Get Rid of the Toxicity In Your Life

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I think a lot of what holds people back from attaining their goals – especially those which are more fitness and health related – is the incessant toxicity that permeates their life.  In a way, it’s almost as if we’re all self-sabotaging ourselves, playing the role of enabler to continue sucking at whatever it is we’re sucking at.

Rather than take responsibility for our own actions and hold ourselves accountable, we “accept” things as the way they’re supposed to be, and grow immune to change.  Or worse, we just say something lame like “oh, I’ll start getting up early on Monday to go to the gym,” as if the weekend was some sort of free-pass or mulligan to stay complacent.

It goes without saying that in order to change something in our lives – whether it’s something physical, emotional, mental, or whatever – we have to WANT to make those changes. I think we can all agree with that, right?

But one thing that I feel many people fail to comprehend is the notion that we’re all drowning in toxicity that surrounds us.

What do I mean?

Food

I like what Krista Scott Dixon as to say on the matter:

You think your “willpower” is strong enough to keep you out of the potato chips after a tough day of not stabbing your boss? Hah! Make sure the chips aren’t there, make sure some tasty crunchy veggies are there, and then you don’t have to use your over-booked thinky brain to make that decision.

It’s a simple solution, but if the double-stuffed Oreo’s aren’t there – even in your super secret  hiding spot – to eat once you’re home from work, you won’t eat them.

Get rid of the toxicity.

Make time to go shopping for more nutritious foods (this is the accountability part). MAKE A LIST, and stick to it.  Those who make lists are less likely to buy the Cheese Whiz that’s on sale.  Likewise, reduce temptation by staying more in the periphery of the store where the meats and fresh produce reside.

And since we’re on the topic:  Buy whole eggs and not the egg whites you Pruis driving, John Mayer listening douche.

Gym

I don’t know about you, but (most) commercial gyms are a joke. Of course, anything that gets people off their ass and exercising is a good thing, but  itt’s almost as if training is an afterthought at most of these places, what with HD television screens attached to every piece of equipment and lunk alarms going off whenever someone lifts something heavier than a purse.

Not only that, how in the hell is anyone supposed to get strong with ambient music playing in the background and  when no chalk is allowed?

I’ve always stressed that one of the “x-factors” with regards to training is environment.  It’s an often overlooked component and something that more people should pay attention to.

NOTHING beats training around like-minded individuals who are going to push you and encourage  you to take your body to the limits.  Hell, nothing beats training in a gym that actually has more squat racks than treadmills.

This is actually one of the reasons why I like CrossFit.  Sure most everything else about it makes a small part of my soul die, but you can’t argue the overwhelming sense of camaraderie that it instills in its members.  I dig that.

Even if it’s only once per week, find a gyn that doesn’t suck.  Get rid of the toxicity.

People

You’re the summation of the five people you hang out with the most.

No really, you are.

Take me for example.  Just last week I was chilling with the likes of Chuck Norris, Mr. T, Jack Bauer, Papa Smurf, and Alicia Keys.

Okay, I lied.  I didn’t really hang out with Alicia Keys.  But if we did, it would have been awesome.

In all seriousness, though, if you have friends who are more concerned with what beer specials are at which bars during the week or who are constantly chastising or judging you on your healthy lifestyle, screw em!  Get rid of them.  Or, at the very least, limit your time with them.

By that same token, no one wants to be around a Johnny Raincloud all the time.  If you have friends or colleagues who are constantly bringing you down into their valley of gloom and negativity, as harsh as it sounds, get rid of them. Who needs it? You certainly don’t!

Having a strong and supportive social network is kind of a big deal and something you DESERVE to have.  Get rid of the toxicity!

Other things come into play here, too.

Turn off the television and pick up a book every once in a while.

Go see an art house film rather than your typical, mindless popcorn movie. This isn’t to say popcorn movies don’t have their place – Dark Knight Rises, anyone? – but you may be surprised at how enjoyable watching a movie with some substance (and an actual plot) might be.  Too, art house films usually show lots of boobies! Just an FYI.

Travel!

Go for a walk.  Seriously, people forget how beneficial a simple nightly walk can be.

Get off the elliptical and pick up something heavy.

Buy THIS book.

Adopt a pet.

Get off Facebook and live a REAL life and interact with REAL people.

Do some hill sprints.

Try new foods!  Preferably ones that  are green or used to have a face.

Have any other tips for those looking to remove the toxicity in their life?  Share them below!

 

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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  • RS

    Tony,

    I’ve never been a TV guy, but since moving in April, I’ve “boycotted” TV altogether. It highlighted how the 1 1/2 hours a day I did sit in front of the TV–even if it was while eating or answering emails–could be put to much better use. Like sleeping.

    RS

  • Adam V

    Hey Tony,

    I just wanted to commend you on your animal meat reference… “Preferably ones that used to have a face.” That may be the best quote I’ve ever seen. Kudos.

    Best,
    Adam

  • J.B.

    last fall I went on an “information diet” for 8 weeks: less than 10 hours of tv per week. 30 minutes/ day of computer screwing around time (output was ok, any input: even blogs, t-nation, cracked.com, theoatmeal.com it all counts choose wisely) . 1 movie per week. I read a book a week in that time. I passed my CPT. I wrote a bunch of stuff. I never realized how much f*cking around I did until I cut back on it.
    I need to do that again.

    • TonyGentilcore

      Shit, I need to do one of those too!  Lisa is actually going to be gone for four weeks starting in mid-July.  Maybe I’ll use that time to do something similar and see how productive I can be

  • Tony,
    Great post!  It’s easy to make excuses not to “train” and why you deserve a “binge” meal, but it’s so much more rewarding physically and mentally to go against the grain and accomplish something awesome (a big squat or deadlift PR, losing a couple inches off your waist, or cutting out all prescription meds).  Another book I recommend that is similar to your topic- Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman…

    • TonyGentilcore

      Couldn’t agree more Damon. Thanks for chiming in (and for the book recommendation!).

  • Daniel Sigafoos

    Badass brotha.  Goood stuff here.  Im reposting on my wall.  Also, I took your advice and bought Cressey’s book.  Im going to rock out the 16 week program and see what I can do.  Thanks for all the help in Toronto my friend!

    • TonyGentilcore

      Absolutely! And, you’re going to LOVE the program in that book. Let me know how it goes.

  • AWESOME post. Sharing with my athletes for sure. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Surround yourself with positive people. HUGE

    • TonyGentilcore

      Thanks John! Glad you liked it. Like you, I’ve been lucky to have a lot of great friends and family who are just awesome.

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  • Nick

    My gym here at college plays some atrocious shit for music, usually top 40 dance hits. Deadlifting to Kelly Clarkson makes me want to tear infants in half…and not in the bad ass way.

  • Kelsey Reed

    Eat. More. Kale. 

    Great post Tony!

    • TonyGentilcore

      HA! Funny story: I wore that shirt a few months ago at the facility and one of our interns (at the time) looked at me with a quizzical look on his face and asked, “what’s kale? A fish?”

      hahahahahahahahahaha. I about lost it.

  • Troy Adashun

    Losing the Acid and alkalyzing your body in my opinion is the MOST IMORTANT thing you could possibly do for your health, fitness, energy, and overall wellness! 

    Our society has become so lazy with TV, computers,etc and we don’t get outside and socialize and interact enough either. That is no doubt effecting our acidity levels 

    • TonyGentilcore

      Couldn’t agree more Troy. Diet BY FAR comes into the equation more than people think. And I’d be remiss not to acknowledge that our society’s social skills are pretty piss poor due to “social” media. Good call on that front.

  •   Dark Knight Rises, is a great story thanks.

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