What The Hell Do I Know About Nutrition?

With my 34th birthday quickly approaching in the next few weeks,  I’ve been working my ass off with my talented but tough trainer Coach G. For the past two months we’ve been focusing on finding the right nutritional balance for me as well as fine tuning our workouts for maximum results.

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Because AndrewPhillipK.Com is a place where I intend on being completely honest with my readers, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to you that nutrition has been quite the up hill battle for me. It’s been a lifelong struggle actually. I don’t know about you, but as I mentioned before in  Fitness Forensics w/ Coach G,  the mere thought of food seemingly result in my waist expanding. If you couple that hereditary issue with an insane work schedule that at times can be all over the place, it’s no wonder more than 65 percent of American adults are overweight or obese.

Being overweight and fighting obesity, sadly, is a major issue we face in this country. However, on the bright side, if you are not dead you CAN make a change. All it takes is making the decision to change your lifestyle. No it’s not a choice that comes easily and yes it also requires a hell of a lot of self-examination. But the good news here is that it CAN be done. I made that decision about halfway through 2016 and I can’t begin to explain  how much the trajectory of my life has changed. And continues to change.

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Besides the nutritional hurdles, I sometimes refer to as “food noise”, I’ve struggled with, I find that one of the major roadblocks I face in the quest for optimum health, are the same challenges that most of us adults in this country face: Finding the time in our busy schedules to eat right, exercise, meditate, pray and do whatever else is required of us to keep our body, and more importantly, our minds healthy. It has been increasingly difficult, in the last few weeks especially, to prioritize and dedicate my time to the betterment of my well-being. I’m exhausted just thinking about it! And I don’t even want to imagine if I had children to care for on top of everything else. I don’t know how some of you all do it but I tip my hat to all of you with kids that still manage to make it work! Send some of those good vibes my way! #PleaseAndThankYou

Back to my point, since I injured my foot a few weeks back, G and I have had to overcome the challenge of tailor-making our workouts to a) prevent further injury and b) keep the momentum rolling in achieving the goals I set from the beginning. We decided to make mobility, flexibility and injury prevention the focal points of our workouts. Meanwhile I’ve had to have a laser like focus on my eating habits, which, if you are like me, can be a complete and utter disaster when you are stressed out, depressed or just plain tired as hell.  There have been some good days and some bad, however, for the most part I’ve been pretty good about sticking to my goal of making better choices in the food department.

The key for me is remaining consistent in the health conscious choices when grocery shopping. For example, I’ve replaced ground beef with 93% fat-free ground turkey.  In fact, I made some bomb AF Turkey Chili (with an amazing side of rice – Thank you very much Antoin) the other night. I’ll throw that recipe up for you soon!

For those of us that need that extra push or to be pointed in the right direction when it comes to food, I thought I’d share a little gem with you for the next time you hit the grocery store. It is true that a few slight alterations to your diet can be just what you need to start seeing a change in your physique, which then leads to the motivation you need to continue on with the change in your lifestyle. Which is what it’s all about.

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As Q1 for 2017 comes to a close, there is still time to get your ass on the ball ladies and gentlemen! I promise all it takes is baby steps! You can start by replacing a few items of junk food in your kitchen cabinet with something from the list below. You don’t have to go overboard because let’s not forget rent is due today!

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Fitness Forensics w/ Coach G

I have always struggled with diet and fitness. I’ve never been one to live in the gym and athleticism has never been my forte. Not even after living in LA, the land of the pretty people, for almost a decade now has caused me to fall into the whole gym rat lifestyle. Never one to fall into peer pressure, the pretty people don’t phase me. My sometime struggle with self-image is completely self imposed and something that I am diligently working on.

When it comes to diet, the closest I come to being vegan is the occasional ordering of my favorite Santa Fe Crispy Chickin’   sandwich from The Veggie Grill. They aren’t paying me to write that yet, that sandwich is actually amazing!  I digress! Back to my point – it’s almost as if the mere thought of food results in my waist expanding. It’s not something I chose, it’s hereditary.

Diabetes, hypertension, obesity and heart problems have all staked their claim on my family and so it’s been quite the arduous task keeping those death dealers at bay. As 2016 began to come to a close, I realized that I needed a secret weapon in this battle I have been fighting. I needed someone with the skill, the attitude and the fire to whip me into shape.

Enter Coach G!

I ushered in 2017 with the mindset of getting my fitness in order at all cost. There was no other choice! My first order of business was finding the right fitness coach that would create a routine that worked best for me. After interviewing several personal trainers, I decided to begin working with Coach G for a number of reasons. Not only does he completely KICK MY ASS (see below pic of me sweating it out on the Rowing Machine) in the gym, but he also works closely with me on my nutrition. He holds me accountable if I even think of consuming something he wouldn’t approve of. I actually had about fifty extra air-squats given to me as punishment for eating a bag of Doritos and drinking a Pepsi. I won’t make that mistake again!

See it works! Yay Fitness!

It is my intention to document my health and fitness journey here and to provide some sort of inspiration to those of you who face the same challenges I face.

At the time of this writing, my IT Band is sore AF and I’m sweating at the mere thought of what impending torture (not really) Coach G will impose on me at my next session. BUT there is no complaining (that’s definitely a BIG NO)! This pain is the good pain. This is the pain that is making me better! This is the pain that will turn out to be worth it. At just halfway through the first five weeks of the new year, I’m determined to make 2017 an amazing year in the health and fitness department and I’m proud that I’m off to a great start.

Doesn’t the saying go something like “summer bodies are made in the winter”? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Here’s to everyone that needs a little kick in the ass to get that ass back in shape! I salute you!

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Hard at work! Late night session with Coach G!

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5 Rules To Be A Good Boss

We’ve all heard those horror stories at one time or another about how some people hate their boss right? How their boss insanely micromanages everyone and everything they come in contact with and how they get to work at 9am only to count down the actual minutes until the end of the day.

Maybe it’s your spouse that routinely comes home in a foul mood and rambles on and on over dinner about how nothing is ever good enough for his or her boss. Maybe a close friend or even a co-worker has confided in you about how they are at their wits end and is in the process of searching for a new gig.  Maybe it’s actually you! You are the one that doesn’t have to think too hard to remember that one boss you had that drove you and all your colleagues absolutely insane. Maybe it’s your current boss that rubs you the wrong way and makes your eight hours on the clock a living nightmare.

No matter how hard you try nothing is ever good enough. All your attempts at doing a good job in their eyes prove futile. You don’t feel appreciated, your hard work and long hours seemingly go unnoticed. There’s just no pleasing him or her! You dread checking your email inbox because you’re sure there will be something waiting for you with a tone that makes you come close to losing your religion. You walk into the office on Monday morning with a coffee in hand and a knot in your stomach unsure as to what new battle you are walking into.  What pile of shit is “Hell Boss” waiting to dump on your lap today? Maybe you’ve even gone so far as to add up your bills and divide them by how many Uber or Lyft rides you’d have to drive in order to make ends meet. At this point anything will do until you can find a new job and some peace of mind.

Sound familiar? Of course it does and let me tell you: You are not alone! Most of us have been there and trust me when I tell you, it is no way to live!

Luckily, I can honestly say I’ve had some really great bosses that I still love till this day but I have also run across an asshole or two since entering the workforce.

Admittedly, I myself have not been someone’s “boss” for all that long. Although it seems like it’s been an entire lifetime, in truth, I sort of fell into management about five years ago. I was asked by “the powers that be” to apply for a position that, unbeknownst to me, had become available at our sister property across town. Yes it was a promotion and of course it was more money, so I didn’t think twice. It was a no-brainer. 

I must admit I was scared shitless when I was offered the position a day or two after my interview and I remember vividly asking myself how exactly I would manage a team of almost twenty four people. How would I be their boss? I had never been someone’s boss before! How would I be the head of a department and have twenty-four unique personalities that I would be responsible for? How would I not let any of them down?  I was walking into an already established team that would rely on me to be their leader and their boss. 

Five years later I think I’ve found my niche! I am realizing that I’m actually good at this managing people thing! It is that innate quality that has made me successful when it comes to leading a team and being their boss.

By no means am I the perfect boss or manager of my department, but here’s what I know for sure: if you apply at least two of the following rules you will see a difference in your team’s attitude and their willingness to go above and beyond to get the job done.

Here are my top 5 rules I live by when managing my team:

Rule #1: RESPECT! – First and foremost I respect my staff. Simple as that. I am not the kind of boss to belittle anyone on my team and I do my best to never make them feel like they are beneath me. I value their opinion on our departmental procedures and I make it a point to include the team in the conversation when it comes to making any changes. I listen to their feedback with an open mind and encourage them to give ideas on how we can make any improvements. I believe it is my job to always make sure that they know they are being heard and that their voices matter and that their opinions are valued.

Rule #2: No Man Is An Island! – That was a saying my mother taught me as far back as I can remember. If the perception of me, being the boss, is that I think I can do the job myself and that I don’t need anyone, what then would motivate my team to want to do their best? What are they there for? If I am always criticizing their work and putting them down, does that encourage my staff?  Will that encourage them to pick up any extra slack when needed? Always remember, “No man is an island” and if you feel you can do everything yourself, there is no need for you to have a staff. Go do everything your damn self! 

Rule #3:  Make it light! – I don’t know about anyone else but I hate working in an office where the atmosphere is tense. I hate when it’s awkwardly quiet! I love to laugh and I enjoy laughing with my team. When we have a good time at work it makes the day go fast. It’s also one of the reasons that it doesn’t actually feel like work. When you enjoy your co-worker(s) you look forward to coming to work every day. You want to pull your weight and not let them down.  I make sure we have a good time and we enjoy ourselves for as long as we are on shift. But let me be clear, when the hard times come, we buckle down and get our shit done. Work hard play hard! And don’t forget to laugh!

Rule #4: – Own It! –  Let me reiterate that by no means am I perfect! My title may place more responsibilities on my shoulders, however, that does not mean that I think I am perfect nor does it mean that I am too good to admit my mistakes. It is when you look a member of your team in the eye and admit you fucked up that you earn their respect and you make yourself more human. They relate to you more and when the time comes for them to own up to their screwup, nine times out of ten, they will do so with no problem because they know they can be honest with you because you are honest with them. It’s a two way street! Simple as that! My team adores me and will go to bat for me because they know I have their backs. They also know that I will protect them and if/when I should fall short on anything, which I will, I own it!

Rule #5: – Appreciate! –  Does it really cost you to take two minutes to thank your staff when they are leaving at the end of their day? Would it kill you? It’s not that difficult a task to say thank you to someone for doing a good job. Most people want to please their boss and ensure their happiness and satisfaction with their performance, so trust me when I tell you, a little goes a long way when you show appreciation. You never know when you’ll need that same member of your team to change their schedule, put in overtime, or work that shift that everyone hates. When you show your appreciation to your staff they repay it back tenfold.

Now that I’ve given you some insight into what it takes to be a good and likeable boss,  begin this brand new week with the perfect opportunity to put one of these rules to use. You will notice a shift in dynamic with your team and in your office.

Happy Monday! Teamwork makes the dream work! 

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– AndrewPhillipK