Fitness tips

Maybe it does not have to be ALL or NOTHING?

all or nothing

The problem with All or Nothing. 

Your either ON or OFF. Your either IN or OUT. It’s either ALL or NOTHING. First of all let’s stop assigning ourselves permanent labels.  Sometimes our hold up is our willingness to categorize ourselves into a “type of person.”

“I am just an all or nothing type of person” you say.

But maybe you have just learned a pattern of behaviour that has you stepping back and forth between that made up line? One week you are all in and the next week you are all out.

Maybe we just need to throw off the idea that we are pigeon holed into a personality trait. Maybe we just need to learn to be flexible and forgiving of our mishaps – to not let this false idea of perfection sabotage us.  Maybe we need to acknowledge our humanness and learn how to fall short but not let it define us or keep us down. Maybe we just need to learn how to get up quicker, be more graceful and joyful in our plans. Yes we may get “there” a little slower but when we do we will stay there. If it feels like work most of us can’t will ourselves enough to sustain the effort. So maybe we need to find JOY in the effort, fall in love with the process and maybe that means we have to learn to live less regimented and accept there are days and hours we will fall short of the plan we laid out.

So take a look at your plan. Have you made room for mishaps? Is there margin and space for learning ? What about JOY ? Have you left space to enjoy the journey? And pressure how much pressure have you applied to getting it perfect? Take a deep breathe. I know the greatest gift I have received from my faith is forgiveness and I need to learn to walk in it new each morning – when I do the burden is lighter – the gratitude is stronger and my steps are more purposeful. It does not have to be ALL or NOTHING – because that will always leave you with one or the other. Maybe we need to learn how to live somewhere in the middle. Where we easily without shame can be ALL one minute and completely fine with “nothing” the next. It does not have to mean IN or OUT. May you find some JOY in the process today.

STUCK happens : What is the #1 Obstacle?

stuck-happensEveryday I witness STUCK. People STUCK. Complacent. Venturing nowhere. So I was thinking about how often STUCK happens. I started asking myself what is the biggest barriers people have in life?

What came to mind was the BELIEF that they cannot change. The belief that their fate is sealed. That at a certain age your personality, your mode of operation, your way of doing things, the category in life that you are slotted into is STATIC.

I was trying to figure out the WHY behind doing what I do. What is it that drives me? Why am I so passionate about what I do?

It came down to this. I believe in PEOPLE. I believe that each one of us has the capacity to CHANGE, to really truly and honestly change.


1st because I have witnessed it in me. Through my time in prayer and my growth in my faith I have witness CHANGE in me, in my attitude, in my confidence, in my mode of operation and consequently the environment and relationships surrounding me.

2nd I have witnessed it in the person closest to me. My wife Jen. How she has battled to arrive in a new place and stand on new victorious ground in her life.

Thirdly – In my travels all over the place I have met amazing people with amazing stories of victory. Of lives changed and new mindsets gained.

I have spent many hours heck DAYS, MONTHS, YEARS, SEASONS letting my grasp loosen on the hope that things can be different.

Strengthening my grip on hope has been a result of allowing the battle to be my training ground. The failures, the missteps, the backwards slides – I can either be honest about them (not in a self shaming way) or let them serve as proof that change is not possible.

I have been working on choosing a higher level of self awareness. I often ask myself this question

“How is that working for you Ira?“

In the face of frustration I ask myself “Are you going to keep being frustrated banging your head against the wall trying to do the same thing yet somehow believe you can achieve a different result?“

OR “Are you going to exercise your capacity to do things differently?“

I have resolved to stop waiting around STUCK. Stop waiting around for other people to CHANGE or my environment or circumstances to change. I remind myself daily of my verse from 2 corinthians a reminder that “At all times I have all that I need to abound in every good work.“ I have the verse hung right above my desk so I can re-read it everyday.

There are still days I give into complacency. You know, a bowl of crap food (that I really don`t want) scrolling through endless and mindless social media feeds (that I really don’t care for) BUT there is a difference. I have shaped a NEW belief. That we as people have been gifted the capacity to choose, to change, to chart a new course, to arrive in a different place.

The choice is ours.

Do I sit in shame around my perceived failures?


Do I take a seat in a chair with an elevated perspective over them? Constantly learning and claiming ownership over my failures because I have a firm grasp on the HOPE that I can actually change?

It is only your BELIEF that holds you back. You want and desire change? START there, with whether you BELIEVE it is possible or not.

Happy New Year : FREE Live Online Workouts

2 (1)It is so hard to start something NEW.  I know so many well intentioned people just want to feel better and look better as the clock rolls over from 2015 to 2016.  So I want to do what I can with what I have available to me to help give you a head start this New Year!  Have you heard of periscope?? I just discovered this awesome app.  Pound Rockout Workout did a 12 days of Christmas promotion where people from all over the world joined them live from LA for 12 days of pound workouts in a row!!!

SO here is how it is going to work.  Starting Jan 4th (yep it is a Monday) until Jan 15th I will be broadcasting workouts (M-F) from my home to your home. You can join me live or you have 24 hours to complete the workout on periscope before it is gone. You up for the challenge?

2 weeks.

10 workouts.

10-20 minutes in length.

Free on periscope.

 How to connect on periscope:

periscope(1) Search for periscope on your mobile device.  If you want to use your ipad look for iphone version of app / there is no ipad version yet.

(2) Download periscope. Sign in and set up an account using an existing twitter account or a cellular phone number.

(3) Search for @IraMcNamara and follow me.

(4) Use the email sign-up form below to get a schedule and workout card for the 2 week event.

(5) Periscope will alert you when I am logging on live for workouts.

(6) Note if you have an apple TV or google play you can also tune in live that way!!!!! Check out for more information.

(7) Be sure to challenge your family and friends to join you for the two week adventure. We are all in this together and the more the merrier!

sign up form

Our Kids Are Inheriting Our Weighty Issues

kid scaleWould you be able to live without your scale?

If I put you on a workout and eating plan for 30 days and told you that you could not weigh yourself, would you be able to do it?

A lot of people in our 30 day flip program struggle with not being allowed to weigh themselves for 30 days.

Has this little devices that sit on your bathroom floor taken on a massive role in your day to day life? At some point in time our scales have become a digital morality compass on which we stand every morning to receive our verdict.

There you are a NEW day ahead of you holding your breath until that number reveals what type of mood you are going to be in today!

The worse is you could have been a “saint” narrowly avoiding the birthday cake in the lunch room yesterday but if that scale does not budge you are immediately stripped of your sainthood. You have done something “WRONG” and with a frustrated shrug of the shoulders and a few choice words you step off the scale carrying an even greater sense of weight, torment.

It is time to start asking some questions about your relationship with that pesky friend the scale. The one you are so oddly attracted to  and despite your years of wrestling and quarrels you have never let go of this dysfunctional relationship.

When did we start using the scale as a compass for what to eat or NOT to eat?

Well remember when you were a kid do you ever remember overhearing the adults say “oh my kids can eat whatever they want and not gain a thing”  OR “I do not know where they put all that food they must have a wooden leg”. Our society is hyper sensitive to the relationship between food and weight. It often seems like the only conversation we have when it comes to food and our health.

Our society believes a lie.

If you are not overweight your food choices are healthy or good.

If you are overweight your food choices are unhealthy or bad.

Why did my hotel room at a recent fitness conference I attended have a SCALE in it? I cannot even take a vacation from my scale anymore.

Whether my kid is struggling with their weight or not, FOOD has way greater consequences than weight.  Why has weight become our measuring stick for a healthy life?

Food can have a far greater impact on the things that really matter in this life.

Like energy levels, mental capacity, attention span, and emotional health.  All of which cannot be measured on a scale. Have we perhaps become hyper focused on the longer term consequences of poor food choices? That we are missing the impact my food choices today can have on me today!

How much longer are we going to allow the scale to act as our moral compass?

How much longer are we going to teach our kids that food choices should be solely based on whether a particular food makes you “fat” or “skinny”?

Being hyper focused on weight does not seem to be helping the obesity epidemic.  It is time to celebrate non scale victories and talk about all the HEALTH issues good quality food can HEAL.  Yes food heals.  Food restores. Food nourishes. Lets talk about what we are FOR not what we are against.

When our 5 year old  ask “hey Dad is this good for me?” I will tell him how the food will make him feel today.  Then let him decided if he wants to feel that way.

“Dad is this apple good for me?”

“Well that apple is going to make your tummy feel good, it is going to give you energy to jump on the bouncy castle and it is going to help you learn at school.

“What about this chocolate bar Dad?”

“Well that chocolate bar is going to taste really good but also soon after it will make you pretty tired it won’t really fill you up either you will probably need something to eat again soon.”

At our dinner table there is a lot of muscle flexing that goes on. As we feel how strong we are getting as we eat certain foods. Weight is never a topic. Neither is food morality. Food does not make you good or bad. We really do not make a big deal out of it.  As a result our kids do not either.

How many times has the scale thwarted your plans to get healthy? How many times has it made you give up? I am not saying to never measure this component of fitness I AM SAYING stop using it as the ONLY thing you feel like you can never measure up to. The more you feel like you NEED the scale the LESS you should be using it. It is simple the more REAL food you eat the more UNREAL you are going to feel. Whether you are standing on a scale or not your body has a way of balancing these things out so get out off the scale and get into the kitchen for some food that is going to make you feel GREAT today!

How To Deal With People Who Suck The Life Out Of Your Goals.

Dealing With People That Suck The LifeHave you ever been PUMPed up about making things happen in your life, only to have your balloon deflated by an unsupportive loved one, friend, co-worker, or even someone you barely know?

I have been asking my clients to do three things when they start a program with me.

Be Patient,

Be Persistent,

and go about it quietly.

I do not care how excited you are, do not let your excitement spill over into a facebook update.  There is no need to make an announcement about your newest venture. Nor is everybody entitled to an explanation surrounding your new behaviours.

Rather I would ask you to guard your heart and this decision closely.


Real change is a very private affair. When you truly decide to go about making a change it needs to be set apart, it needs to hold a position of honor. It is an agreement that you have made for yourself, to better yourself and only certain people are deserving of an invitation to walk along side you. I will give you a hint, it’s the supportive ones that get to come.

For me real change has always be prompted in my conversation with God. I have asked for freedom from something that is holding me back and God has opened my eye’s to see it; Given me the confidence to face it and the discipline to stick with it; As well as the reminders to come back to it when I have walked away from it.

I must honor and prioritizes the source of my revelation.

That means I do not need to explain myself, my agreement has been made with my maker and that is good enough for me.

What does this look like in real life? It means when I am out to lunch with friends and I pass on the bread bowl I do not need to explain why or announce I am doing so. When I decided attending my regular scheduled class at the gym is more important than an impromptu invite to a social engagement  a simple “I can’t make it” will do.

People are going to notice your efforts. They Will ask questions. When they ask talk about what you ARE doing, what you ARE eating. You do not need to mention what you are NOT doing, what you are AVOIDING.

For example, tell them how you are keeping hydrated and drinking lots of water. Do not tell them about how you have given up your wine for the month.

Sometimes your new venture can be something that convicts the people around you. It is something they want to do to but they are still in the “looking for a way out” phase.  If they can poke holes in your plans it means they can remain safe in their current comfort zones.  Sadly some people will hope that you fail. WHY? It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. If you fail it means staying where they are comfortable was a good decision on their part. However, if you succeed they are left out, left behind, as you move forward. Studies show time and time again we are most like those we surround ourselves with and if you are looking to harness some change in your life it means some people will get left behind in that “area” of your life. They no longer have access to the areas you have set apart.

As you step out to make CHANGE in your life you will quickly be able to decipher who has come with a FRESH AIR supply to help fill you with excitement and who is holding a pin ready to pop your balloon. As soon as you discern those “against” your plan consider the conversation over.  I do not mean be rude, stop talking, and give them the silent treatment.  It is simple, change the conversation. “Enough about that, did you see the weather we are in store for this weekend?”  Make a mental note. I will work patiently, I will work persistently, and as I go about it quietly my RESULTS and the CHANGE in me will SPEAK VOLUMES for me. Those that keep pressing you to announce and explain yourself will slowly lose access to you, they will eventually learn the conversation is OFF topic if they do not have anything positive to say.

The funniest things often happens when you dedicate yourself to this process.

You get results.

When someone asks you what you have been doing, although you are so acutely aware of how hard you have worked, you quietly respond, “Oh I have change the way I do some things.” Sometimes even the most unsupportive people will approach you sincerely and ask you how you did it. Right there in that moment you will receive your greatest reward, you get to INSPIRE someone else to do what you did. Work patiently, work persistently, and go about it quietly and let your transformation do the talking.

Keep at it friends, your victory is waiting.