, plus no drinks on Sunday. So time to get serious about this because this is the foundation of success. I've been silly this week, lessons learned, memories made, experiences had, focusing on the positive of my mistakes. Ha.

4) No Outbursts or Snarkiness

Really great day yesterday. We coached 20 people and despite being tired, I was well prepared to overcome the temptation of outbursts. I did well here. Focusing on the positives!

5) Healthy Gut Days

Everything has been working fine, although eating so much food (even though it was all read food and not junk) is not the best way to treat the gut. But I haven't missed any of my supplement regiment and again, everything is working well and not causing me distress. Focus on real, healthy food, and just cut back on going overboard. That's my motto to get back on track.

So overall there was a setback. However, it was small. Minor damage that can be dealt with. Just a blip on the radar.

And so I'll leave you with a few mindset tips on how I deal with these mistakes, and hope you make the same attitude adjustment when you make a mistake and have to correct course.
Cacao, like all seeds, contains phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that interfere with the digestion process and inhibit the absorption of nutrients. That's why it is recommended that seeds be soaked or fermented prior to consumption. This deactivates the enzyme inhibitors and lessens the phytic acid. - See more at: http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/07/...O3afm.dpufacao, like all seeds, contains phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that interfere with the digestion process and inhibit the absorption of nutrients. That's why it is recommended that seeds be soaked or fermented prior to consumption. This deactivates the enzyme inhibitors and lessens the phytic acid.


Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
It’s always darkest before the dawn. There will be days when you struggle. We all make mistakes…but successful shake them off, rebound rapidly, and get back on track. We forgive ourselves and focus on what matters – learning from those mistakes. It’s okay. Mistakes happen. We aren’t perfect. We might fall back to bad behaviors, but the key is catching yourself, pulling yourself out of a negative spiral, getting support and accountability to jump back on the track to success, to start making the right decisions again, to smile and laugh about the minor mistakes we’ve made, and to learn lessons that help us avoid the errors of our ways in the future. I know. I mess up all the time. And that’s why I know that mistakes are minor damage that can be dealt with. Stay positive. Move ahead. Don’t regret what you can’t change. Everyone goes through days like this. But not quitting is what separates success from failure. So stay strong and never give up on what is important to you. You can do it. I believe in you. Let’s go!

Push on,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Never give up on getting better.

Stay STRONG and true to yourself today, no matter what happens, no matter what anyone else says, no matter how they act. Everything ends at some point. Good times AND bad. So persevere through the hard times knowing they will be over and you will get through them, and be present and enjoy the good times with as much gratitude as possible. Control what you can (your behaviors and thoughts), cope with what you can't (the behaviors of others), command your morning, conquer the chaos, and concentrate on what counts. Never give up on what really matters to YOU.
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:07 AM
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Craig Ballantyne Craig Ballantyne is offline
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My Florida Morning Swim in the Pool streak ended today. It was just too cold for a swim as downtown Miami is cool, damp, and overcast this morning. Hopefully the sun peaks out later. Yesterday shocked my body too much when I jumped in for my two laps, and so we say goodbye to 10 straight days of 5 minute swims.

The big Miami Mastermind also ends today. Many lessons learned. Great time with Shaun Hadsall and Joel Marion, our guests. Last night we had a huge group dinner of over 50 people and we treated them all to steaks and fish - and chocolate desserts! - at The Capital Grille. I had more sea bass, another baked potato, spinach, and brussel sprouts (with bacon). No drinks and no binges. Just healthy eating yesterday.

Today a light bodyweight circuit for me:
Prisoner Squat - 50
Jumping Jacks - 50
Rocking Plank - 50
TBX - 50
Mountain Climber - 15/side
Bulgarian Split Squat - 10/side
Couple of rounds.

Tomorrow I deadlift at LA Fitness. It will go like this:

1A) Rack Pull
1B) Box Jump or Long Jump

2A) RDL
2B) Overhead Lunge

3A) Hang Clean
3B) An Ab Exercise

Finished with some type of challenge...could be deadlifts or a sprint or something else. I always do a challenge on Sunday morning when I have extra time to train.

Then I'll relax for the day in Miami, followed by a trip to Denver for next week. That's where we'll be filming a new 25-day follow-along video program - finally! We have some unique twists in this one.

Now off to breakfast with Joel before he heads home.

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Success comes from personal responsibility. Freedom from Structure. Health from Habit. Victory from Discipline. Results from Routine. These will work for you. Work hard. Add value. Connect with others. Opportunity exists. Keep on pushing to go after it.

Streak on,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - After breakfast will be more of this:

Masterminding in Miami








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Old 01-10-2015, 03:56 PM
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Hey CB,

I just wanted to say that your streaking thread has been very inspirational and has impacted my life.

One of my big things has been to spend more time with Brittney, Ponce and Reese. I always tend to put work before them...and that's not how it should be.

Early this morning I was going through my regular routine of reading, working, and going over my goals. Brittney woke up earlier than usual and came into the living room where I was working. She wanted attention, the dogs wanted attention, and I started to get agitated as I was in “my zone”.

Instead of getting really frustrated (like I usually do) I decided to put everything down and play with the dogs and Britt. It turned out to be an amazing 15 minutes of fun with the family. I realized that work will always be there, but having those moments in life with family is priceless and not guaranteed tomorrow. It’s one of my goals to put family first in 2015, and this was a big step forward. Nothing comes before family!

Thanks for all the encouragement and leading by example, Craig!
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:09 AM
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Monday, Jan 12th Streaking Update

Travel day today so not too much exciting.

1) 3000 words per day

Hit this today and yesterday did closer to 4000. Still trying to make up for a slow Thursday and Saturday.

2) No Post Dinner Binge Eating

Back on track with this. Good for 4 days straight. Going to make it 74 straight to finish the contest.

3) 1 Drink Maximum

Had two on Saturday to celebrate the end of the weekend with Bedros...so I'm just starting Day 2 of this new streak.

4) No Outbursts or Snarkiness

This has been one of my best results. All good all week.

5) Healthy Gut Days

Everything is working great.

I learned a lot in Miami. Time to go to Denver and not make the same mistakes. I'm really dialed in now and can see the light at the end of the tunnel for a few big projects (thanks to the 3000 word output).

c.
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:19 PM
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It's been a very good two days for the streaks. Yesterday, after a slight delay, I had a pleasant flight from Miami to Denver. My seatmate was great, a cross between Larry David and Dan Kennedy.

When the plane landed, the flight attendants asked everyone without a connection to stay seated while those pressed for time got off first.

I have never witnessed such a civil and fast deplaning. Everyone was polite and quickity-quick. It was nice to watch. Then I got off the plane and promptly outwalked all of them to the exit. Turbulent Deplaning!

I was also in a good mood because of the amazing comments we've been receiving on our TT Facebook 250,000 Fan Contest here:

https://www.facebook.com/TurbulenceT...t=feed_comment

While in Denver I usually have a go-to hotel, but last night I tried the Oxford Hotel. It's really close to work, and while I appreciate the antique, old-school, hipster vibe they are going for, it just didn't work for me in the room. This was my desk, and I couldn't get anything done at it (it was tiny, it wobbled, and the chair didn't fit under it - I was told every room was like that). So despite the cool ambiance, and the amazing Oxford Club health spa/gym next door (squat rack, db's to 100!), I had to move over to a more modern hotel with much more space...and light. Still, if you're on holiday and want a cool hotel at a good rate, Oxford might be your style.









Stayed at the Oxford Hotel in Denver yesterday, and while I appreciate the antique, old-school, hipster vibe they are going for, it just didn't work for md want a cool hotel at a good rate, Oxford might be your style.






Today's update on the Streaks:

1) 3000 words per day

Hit this today and did a lot of article organizing for tomorrow. I have a very busy week of filming and meetings, so I have to stay on script and crank out the writing in the morning.

2) No Post Dinner Binge Eating

Back on track with this. Good for 5 days straight. Going to make it 74 straight to finish the contest.

3) 1 Drink Maximum

None yesterday and I doubt I'll have one tonight.

4) No Outbursts or Snarkiness

Really great interactions, from the airport to the plane to the hotel staff and all my team members. It's tough for me but I've stayed patient through all of the inconveniences.

5) Healthy Gut Days

Everything is working great and I just finished up one of my favorite hotel meals, 4 scrambled eggs with spinach and a side of olive oil. Tonight we are heading to a steakhouse for dinner.

Staying dialed in,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

PS - Stop worrying about what other people think. You cannot control their thoughts or actions, only your own. Stay strong and do what is right for you.
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