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Fit For Life: Bad Day – Good Day – It’s In Your Control

Sunday, October 01, 2017


I wake for a 5:25 am flight on Thursday morning heading to Grand Rapids Michigan to attend a business development workshop, and when I arrive at the airport, the curbside check-in guy tells me there was a problem with several planes in Providence, and he needs to reroute me. It turns out that 8 planes were supposed to land at T.F. Green the night before, and only 2 arrived due to the heavy fog, so many flights got postponed, or cancelled. Seeing that I woke at 3:15am, my thought process wasn’t as clear, and I accepted my boarding pass and went on my way.

Turns out that the easiest, and surest way I would arrive at my destination was to be rerouted across the country, then back track to Michigan, so instead of an 11am arrival, I won’t get there until 5:45pm.

Needless to say, I was furious. Not only am I going to miss an entire day, but I woke up at an un-Godly hour for nothing. Words couldn’t describe how aggravated I was. I feel like smoke should’ve poured out my nostrils. I was livid. I was livid until I heard an announcement about San Juan, Puerto Rico. Then I put things into perspective.

I still have my house, electricity, and a town to live in without raw sewage flowing through the streets. Yes, my situation wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t that bad, and it was entirely out of my control, so I had to roll with it. After thinking like this, my situation didn’t suck as much. Saying that, my topic today is controlling the things you can, and trying to make the best of the things you can’t.

Some things you can’t control:

The weather. If you live in New England, and you spend your life worrying about the weather, you are making a mistake. It’s unpredictable for the most part, and it’s totally out of everyone’s control, so you need to plan accordingly. Planning a huge outdoor party or event? You better rent a tent or you could spend a lot of money on a washout. Do you own a landscape or painting business? Have a Plan B at all times because if you don’t, the dollars won’t come your way if you take days off due to the weather. You playing outside sports? Expect to get wet, or if its football you’re involved in, prepare to freeze your butt off a couple of games a season. These events happen rain sleet snow or cold! Just washed your car? If the birds don’t get you first, the weather is going to get it dirty soon enough, so don’t get mad when your ride gets dirty. Nobody can control the weather, but you can be prepared for it!

Your family. Everyone has some sort of family issue. I have never met a person that didn’t have one, or several family members that drove them crazy. I am lucky enough to have several. But guess what? It’s too bad, because you can’t choose your family, and there is nothing you can do, so accept it and move on. My mother and father have extreme political views. One is at one side of the spectrum to the left, and one is way to the right. I am somewhere in the middle, and I agree with a few policies on both sides, so a debate is always lurking when I visit either. In order to avoid an argument, and get pulled into a discussion that nobody will win, I try to “edit” the time I spend with each. I love them both dearly, and don’t want to spend my time with them arguing, so I try to avoid topics of disagreement. I can’t change either one of their views, so I accept their beliefs, and move on to brighter conversation. I know parents with bad kids, siblings that hate each other, and almost every family has a black sheep. This is out of your control, regardless of how hard you try. Some people will never change, and it’s not worth your energy to do so, therefore you need to accept it and control the caliber of the relationship. When you have family that you love, and want to see on a regular basis, it’s better to edit the time spent rather than avoid them completely. This is in your control!

What you can control. YOU!

These are a few examples of things you can’t control, but there is one major thing that you can control, and that’s yourself, and your actions. I feel that we are all in charge of our own destiny. For the most part.

Our health. Our health, and how we conduct ourselves is something every adult has the ability to do. In the morning, you have control of how your day is going to start. You are either going to jump out of bed be productive, or you will hit the snooze button a few times and get up behind and frazzled to start the day. If you wake up when you are supposed to, you have time to eat breakfast and plan your day effectively and efficiently. You also control the breakfast you eat.
You have the choice of a nice at home healthy breakfast, or you can rush into a 7/11 for some crap wrapped in plastic to eat in the car. As a matter of fact, you have control over EVERYTHING you eat during the day, and that relates to how healthy you can be. You have the power to be fit and healthy. Nobody should have control of this but you.

The last time I was at the doctor’s office for my annual physical, I sat there listening to people complain about their ailments. I sit there thinking to myself “If these people made some simple lifestyle changes, they wouldn’t be here”. Your health is in your control.

The people that train at my facility Providence Fit Body Boot Camp made the big decision to not let that happen to them. They chose to let me help them achieve ultimate health and fitness. They control their destiny, not me. I just supply the roadmap, plan, and motivate them to work hard at achieving their goals. They control when to show up.

Your thoughts. You also control your thought process, and the people you spend time with. Family aside, you can control the company you keep. If someone you know complains the whole time you are together, don’t spend time with those people, or severely limit the time spent. You can also control your thought process. If you think positive, good things will more likely come your way. If you have negative cynical thoughts throughout the day, you will attract the same vibes. I am reading a book, and a line from Shakespeare states “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. Abe Lincoln stated that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”. This is very true, and it is something I am personally working on. Relentlessly. Constantly talking positively to myself, and trying to keep my thoughts in control.

So in conclusion, it’s easy to get angry, discouraged, frustrated and just plain infuriated at some of the events that happen in our lives. Just remember that if it’s in your control you can change it. If it’s not, all you can do is change your thought process. Also remember that negative energy cost a lot more than positive energy, and the result of positive influence is much more rewarding than the result of negative thoughts, so don’t fight the things that are out of your control, and try to improve the things that are. Think like this on a daily basis, and you will find yourself in a better place!!

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one.


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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