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How you do things matters. It’s a huge mistake to focus primarily on what you do at the expense of improving and paying attention to how you do it.

How you do things determines whether it’s easy, hard and/or sustainable.

Let me use working out as an example.

Doing a deadlift without bracing your core will fatigue you quickly, put unnecessary strain on your back and increase your risk of injury.

Bracing your core, removing the slack from the bar and intentionally firing your glutes will make the same movement much easier, it will reduce the load on your back and dramatically decrease your risk of injury.

It will feel easier and be easier. You can even do more work with less energy.

This theory holds true in all movements from pushups to pull-ups to planks, rowing & running.

The theory is also true in our daily lives. Yes, what we do matters. How we do it often represents a huge opportunity for improvement.

Anything done with a great attitude is easier than the same thing done with a negative attitude.

Anything done in a calm, organized manner is easier than the same thing done in a hurry.

Yesterday I shared that I went to the CrossFit regionals this past weekend. I saw this play out in real time.

Sure, the athletes were doing the same workouts. What they were doing was uniform.

How they did it was not.

The advantage was with the athletes who had mastered how they went through the workouts.

The workouts were far easier for the athletes who stayed calm & focused while moving efficiently.

They saved energy and made fewer mistakes.

It’s not just what you do, it’s how you do it.

I was excited to apply this perspective to today’s workout. By staying calm, breathing evenly and really focusing on my form, the workout was much easier than it would have been otherwise.

With the deadlifts, I kept reminding myself “Use your butt. Use your core!” Instead of merely pulling a bar up off the ground with my arms & back, I was consciously recruiting the strongest muscles in my body, making it so much easier.

“Christine”
3 Rounds:
500m Row
12 Deadlifts (160 lbs)
21 Box Jumps (20″)

I really love both rowing and deadlifts but those deadlifts make the box jumps feel hard! By staying focused on my form, using my butt for power & landing softly on the box, I made those jumps so much easier than if I was sloppy and looking to grind through without attention to HOW I was moving.

When I do push-ups I tell myself the same thing: Use your butt! Who knew squeezing your glutes could make a push-up so much easier?

I’m telling you guys, just like using your biggest muscle groups and being efficient in your movement makes workouts easier, being efficient, calm & organized in your approach to the day makes your choices easier.

Sometimes the smallest adjustments to how we do things makes the things we do require far less effort.

On the food front:

I started the day with a bottle of butter coffee from Picnik and a cup of cold brew.

About an hour after my workout I had 4 grilled chicken strips with some honey mustard.

A couple hours after that I had a coconut chocolate RX bar.

I get a lot of questions about bars and I’ve done a podcast episode on them. In short, I don’t think there’s any bar that should be included on a daily basis for most people.

I totally recognize that they might represent a huge improvement for some people and in that case, do what is an improvement for you so long as it’s working. I have found that for me and many others, bars can trigger cravings AND not satisfy hunger.

I like the flavor of RX bars and I have a couple of them from my weekend at the CrossFit East Regional. However, I don’t go out of my way to buy bars. It’s not a good idea for me. It doesn’t set me up for success.

On the front of the RX bar (coconut chocolate flavor), it lists some of the ingredients. They proudly label the front of the package with:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 6 almonds
  • 4 cashews
  • 2 dates
  • No B.S

I can totally see how consumers would think that’s all that is in the bar. That’s not true. Sure, there’s not too much more but I just want people to be clear that there are a few other ingredients listed on the back that aren’t on the front.

If you’re going to eat bars, please make sure you pay close attention to whether or not they are working for you.

—-

At this point in the day, I had to call an audible. Such is life. The unexpected is expected. If you’re expecting it to go according to plan, please stop. You’ll always be frustrated and feel out of control.

Here’s how it went down:

I write these blogs in the early afternoon. By that point, I’ve made it through my workout and I have a food/work plan for the rest of the day.

Today was no different. I planned to have Paleo Power Meals for both lunch and dinner & be in bed early.

However, my plans changed and I’ll have a visitor for dinner tonight. No stress! Roll with the punches! I’m more attached to my potential than I am to my plan.

Lunch remained Paleo Power Meals: chopped suey on a portabello mushroom “bun” with cauliflower rice.

What about dinner….

I don’t want to serve Paleo Power Meals (I’m selfish & don’t like to share – seriously) but I also don’t want to go to the grocery store and spend time cooking a legit meal.

The solution? His & her shakes!

I say “his and hers” because my goals are different from the average bear. If I’m going to have a shake for dinner I don’t want it to have fruit or sugar and I want to make sure to get my veggies in there. I also don’t need multiple sources of protein – I had plenty today. No protein powder for me!

For someone with different goals, I might make the shake more indulgent & delicious.

Here’s what’s going into mine:

  • frozen cauliflower
  • almond milk (unsweetened)
  • spinach
  • greek yogurt
  • avocado
  • peppermint extract
  • vanilla extract

Mine is a lot like the peppermint shake I posted a few months ago.

Here’s what’s going into his:

  • frozen cauliflower
  • almond milk (unsweetened)
  • greek yogurt
  • strawberries
  • vanilla protein powder
  • vanilla extract

Yay for no-cook meals that are still delish & fat loss friendly! And here’s to not getting so attached to “the plan” that you can’t enjoy the adjustments!

Here’s to a great day and focusing not just on what you do but also on how you do it!

PS: If you’re new to these posts, listen to this podcast episode to get the scoop on what changes I’m making in my life and you can start back at my first daily post here.