Madi’s Top Five Tips to Success

Everyone has a different view of what success is, but regardless of what your dreams are, success is attainable with a few simple strategies. Here are my Top Five Tips to Success:

  1. BeYOUtiful
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with being “different.” When I began my venture in business, I found myself trying to fit into the norms of what people labeled as “right” for network marketing. I realized more than two years in, the only “norm” is being abnormal and finding what works for YOU. YOU are already valuable in all your uniqueness and your job is to find where your uniqueness is missing in the world and lend it to that void. You don’t have to become a better version of someone else. Your job is to become the best version of YOU and avoid conformity.
  2. Take Care of YOU
    I certainly have not mastered this rule; in fact I’ve struggled with this task more than any other task in business. When your role in this world is to be of service to others, you forget that the greatest role of service is to yourself. Spend one hour per day doing something that brings you joy. For this author, it’s watching one hour of television or exercise. It’s a mindless activity that allows me to drift from my own world and enter another. No thoughts, no stress, no racing thoughts. Whatever it is that brings you peace, do it daily.
  3. Find Someone Smarter Than You
    For the last two years, I’ve always strived to be the LEAST smart in the room. I surround myself with people who have more experience, more knowledge, more tools, and more “oomph”. It pushes me to be greater. I believe there is power in being the “smallest” in a room.
  4. Make Goals Urgent
    If you were told that you would go to jail for life unless you hit a certain goal, you wouldn’t sleep and you certainly wouldn’t give in. You would fight until the very last second for that opportunity. It sounds dramatic, but this is how I look at every goal in my career. If I had ONE day to make it all happen, I would utilize every minute to accomplish the goal. Why do we treat any other goal differently? In my first year in business, I earned $1,000 for every pound I lost. I earned $23,000 part time my first year. If someone told you that you would earn $1,000 for every pound you lost, you would run everyday, eat the healthiest foods, and not quit three days into a new program. By living this way, we place urgency in our daily lives. Create urgency around your goals and you will accomplish them.
  5. Don’t Settle
    I attended a training a few weeks ago where the key speaker asked, “why not you?” It’s been my mantra ever since. Why NOT you? You have skills, you have assets, you deserve to see your dreams fulfilled too. So why settle for anything less than what you deserve? Do it for you. Do it for the people who never thought you could. Go for everything people may have assumed you would never get. We get one life to live (as cliche as that sounds). Why settle for the job you don’t love, the relationship that isn’t fulfilling, and the day to day emptiness that leaves you wishing for more? You get to decide the life you want. Decide comes from the latin word decidere, which means to cut off or determine. Why not cut off all doubts, fears, and “impossibilities” for the life you truly want to live? Don’t settle. Buy your freedom back.

Success is terrifying. The more successful I become, the more fear I struggle with. I’ve aligned my life with certain goals, and now that those goals are being achieved, I have to develop even bigger goals for my life with no direction or understanding of how to achieve them. Although fear grapples with me however, I know that courage is moving forward anyway. Onward and upward to the life of my dreams! What mountain will YOU climb?

F.L.Y. With Balance

This month is all about F.L.Y.ing (First Loving Yourself). One aspect of loving yourself is balance. The last few months I have struggled with this idea of “balance”. How does one balance being a teacher, wife, mom, business owner, and being the healthiest version of myself possible? Here are a few tips I’ve been using that could help you too.

Minimize the Multi-Task

I often used say “I’m a great multi-tasker.” Oh, how I wish I never would have learned this so-called skill. Why? Multi-tasking means you are unable to give 100% to any one task at a time. If you are a parent, consider the moments you are playing with your child on the floor, texting your friend, and composing an email for your job, all at the same time. It dawned on me why I rarely feel centered or balanced. I was exhausted more often than not, and my son even started to give not so subtle hints that he wanted me to put my phone away.

“Mom, are you going to watch this show with me?”

“Mom, I’ll wait until you’re off the phone so we can play this game together.”

What I realized was, during these moments, I wasn’t giving 100% to any activity. I can’t be a 100% present mom if I’m dividing that percentage among four other things. So avoid multi-tasking by honoring who or what you are with at that time and allow nothing to distract you from that particular priority.

Schedule Yourself

Bosses schedule. Period. As a leader in your home, your life, your profession, you need to schedule your day, and then employ yourself the following day to follow the schedule you set. This has helped me tremendously when the to-do list is longer than the time I may have. Try thirty-minute segments and allow for changes. Be willing to adapt to what life brings along the way. Adaptation forms character.

Power Hours

For one hour per day, give yourself a power hour. Just one hour with nothing to interrupt you. Make a list of one to three priority items that must get accomplished during this power hour. It may be laundry or meal prepping, work, or quality time with a child. Put the phone away and get it done. You’d be surprised how much an hour of time can impact your day.

F.L.Y. (First Love Yourself)

Find twenty minutes to be alone. Whether it’s taking a bath, doing some yoga, stretching (great for the soul), reading, or mindless scrolling on social media. Whatever makes you happy. It’s okay to say to the people you care about, “I just need twenty minutes” and create strict rules around your “me time.” You are a better parent, spouse, employee, and person when you make time for you.

In this day in age we are constantly on “go”, but going in circles leads to mindless travel. Take time to just be STILL and you’ll find joy.

Keep Prep’n,
Madi

 

Five Ways to Be F-L-Y: First Love Yourself

Five Ways to Be F-L-Y: First Love Yourself

As cliche as it may sound, there truly is no better way to love others than to start with yourself. Here are five ways to commit to a relationship with yourself that is fulfilling and worth your time and energy:

Say Yes

The first step to loving yourself is saying yes to the person you are. Are there things you may want to improve? Of course. It is natural (and smart) to always look for ways to be an even better person; however, you also need to say yes to who you are now. Say yes to those random quirks you have. Do you cry when watching commercials? Do you organize your desk prior to going home by aligning the pens and pencils in a color-coded row? Do you sometimes leave the keys in your front door at night and go to sleep (I have)?  Great. Write down those quirks and beside each one state why it may be something you love about yourself. Understand that no one is you and no one is perfect. What a powerful concept! You are the only person in the entire world with your face, (even if you have a twin, it’s your face) your mind, your spirit! Quirks do not make you odd; they make you a more beautiful version of you.

Love Yourself

Everyday, write down one thing you love about yourself. I believe that the idea of “humility” or society’s cruel views about what’s “pretty” or “acceptable” has disempowered some to referring to the very things that make a person special. If you absolutely have not one thing you love about yourself, ask someone close to you (a parent, sibling, close friend) to send you one trait each day that makes you lovable. You have no idea how empowering that can be! Here are a few things you might consider writing to help get your wheels turning:

I am kind

I am a good friend to others

I am funny

I am organized

I love others with fervent passion

I am a good mother

I am a good son/daughter

I am good with my hands

Do you see anything physical on that above list? No. Though you may love something physical about yourself, it is also important to see the person that contributes value to the world.

Take Yourself on a Date

Each month, treat yourself to a special date. Maybe a nice, quiet dinner at your favorite restaurant. Perhaps a spa day, a massage, or a walk in a beautiful park. Imagine doing an activity with someone you love. Now go do it with yourself. Who says you need a partner to go to a movie or a restaurant?

Write Yourself a Love Letter

Who doesn’t like receiving letters about how great they are? I say write yourself a love letter, seal it, and re-open on a rainy day. Tell yourself how powerful you are, how special you are, how loving you are, how you inspire change around you. If you need help, again confide in someone and ask them to help you. Never miss the opportunity to say I love you to the most important person in your life – you!

Get Rid of the Guilt

Don’t feel guilty for loving yourself. Perhaps this will be your hardest feat. Parents especially have a difficult time doing things alone and putting themselves first. I want you to know that it is okay to love yourself enough to put yourself first sometimes. If that means you need one night alone in a hotel to gather your thoughts and spoil yourself, then so be it. Your mental health and spirit is just as important as your physical health. We have to keep our tanks full. Many times we empty our tank on others, so much so that there is nothing left for us to give, to feel, to believe. Don’t feel guilty about giving to your tank. You are allowed to be “full of yourself” if it means you are fulfilled.

Above all, remember that you matter. You are allowed to say, “Hey, I’m doing a great job in this game of life.” You are allowed to feel sexy and confident. You are allowed to form a deeper connection to the beautiful soul within. To love yourself is to love others more abundantly. Do so with courage.

Keep lov’n,
Madi

 

Why Sleep Is the No. 1 Most Important Thing for a Better Body

As published on shape.com by Adam Bornstein

Imagine two women you know: One is your model of fitness success (She clearly knows how to slim down correctly and has the body to show for it), and the other is what you fear. This friend has her heart in the right place, but no matter how hard she works, she still struggles with the process and doesn’t have the body she wants. The troubling part is that when you talk to both, they share a common approach:

  1. They eat meals that focus on lean protein and vegetables.
  2. They exercise at least three times per week, focusing on both weights and cardio.
  3. They know which foods are truly healthy and which they need to limit—and they do.
And yet one friend—the one who continues to struggle—can’t maintain her focus. She has trouble controlling her hunger, always craves sweets, and, despite her biggest efforts in the gym, she doesn’t seem to achieve the same results as someone else following the same program.

The problem might seem obvious at first. After all, one woman strays from her diet more than the other. And if exercise “isn’t working,” it probably means she just doesn’t really know how to train.

Maybe it’s genetics. Maybe she’s lazy or lacks willpower. Or maybe, diet or exercise isn’t the real problem.

Sleep Controls Your Diet
The debate about the best way to achieve a healthy weight always revolves around eating and movement. If you want to look better, the most common suggestion is “eat less and move more.” But it’s not that simple, or even accurate. Sometimes you want to eat less and move more, but it seems impossible to do so. And there might be a good reason: Between living your life, working, and exercising, you’re forgetting to sleep enough. Or maybe, more importantly, you don’t realize that sleep is the key to being rewarded for your diet and fitness efforts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 35 percent of people are sleep deprived. And when you consider that the statistic for obesity is nearly identical, it’s easy to connect the dots and discover that the connection is not a coincidence.

Not sleeping enough—less than seven hours of sleep per night—can reduce and undo the benefits of dieting, according to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In the study, dieters were put on different sleep schedules. When their bodies received adequate rest, half of the weight they lost was from fat. However when they cut back on sleep, the amount of fat lost was cut in half—even though they were on the same diet. What’s more, they felt significantly hungrier, were less satisfied after meals, and lacked energy to exercise. Overall, those on a sleep-deprived diet experienced a 55 percent reduction in fat loss compared to their well-rested counterparts.

Poor Sleep Changes Your Fat Cells
Think about the last time you had a bad night of sleep. How did you feel when you woke up? Exhausted. Dazed. Confused. Maybe even a little grumpy? It’s not just your brain and body that feel that way—your fat cells do too. When your body is sleep deprived, it suffers from “metabolic grogginess.” The term was coined by University of Chicago researchers who analyzed what happened after just four days of poor sleep—something that commonly happens during a busy week. One late night at work leads to two late nights at home, and next thing you know, you’re in sleep debt.

But it’s just four nights, so how bad could it be? You might be able to cope just fine. After all, coffee does wonders. But the hormones that control your fat cells don’t feel the same way.

Within just four days of sleep deprivation, your body’s ability to properly use insulin (the master storage hormone) becomes completely disrupted. In fact, the University of Chicago researchers found that insulin sensitivity dropped by more than 30 percent.

Here’s why that’s bad: When your insulin is functioning well, fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your blood stream and prevent storage. When you become more insulin resistant, fats (lipids) circulate in your blood and pump out more insulin. Eventually this excess insulin ends up storing fat in all the wrong places, such as tissues like your liver. And this is exactly how you become fat and suffer from diseases like diabetes.

Lack of Rest Makes You Crave Food
Many people believe that hunger is related to willpower and learning to control the call of your stomach, but that’s incorrect. Hunger is controlled by two hormones: leptin and ghrelin.

Leptin is a hormone that is produced in your fat cells. The less leptin you produce, the more your stomach feels empty. The more ghrelin you produce, the more you stimulate hunger while also reducing the amount of calories you burn (your metabolism) and increasing the amount fat you store. In other words, you need to control leptin and ghrelin to successfully lose weight, but sleep deprivation makes that nearly impossible. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinoloy and Metabolism found that sleeping less than six hours triggers the area of your brain that increases your need for food while also depressing leptin and stimulating ghrelin.

If that’s not enough, the scientists discovered exactly how sleep loss creates an internal battle that makes it nearly impossible to lose weight. When you don’t sleep enough, your cortisol levels rise. This is the stress hormone that is frequently associated with fat gain. Cortisol also activates reward centers in your brain that make you want food. At the same time, the loss of sleep causes your body to produce more ghrelin. A combination of high ghrelin and cortisol shut down the areas of your brain that leave you feeling satisfied after a meal, meaning you feel hungry all the time—even if you just ate a big meal.

 And it gets worse.

Lack of sleep also pushes you in the direction of the foods you know you shouldn’t eat. A study published in Nature Communications found that just one night of sleep deprivation was enough to impair activity in your frontal lobe, which controls complex decision-making.

Ever had a conversation like this?

“I really shouldn’t have that extra piece of cake… then again, one slice won’t really hurt, right?”

Turns out, sleep deprivation is a little like being drunk. You just don’t have the mental clarity to make good complex decisions, specifically with regards to the foods you eat—or foods you want to avoid. This isn’t helped by the fact that when you’re overtired, you also have increased activity in the amygdala, the reward region of your brain. This is why sleep deprivation destroys all diets; think of the amygdala as mind control—it makes you crave high-calorie foods. Normally you might be able to fight off this desire, but because your insular cortex (another portion of your brain) is weakened due to sleep deprivation, you have trouble fighting the urge and are more likely to indulge in all the wrong foods.

And if all that wasn’t enough, research published in Psychoneuroendocrinology found that sleep deprivation makes you select greater portion sizes of all foods, further increasing the likelihood of weight gain.

The bottom line: Not enough sleep means you’re always hungry, reaching for bigger portions, and desiring every type of food that is bad for you—and you don’t have the proper brain functioning to tell yourself, “No!”

Sleep Sabotages Gym Time
Unfortunately the disastrous impact spreads beyond diet and into your workouts. No matter what your fitness goals are, having some muscle on your body is important. Muscle is the enemy of fat—it helps you burn fat and stay young. But sleep (or lack thereof) is the enemy of muscle. Scientists from Brazil found that sleep debt decreases protein synthesis (your body’s ability to make muscle), causes muscle loss, and can lead to a higher incidence of injuries.

Just as important, lack of sleep makes it harder for your body to recover from exercise by slowing down the production of growth hormone—your natural source of anti-aging and fat burning that also facilitates recovery. This happens in two different ways:

  1. Poor sleep means less slow wave sleep, which is when the most growth hormone is released.
  2. As previously mentioned, a poor night of rest increases the stress hormone cortisol, which slows down the production of growth hormone. That means that the already reduced production of growth hormone due to lack of slow wave sleep is further reduced by more cortisol in your system. It’s a vicious cycle.

If you’re someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy exercise, not prioritizing sleep is like getting a physical examine with your father-in-law as the investigating physician: It will make something you don’t particularly enjoy almost unbearable. When you’re suffering from slept debt, everything you do feels more challenging, specifically your workouts.

The Better Health Secret: Prioritize Sleep
The connection between sleep and weight gain is hard to ignore. Research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that women who are sleep deprived are a third more likely to gain 33 pounds over the next 16 years than those who receive just seven hours of sleep per night. And with all of the connections to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, and cognitive failure, the need to sleep goes far beyond just looking better and seeing results from your diet and exercise efforts.

While there’s no hard number that applies to all people, a good rule of thumb is to receive between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, and to make sure that one poor night of sleep isn’t followed up with a few more. It might not seem like much, but it could make all the difference and mean more than any other health decision you make.

I Can’t Work Out Because I Have No Energy

I hear this EVERY DAY: “I don’t have any energy!” “You don’t understand I can’t work out because I don’t have any ENERGY!”

I ask, “What have you eaten today?”

“I had three donuts for breakfast with a cup of coffee. For lunch I had two slices of pizza, a little Debbie snack cake and a diet coke. Before I got here I had a bag of Cheetos. I don’t know why I don’t have any energy…”

First of all you can’t eat nutritionally void food every day and expect to have any level of energy. If you don’t know what to eat or how to eat click here.

“I am so tired when I get home I can’t work out because I don’t have any ENERGY.”

I know you don’t have any time, yet you want to be in shape so badly! I am dripping with compassion for you. I feel so bad for you I am literally crying right now. Thanks to you, mascara is running down my face.

“Mascara claims it can make my eyelashes go from skinny to fat in five seconds, but all I can think about is how that describes what happens to me when I eat McDonalds.”

Let’s say I told you that I have two first class tickets to Hawaii, and when you get to Hawaii you will be picked up in a limo and driven to an exotic rental car service. There you will choose from one of three cars: a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a Land Rover Range Rover, or a Lamborghini Avenatador (these are the most expensive vehicles in their categories). You will stay seven nights at the Four Seasons. The vacation is all inclusive and contains unlimited excursions and services. The best part is I am paying for the entire trip. (I am using this for an example but stay tuned for challenges to win prizes)

You are leaving in 28 days, but it’s under these conditions:

  1. You have to eat from a list of foods I give you.
  2. You must workout 1 hour a day.
  3. You must log your food intake and workouts accurately every day.

Do you think you could do it? Absolutely!! Because PEOPLE HAVE THE ENERGY TO DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO!

It’s not a matter of energy, it’s a matter of desire. If the reasons are strong enough the amount of energy needed to overcome any obstacle will surface.
People do what people want to do. If you don’t like what you are doing then decide what you want, and write down the reasons you want it. If the reasons are strong enough you will create the desire and ENERGY to obtain your dreams.

Thanks for reading.

Coach Don

As featured on strangesculpting.com by superuser on 

Body Transformation Challenge

It’s about to get real!

Announcing a great opportunity to stay in shape after the holiday while trying to win some cash!

I’m starting an online weight loss challenge. Weigh ins will begin on Monday, January 4th. The official online challenge will take place from January 4th to March 7th. Winners will be announced March 9th and cash will be awarded that same week. The winner will be based on percentage of weight lost.

Online Weight Loss Challenge Rules/Policies:

  1. Contest is $30 to enter.
  2. Weigh ins: January 4th. You MUST do the following:
    • Submit a before and after picture of front, side, and back to my email.
    • Submit a picture of your starting weight to my email.
    • Submit measurements of bust, arms, waist, and legs to my email.
    • Submit via PayPal your payment to madi@stillprepn247.com
  3.  You must download the “GroupMe” app and be added to the “Body Transformation Group” Weekly challenges will be sent via the GroupMe app.
  4.  You must read the weekly lessons that will be sent via email.
  5.  First place will receive 50%. Second place, 30%. Third place, 20%.

If you know someone out of town that would like to join, please forward these rules and click here to enter! The more people who enter, the higher the prize and greater the community impact!

For those in the local Philadelphia or Delaware Areas:

Weigh-ins are TODAY!

Location for weigh in: 719 Secane Ave. Clifton Heights, PA

Time: 7-9 p.m.

Categories:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Body Sculpting
  3. Physique
  4. 40 and over
  5. Overall champion (best transformation overall)

Website with more info: www.level10btc.com

Join today and win up to $1,000 cash prize!

FROM GAB TO GLORY

image1 IMG_8341A young girl sits in a chair beside her mother, her bony knees clicking in unison as she shares the myriad of ideas in her head and the random exploits of her day. Her mother slowly backs away, desperate for just a second of silence. The young girl drags her chair across the floor, following closely behind her mother. She didn’t know it then, but this eccentric, afro-sporting child was perfecting her craft.

She is me.

Growing up, I was a talker. It didn’t help matters that my parents divorced when I was four years old, leaving me no choice but to entertain my mother through, at least as I perceived, her rather dull life. Talking was just my thing, but when you’re an only child, it becomes the only thing. Many nights I spent alone, creating fairytales for my Barbies while my mother dealt with the harsh realities of single motherhood. With no siblings to annoy, I often talked to myself, my dolls, imaginary friends and ultimately through my writing. What I didn’t realize then was that the universe was shaping my path as a scholar, businesswoman and teacher.

Looking back now, I wish I had tapped into this creative outlet more. Isn’t that always the way? Becoming an adult only to end up looking back on all that could’ve been rather than what actually became? On the first day of school every year, when teachers would ask, “What else would you like to know about me?” I took no shame in inquiring about their romantic relationships, lifestyle preferences, and other, more personal information most students would’ve died rather than ask. Me? I’ve never been afraid to dig deep. Don’t get me wrong. While I don’t condone the behavior of disrespectful students (like me) feeling a little too comfortable with their role of influence, I’m all for the idea that, more often than not, a gift needs to be nurtured. People, especially children, need to feel encouraged. Enriched. Empowered.

As a student, my writing, speaking, and influence in the classroom was… different. Years of playing alone in my bedroom gave me an imagination and creative edge many of my more “popular” classmates lacked. Was I the “geek” whose head was in a book and who ducked while students chucked food and paper at her in the cafeteria? Well, no (not after 7th grade at least). However, I was always a bit different. Certain practices that normal high school kids saw as fun didn’t appeal to me as much. Drinking on a weekend? Um, how about Scrabble?

Being different is what has led me to this point in my life. At the age of 35, I am still just a little bit different. Friends? Few. Accomplishments? Many. That confident, curious girl who talked her mother’s ears off, who asked teachers if they preferred long walks on the beach or going to the movies, who went against the social grain in high school, is now a leader of an organization that does over a quarter of a million dollars in sales per year. She is a health coach to hundreds of people who once looked into the mirror and cried, and now look into that same mirror and see hope for their lives. She’s the wife of a man whose dream it is to see her fulfill hers. She’s the mother of a six year old boy, whose idea of fun is memorizing the names of each state in America. She is still that little girl, who will drag her chair into another room to tell stories, but those knees aren’t so bony anymore, and that chair now sits in front of a much larger audience.

That little girl came alive in her mother’s kitchen, in classrooms, in sorority boardroom meetings, and now in leadership conversations with others about their dreams and vision for their own purpose-driven lives. Madi Still wasn’t just born. She was created… with and for a purpose. The intention is to explore my creative voice and use this gift to inspire and motivate everyone I meet.

We are not here on this planet to live a life of complacency. I believe we are all here for a purpose that was outlined for us even before conception. I have no doubt in my mind that my purpose is to lead others to living a happier, more fulfilled life through the exploration and communication of health and wellness. Our health is too often neglected. The physical challenges we face as human beings, as well as the mental and emotional ones too, call for a catalyst. It’s become my life’s mission to be that catalyst. To stimulate conversation between ourselves and others, but  more importantly, for the private discussions that you’ll have in your own mirror. After all, health is the most important connection to our own, personal joy and the key to the manifestation of our dreams.

Welcome to my journey and thank you for taking it with me.  

Start Prep’n,
Madi Still