How Anthony Bourdain lost 35lbs

anthony-bourdain-lost-35lbsHave you ever taken a trip and come back 10lbs heavier? Now imagine the weight you would put on if your full time job was traveling and eating all of the worlds best foods. That is exactly what Anthony Bourdain does. So how does he keep from becoming over weight? The answer: Jiu-Jitsu.

Bourdain told the New Yorker that “Since he started doing jujitsu, three years ago, he has lost thirty-five pounds.” Not an easy feat for a celebrity chief in his 60’s. Now it’s not only the exercise, it never is. Training Jiu Jitsu has also changed the way Bourdain thinks about food.

“Now that he trains nearly every day in jujitsu, he tries to eat and drink more selectively. “Off camera, I don’t go around getting drunk at night,” he said during the meals we shared when he wasn’t shooting, Bourdain didn’t so much gorge himself as graze. A big bowl of pasta is hard to enjoy if you know it will render you sluggish the next morning, when a crazy-eyed mixed martial artist is trying to ease you into a choke hold.” (Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker 2017)

If you want to eat like Anthony check out his Acai bowl recipe over at A.V. Club. If you want to train like him try one of our NEW Jiu Jitsu classes at Vancouver Mind-Body Centre.

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How Anthony Bourdain lost 35lbs

The Confessionals of a Kettlebell Instructor. Communication.

communication

This week, I’ve been thinking about communication challenges.

My friend Brandon is a successful concept artist for the video gaming industry. In his off hours he works to create art that is detailed and technically innovative. He recently repositioned his career to  instructing, educating and motivating art students to improve their drawing skills & techniques.  Although the content that he teaches is very different from my work as a kettlebell instructor, a recent discussion revealed we share the same challenge as teachers & leaders: how to communicate with an individual to help them understand and achieve their goals.

I can snatch a 16kg kettlebell with excellent form, and Brandon can draw the human body beautifully in motion with correct proportions. Unfortunately, this doesn’t necessarily make us great teachers. Teaching is about identifying the correct style of communication each student or client needs.

When I teach a class, I’m managing a team of (let’s say) 10 people. I need to communicate with 10 people who have 10 different world-views and 10 different learning styles.

Some of them thrive when I give clear & precise directions. With them, I work hard to use technical language without jargon. Each muscle group is referenced by name, and each movement is quantified. Other folks need praise and attention to feel motivated, to reach them I need to watch carefully to see where they are working hardest and encourage those efforts.

In my class, a lot of students learn by watching the demonstration first, then physically mimicking my movements. To reach them, I demonstrate each move multiple times while speaking the directions through the motions. We may put our weights aside for more complex sequence to learn the safest way to lift, bend and stretch. My friend Megan (editor of this article) learns by asking endless questions, which is often disruptive to the class but has been proven useful for shyer students. Some people are hesitant to speaking up; for those folks I engage in one-on-one conversations after or before class. They can also benefit from private classes, where we can take the time to focus directly on their limitations, strengths and understanding of new movements.

Every now and then I run into a student who is motivated by what I can only call parental disapproval. Somehow the only thing that reaches them seems to be looks of disappointment and my mom voice…

Hey.  Just about whatever works right?  If you’re a manager anywhere you know you must approach communication in this manner.  Or maybe that’s why 90% of your staff look at you like you have a fish bowl over your head.

Some folks need precise and clear direction for holding a proper plank:

  • Wrists, under elbows, under shoulders.
  • Pull your lats down.
  • Send your belly button to your spine and up.
  • Keep your glutes tight, tight, TIGHT!
  • Hips remain parallel to the floor.
  • Pull your knee caps to the ceiling to engage your quads.
  • Pull your calfs tight.
  • Flex your toes.
  • Stay there.

Others need a different approach.

“Have you seen the movie Full Metal Jacket?” I asked.

“Yes…..” Was the response followed with a nervous sideways glance.

“Today I’m Senior Drill Instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman and I just called you to attention for an inspection. How much tension do you need to keep your entire body under to keep from peeing out of fear?”

“ All of it.”

“ Perfect.”

The Confessionals of a Kettlebell Instructor. Communication.

The Confessionals of a Kettlebell Instructor. PART 2 – FOOD.


Challenge – Eating Vegetables vs Me….
(Or: It is time to come to terms with my grudge against vegetables.)

confessionals_02I loathe vegetables.

I have been at war with them for as long as I can remember.  My mother can tell you about nights where I sat alone at a dark dinner table for hours, stubbornly staring down at cold cauliflower and broccoli on my plate.  When it comes to vegetables, I modelled myself after Jane Austen’s character, Elizabeth Bennet “An obstinate, headstrong girl.”

As an adult I’ve decided it’s time to change my mindset and approach to help me actually grow a desire & love for veggies. A victory would be avoiding a frown while chewing on broccoli and sucking back water to wash it all down… you know… the look a 5 year old makes while eating brussels sprouts.

So I call to arms beginner veggie eaters like me to unite & take this one step at a time.

Step 1 – Groceries

Pick a veggie.  Only one. Carrots. Red peppers. Broccoli… Educate yourself about it, learn the nutritional values and Google search recipes. Start to understand how your veggie can be prepared with foods you enjoy.  If we don’t understand something, we (humans) have a tendency to avoid it. Food for thought — Have you eaten vegetables at a restaurant and enjoyed it? Probably. How was it prepared?

Step 2 – Recruit your foodie friend.

Grab a friend who loves to cook and enjoys vegetables (Vegans and Vegetarians are great resources for this).  Let them know about your one veggie challenge and quiz them about how they prepare it.  What are quick ways to prepare this item?  Is it better raw or baked?  What should you avoid?  Over boiled broccoli is terrible.  Let’s win at just cooking it properly first.

Step 3 –  “Experience: That most brutal of teachers.  But you learn.” – C.S. Lewis

When you are working with food, the only way to learn is trial by fire (or marinating, or steaming). Once you’re set with recipes, it is time to do some cooking. Set aside an evening, purchase multiples of your choice veggie and get cooking. Focus on using your vegetable in a few different ways. Can it be prepared as a pickle? Is it best roasted? How does it taste from the BBQ?  Made into a soup?  

Cooking can be creative, so try to keep your testing low-risk and fun while you experiment.  If your recipe is terrible then try another… but make sure you re-read the old one to make sure you correctly followed the instructions.

Bonus Step – Purchase in season produce.

In season and local produce can taste a lot better than out-of-season and tends to be less expensive. This can help keep costs down as you experiment.

A fellow kettlebell-ist, Ayden and I were chatting about food preparation where he drove a concept home for me.  “Making time to prepare food at home is much more satisfying.  When you put the work in you can make a healthier, more colourful and tasty meal on your plate. It is just so satisfying.”

Well Team.  I’ve picked red pepper for this first round, I’ll report and show you how it goes in about a week.

What’s your veggie of choice?  How do you prepare it?  Hit me with your pictures and ideas!

The Confessionals of a Kettlebell Instructor. PART 2 – FOOD.

3 Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Life

sarah

1. Breath & Awareness

Breath is the foundation to any yoga class. Often, you’ll see a class start with everyone sitting, observing their breath. This allows us to connect with the breath and pay attention to the stress that we may be carrying in our body. This is a great tool to carry out into everyday life. Do you notice how stress starts to build in your body? Constriction in the breath? Tight muscles? Yoga builds awareness and connection.

2. Practice & Commitment

Showing up: Sometimes, that’s the hardest thing to do. If your goals focus on simply moving through many postures, or becoming as flexible as possible in a short time, you may never get there. Your body needs time to change and adapt. Yoga is about committing to consistent and mindful movement. You’ll gain flexibility and strength from a regular practice. Commitment is the key to unlocking the benefits of yoga. Comparison and perfectionism results in unhappiness. By choosing to show up and observe your breath and movement, you’ll gain what yoga has to offer.

3. Flow & Meditation

In flow, we link every movement from the beginning of the class to the end of the class with breath. Often, in daily life, we live in our heads. I, like many others, sit in front of a computer for 7+ hours a day at a desk job. I live in my mind. Taking time out to practice yoga gets you out of your head and into your body. You don’t have to sit still to meditate – flowing with yoga is a great way to find power that is much deeper than a set of postures on your mat.

3 Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Life