Get your VIPs in line

by | July 3, 2018 | Fitness, Health

I used to ask myself “why is staying healthy and fit so easy for me and so hard for others?”. 
Why do I always find time to exercise, prepare healthy meals, stretch, meditate and sleep 7 hours while others can’t even find the strength to peel themselves off the couch? 
This question plagued me for years and it really affected my coaching practice early on. 
I would expect others to live the way I did because I couldn’t see past my own way of living,
the way I saw myself, 
the things I valued
and the priorities I had in my life. 
But I was a fitness pro in my 20s with nothing to do except coach people, 
go home and prep meals, 
work out, 
and read.
I now realize the key to this mystery. 
The truth behind why fitness, health, and nutrition were so easy for me, 
and how they can be so difficult for others. 
It all lies in the VIPs. 


VIP is an acronym for the keys that have made health and fitness easy for me to achieve day in and day out, 
and something you can use to also make fitness and health easy for you too. 
It’s all about…
and Priorities. 


Values are what you stand for and what you believe in. 
Whether it’s justice, 
etc, etc. 
There is a number of values you can look at. 
Above most things, I value self-improvement. 
Whether it’s personal or professional development,  
I always want to get better 
and I get pissed off if a day goes by and I haven’t improved myself in some way.  
I get a bad taste in my mouth when others don’t want to improve themselves, 
and I respect, admire and gravitate towards those that want to improve themselves. 
This is a hallmark indicator of your values. 
If you see someone doing something against what you believe in, you get angry.
And when you see someone living in accordance with your values, you have respect for that person. 
Naturally, valuing self-improvement makes getting into shape easy, 
because it makes me better, 
it makes me more productive, 
it lends to better sport performance, 
it improves my blood work, 
It allows me to better function in life, 
it makes my heart healthy, 
and it makes me look and feel better. 
So, when you value something like self-improvement and combine that with your athletic identity and fitness priorities, 
things like exercise and nutrition become easy. 
I do it because to not do it goes against what I believe in,
and no one likes a hypocrite. 


Identity is something that I have recently become obsessed with. 
It’s who we see ourselves as. 
It’s who we identify with. 
It’s the person we think we are deep down at the core. 
Maybe you have a family and see yourself as a parent, 
maybe you played high-level sport in your youth and continue to see yourself as an athlete, 
Maybe you started a business and you see yourself as a business owner.
Maybe it’s a combination of a number of things. 
Whatever it is, your identity plays a huge part in who you are, what you believe in and what you decide to do. 
So, essentially, your values and priorities flow from your identity. 
That’s why it’s so crucial to understand who you are, 
who you see yourself as, 
and who you want to be. 
In our business, we realized that 80% of our clients are former athletes that continue to have an athletic identity. 
Now, these guys are also parents, business owners, coaches, etc, 
but deep down, they are athletes. 
They still see themselves as that person who would wake up at 6 am to play badminton, 
that would eat all the right foods to perform their best, 
that would warm-up for 15 minutes doing high knees, butt kicks, cariocas and mobility work because that’s what athletes did. 
They didn’t even question it, they just did it. 
It was consistent with who they were and training, 
eating right, 
and recovering effectively just went along with the territory. 
This made health and fitness easy, 
but, they needed to recognize their athletic identity first. 
Are you a former athlete? 
Could you change the way you look at health and fitness to be more consistent with how you see yourself?
Could you think of “performance nutrition” instead of “dieting”? 
Could you think of “strength and conditioning” instead of “going to the gym”? 
Could you think of “dynamic mobility” instead of “stretching”?  
Who are you and how can you make fitness work within these parameters?  


I’ve always prioritized health and fitness. 
It all started when I wanted to run and lift weights to get better at track and hockey. 
It became so deeply ingrained in what I believe in that I couldn’t imagine my life without it. 
But I’ll bet there are things you believe in so deeply that you cannot imagine your life without them.  
It could be sports, 
It could be family, 
It could be your business, 
or it could be financial security and freedom.
Priorities are essentially your non-negotiables. 
These are the things that, no matter what, you get done. 
When your back’s against the wall, 
when you’re busy and have no time,
when the world is in a fit of chaos, 
you still make time for what is most important to you. 
For the things that take priority in your life. 
For example, I take our dogs for a walk every day…it’s non-negotiable. 
I lift weights 2-3 times per week…that’s non-negotiable.
I eat well 80% of the time…also non-negotiable. 
In some way, I show Meaghan I love her every day…you guessed it – non-negotiable.
I improve something in our business every day…yep…non-negotiable. 
What are your non-negotiables? 

How to make VIPs work in your life

We’ve eluded to much of this in the descriptions above but let’s lay this out…
Your identity is the base and from that flows your values and your priorities. 
So, step 1 is to identify who you are and who you see yourself as. 
Are you a parent? 
An athlete?
A hockey player?
A badminton player? 
A business owner? 
A Ukrainian-Canadian?
A care-giver?
A provider? 
Or some combination thereof. 
Get that first.
The second step is to determine your values. 
What do you stand for? 
What do you believe in? 
What makes you angry in others?
What do you admire in others?
Again, it could be hard work, 
The third step is to identify your priorities. 
What do you always make time for? 
What almost always gets done? 
Where do you spend your time and money? 
What is non-negotiable in your life?
Is it making time to read to your kids at night? 
Keeping the house clean?
Having a nice garden out front?
Spending an extra 2 hours at the office? 
What takes precedence in your life? 
Step four is to turn the VIPs on themselves and make them work in your favour.
For example, are you a parent that always makes time for their kids but wants to exercise and eat well. 
Why not include your kids in the meal preparation process? 
They can shuck corn or mash up avacado for guacamole. 
You can take your kids grocery shopping and have them pick out new vegetables they want to try. 
You can take your family out for a walk, 
or even better…a hike just outside the city. 
Here’s another example…are you a former tennis player that wants to get back in shape? 
Then use that athletic identity to again do “performance nutrition” instead of “dieting”, 
“dynamic mobility” instead of “stretching”, 
“strength and conditioning” instead of “exercise”, 
and hire a strength and conditioning coach instead of a personal trainer. 


The truth is that health and fitness have to mean something to you in order for you to do them long-term. 
You can will yourself to exercise and diet, but that will only last so long. 
Eventually, you will get busy doing things that matter to you and your healthy behaviours and fitness will get pushed to this side. 
health and fitness is a part of who you are and what you believe in. 
As a result, they become non-negotiable. 
Whether you want to reclaim your high-performance body, 
lose some fat and get back into shape, 
or find some purpose and meaning in your life, 
using your VIPs in the service of health and fitness makes the process that much more achievable. 

Need help? 

We love this stuff – using your identity in the service of getting back in shape.
So much so that we started a program for former athletes that integrates all components of high-performance sport into one! 
Yeah, that’s right…high performance sport training for rock-star adult athletes like you. 
This program includes strength and conditioning with the best coaches in the city, performance nutrition that factors in your busy schedule, sport-specific skills training with high-performance coaches and therapy provided by the brightest minds in the business. 
And all of these coaches and professionals work together to optimize your performance program. 
NO joke. 
This is as “high-performance” as it gets! 
And the beautiful thing is that you can use this program to get back in shape, to play high-level sport or both…the choice is yours.
We are taking basketball athletes starting in August, so join the VIP list and reserve your spot today :)

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