Angela Parker on how to become a superhero whether you want to be strong and able to pick up girls with one finger or simply fly through the air. She is our resident Fitness Expert and Motivational Guru.
Living in Los Angeles, we tend to become celebrity obsessed. Los Angeles is constantly driving images of what people think of as ‘perfection’, of ‘thinness’, of ‘big muscles’, ‘zero body fat’, ‘juice fasts’, ‘fad diets’ and ‘extreme boot camps’. I don’t know about you, but I can’t be a mentally sane person if I’m constantly trying to strive for something that is so ridiculously perfect, it’s plain and simply not obtainable. I tell my clients all the time that if you can’t see the best-looking version of your body, you will never get there. Therefore, so many people fail on the journey to get healthy and fit because they are obsessed with “thinness” and “perfection.”
I suggest we change what we are looking for. I suggest we get far away from celebrity status. We have all forgotten what it is like to want to be a SUPERHERO. I say we redefine what we want our bodies to look like and the capabilities of our body. I want to be able to throw cars with one hand, I want to pick-up buildings, I want to be able to save other’s lives and protect others from villains. I want a Superhero butt. Superheroes are never skinny, they have muscles and they do use their strength to do good things to empower themselves and the smaller weaker people. Superheroes have a strong moral code and a willingness to adhere to their morals that exceed all expectations.
I don’t want to be a celebrity. I want to be a SUPERHERO.
So the way I see it, in order to be a superhero, you have to go through superhero training. It is very similar to athletic training, except now with the mindset of being a Superhero weakness does not affect you, cheating on your diet isn’t quite the same, because when you think like a superhero anything is truly possible. When you think like a superhero you can inspire yourself to do things greater than you ever imagined possible.
You will also need to MAKE A PLAN! How does your superhero train? What does your superhero want to do? Do you want to be strong and able pick-up girls with one finger or do you want to be more delicate and fly through the air? Coordinate your training with the Superhero you want to become.
Next, you need to STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO A CELEBRITY. Superheroes can kick the S#!& out of a celebrity any day. It is important to remember that. Superheroes don’t compare or judge themselves against others. Judgment doesn’t work the way you think it does. Judgment only limits your ability change and gets in your way of success. If you think badly of yourself you won’t strive for change and judgment, you’ll just end up hindering any positivity. Positivity drives you to success. You must accept and acknowledge that when you beat yourself up you are simply going in a circle – you don’t create change that way, you actually just keep going in a circle. You’re hard on yourself, so you feel bad, and you feel bad so you are hard on yourself – you keep doing that over and over again, but where does that get you? If you can free yourself from your habits that are not working, you then have the opportunity to start over and recognize that YOU can do anything and that YOU can be the best version of yourself. Work with what you’ve got and remember that based on your results you have exactly what you’ve intended. If you want a 6-pack you will work for a 6-pack, but if you only kind of want a 6-pack, you might not get it.
Superheroes set goals, they make plans, and they stick with them. They want to save the world, they want to overcome the bad guys, they event strive to create change. Make a plan, write it down & stay committed – at the beginning of every week, designate two specific days and times when you will work out during that week. Be as clear and specific as you possibly can. Write it down, decide the location, what you will need for the workout and make a plan. When you pick only two specific times a week and commit to it, you will no doubt add more work outs to the mix. Pick two workouts that NEVER change. You cannot reschedule these workouts. They are unmovable. There are no excuses. Just 2 workouts every week. TWO! Writing your plan down makes it possible and real. If you really want to step it up, tell your friends about your plan, put it on Facebook! You put everything else on Facebook. Letting others know what your goals are holds you accountable for staying on track with the food and exercise plans that you have already told others about. This is all about commitment – if YOU really do want something, you must stay committed, no matter how much you want to give up or make excuses. You can never get to where you want to be and to reach your goals if you don’t make it a priority to stick with your routine.
IMAGINE IT – SEE IT. Imagine your body in its best, most healthy state because if you can’t see it, you can’t be it. If you have no idea what the body you are trying to get looks like, without your face on the body, your hair, your skin, your smile, you wont be able to achieve it. If you don’t have this image ingrained in your head then it is like working in a vacuum. You have to have the image of what you are trying to get to, visualize that best looking version of yourself would be like. What does it feel like? Do you have any tactile awareness of what your stomach feels like when it is flat? What does it feel like to put on your bra and have your jeans easily slide over your butt? Start thinking like a fit person. Start thinking like someone who is already at their goal weight, like someone who has already done all of the work and whose body has changed.
Superheroes don’t hang out with criminals. Ditch the people who are not supportive. Superheroes hangout with a supportive cast and others who are also striving to be superheroes as well. Superheroes work in teams to combat larger threats. Work with others to help you set goals, to keep you motivated and accountable. Set up cooking and working out dates, meet up for runs, hikes, and dance classes.
Since Superheroes are afraid of nothing, they love excitement and surprises. When it comes to staying fit and seeing results, it is always about surprising your body with something new. Your body will respond best when it is constantly in change mode. And superheroes are very aware of how much they spend and they know there is no reason to waste money. The best bang for your buck is large group classes or boot camps. Make sure that your instructor is constantly changing it up, is committed to your goals, knows your limitations, and definitely taps into what you are looking for. If you do have the money, hire a personal trainer. Having a trained sidekick waiting for you, who knows what you should be working on and won’t let you skip out on your workouts, is a sure motivation. However, this could be pricey, but another affordable option is to find new trainers who are looking to build their clientele. Make sure that the trainer is certified and fully insured. Finding an affordable trainer is always encouraging, will keep you accountable and help keep you on track when you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with your hectic day-to-day schedules. Superheroes know how to utilize the resources around them. Los Angeles is filled with wonderful outdoor activities so hit up the gorgeous hiking trails or the beaches to get in a workout.
Popeye was seriously on to something with the greens! You must always be prepared with healthy foods. When you see a variety of healthy, colorful foods stocked up in your refrigerator it will keep you motivated to want to follow it up with making sure you hit your work- outs. Even when you are super busy and can’t make it to your workout, having healthy foods and snacks around will ensure you will stay committed to your health, your fitness, and your body. Plus, making healthy and delicious food can be fun! Double up on friend time and try to cook together. Make meeting up at the local Farmer’s Markets a fun, weekend activity. Try out some new recipes, buy creative cookbooks and explore!
Superheroes wear costumes that make them look and feel powerful and strong.
Get a new workout outfit. It does not have to be expensive. Spend just a little bit of money to put yourself in something you feel good (hot, sexy, comfortable) in. The best thing you can do for yourself and your body is to get an outfit that actually fits you and your shape so ditch the baggy clothes! Show up to those workouts feeling fit and beautiful and you will work harder and feel amazing from the inside out! Guys… do me a favor and wear shirts that actually fit you. This whole new half-shirt for dudes look is killing me.
Decorate your space – Hang pictures of yourself! Look at pictures of a fit and healthy YOU! Seeing an image of the best version of your body is a constant reminder of where you want to be and what you can achieve. Post inspirational quotes on your desk or next to your bed reminding you that you can do anything and everything you want to! Cheesy? Of course, but it works! Decorate your food journal. A food journal is standard – what you ate, when you ate, when you ate it, how you felt, whatever you want. By decorating the front of the journal with things that are inspiring to you like photographs of family and friends, cut outs in magazines, etc will keep your food journal more focused on your bigger picture – why you are doing this? What is the point of pouring your heart into this? And, what things are going to inspire you when it gets really, really tough? To all the Guys – if this feels too girly use an on-line tool for tracking like Livestrong. Guys and girls are so different. The ladies like to write it down so we “connect” with it. Dudes like to make it simple.
Thinking like a strong, fit person, making it to your workouts and making the time you spend working on your body about strength, and inner power will organically move you away from the obsession of what you look like. And the stronger the outside of our bodies are, the stronger we become on the inside. We put up a stronger force field against bad body image, crappy friends and being okay with mediocrity.
### Angela Parker Bio:
Photo by: Scott Forté / www.scottforte.com
Angela founded Body Inspired Fitness on the belief that it’s possible for anybody to be in a truly healthy, vibrant place. “Exercise is the one thing in life where you have the power to make it work. The results are completely up to you. I’ve seen people make incredible changes to their health, their bodies and their lives. It started with them putting on the workout gear and showing up.” Angela says the key is finding what you hook into. “Once you make that mind/body connection, the process happens so much faster. You skip all the cycles of stopping and starting, crash dieting. You build positive momentum instead.”
In addition to working with adults Angela has worked especially hard to improve the quality of kids and teens fitness, forging relationships that are individual to each young person. She taps into what they enjoy to motivate them and keep them working hard. Because Angela believes healthy habits start with the parents, she gets them moving, too. It’s why Angela was called a Family Fitness Phenomenon by Palisades 90272 Magazine. For years, Angela’s incredibly popular classes have seen a 98% return rate for a reason. Angela makes working out fun and affordable. There’s no yelling, there’s no attitude. But, there is definitely a lot of motivation and a whole lot of inspiration so you can achieve the results you’re after. “My clients always hear me say, ‘nothing changes if you’re comfortable,’” says Parker.
You can learn more about Angela and her Body Inspired Fitness programs at www.bodyinspiredfitness.com
Angela is on Twitter @AngelaParkerFIT
Look for her in our upcoming POWER issue!