If you can’t do this…you can’t win in life. Period

It’s a bold statement, but it’s true. I’m convinced that despite all of our individual shortcomings, we can still rise up and overcome obstacles. However, there is one thing that is vital to being successful. Before I lay it all out for you…let me ask you a few reflective questions.

When you have a bad day at work…how do you respond?

When you eat a really greasy-nasty-calorically appalling lunch…what do you eat thereafter for dinner?

When adversity strikes in ANY area of your life…what is your reaction?

Our success is largely determined by our ability to bounce back after a set back. We are all going to fail. I fail DAILY as a husband, father, friend, employer, coach…you name it. The key is creating a few “head tricks” to get your butt up off the ground as fast as possible.

For me, I have a few strategies I use to help me turn the page and move past my personal failures. Here are a few…

If you fail at meal time, starting planning for the next meal or next days worth of meals. This will mentally allow you to move on and avoid sulking over your poor choice. Move on.
If you offend someone or don’t follow through with a promise…apologize. Make it right as fast as possible and get your energy back to a positive state. 
If you miss a workout, set your clothes out for the next day and tell someone of your intentions to do things differently the next day. You can’t change the past, but you can plan for a successful future. 
Forgive yourself. Many of us battle crippling abuse from ourselves. You are human…give yourself grace and take a step forward. 
If you had a bad day…go back to your self care plan and see where you can improve.

Are you getting 7-8 hours of sleep?

Are you abusing caffeine and using it as a crutch to get through the day and frying your nervous system in the process?

Are you following through on your commitment to your fitness and health?

Are you using alcohol as a crutch to relax/unwind?

Are you managing stress well in your life? Are you praying and/or discussing your stressors with people who love you?

We all get knocked down in life. Sometimes, the body blows we take are significant. But remember, winning is determined not by who gets hit the least…but rather who get up from getting popped in the mouth the fastest.

Written by Brad Tillery

If you are getting sick and tired of being knocked down and need the power of a strong community and experienced fitness professionals to help guide you towards your personal success…we would love to help.

Feel free to reach out to us at 979-575-7871 to find out how you can get connected to our community in a personal small group of 3-4 others with similar goals and aspirations at our Central (Texas & University) and South (Barron & Fitch) studios.

Understanding the symptoms of and treatment for teenage depression

Understanding the symptoms of and treatment for teenage depression.

The most common type of mental disorder among adults, depression is also common among teenagers. During a time of life when teens should be carefree, having fun with friends, and exploring life, many teenagers feel sad, hopeless, and alone. Peer pressure, academic stress, and the anxiety that accompanies puberty can contribute to a teenager’s moodiness and irritability, but some teenagers become truly depressed and require professional help to heal.

With that in mind, it’s important for parents and teachers to recognize symptoms of teenage depression, a condition that affects an estimated one in five teens.

Highly treatable, the sooner help is sought, the sooner your teen can enjoy life again.

Detecting Depression

Symptoms of depression in teenagers may be different than in adults. A teen dealing with depression may cry a lot, seem angry, be extra sensitive to criticism, withdraw from social activities, be tired all the time, have trouble sleeping, or have thoughts of suicide.

The sadness, hopelessness, and despair are often evident in a teenager’s behaviors and attitude. In an attempt to cope with their negative emotions, teenagers may act out in some common ways. Here are a few.

Some teens turn to alcohol or drug abuse to numb their pain. Others may participate in risky behaviors, bullying, or violence.

Depression may cause a lack of energy and problems concentrating, both which lead to problems at school. Grades may suffer, attendance may drop, and a teen may lose all interest in school and social activities.

Often as a cry for help, a teen may run away or make plans to run away. 
A depressed teen usually has a low self-esteem. He may feel ugly, ashamed, or unworthy.

Many teens turn to social media, gaming, or excessive phone use as a way to escape their emotions. Unfortunately, these typically only worsen the symptoms.

Depressed kids often complain about physical symptoms such as stomachaches or headaches that have no apparent cause.

How to Help

Since teenagers don’t know how to cope with their feelings of sadness and depression, they may be waiting for an adult to step in to help. This is why it’s important for adults to know what to watch for.

Keep in mind that no one of any age can just bounce back from depression, try their hardest to overcome it, or wait for it to improve on its own. True depression requires professional help and the support of family and friends.

Talk with your teenager about the symptoms you’ve noticed and why you’re concerned. Ask if there’s anything he wants to talk about. If he opens up, be ready to listen with compassion and patience. Refrain from asking too many questions or lecturing, but acknowledge his feelings and reassure him of your love and support.

As a parent, make quality time with your teen a priority. As you spend time together, work to keep lines of communication open. Encourage your teen to hang out with friends and to stay involved in extra curricular activities.

A healthy lifestyle goes a long way in combatting depression. Make sure your teen gets enough sleep (nine to ten hours a night), gets regular exercise, limits screen time, and eats a healthy diet.

When you’re worried your child may be depressed, but she won’t open up to you and she’s not willing to make any of the changes listed above, trust your intuition and talk with a mental health professional who has experience working with teens. Let your teen help choose a therapist. In many cases, talk therapy is enough to help treat depression, but sometimes medication may be needed in addition to counseling sessions.

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 
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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. 
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

10 things women can do to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.

10 things women can do to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.

Last year alone, there were more than 2 million new diagnoses of breast cancer around the world. Next to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women and a leading cause of cancer deaths. While men are able to get breast cancer, its occurrence is much greater in women.

The cause of breast cancer seems to be a complex combination of environmental factors, lifestyle, hormones, and your genetic makeup. Until science discovers exactly why some breast cells begin to grow abnormally and a cure is found, women of all walks of life, around the globe, will continue to battle breast cancer.

There’s no sure fire way to prevent breast cancer, but there are things women can do to lower their risk of the dreaded disease. Here are a few.

Get Regular Screenings

The earlier breast cancer is detected, the more likely treatment will be successful. Talk with your doctor about when you should begin to get yearly mammograms and clinical breast exams. Some medical organizations recommend women start getting mammograms at age 40, others recommend age 45 or 50. High-risk women may need a baseline mammogram at an earlier age.

Do Self-Exams

It’s important for women to be familiar with the way their breasts feel so they can recognize any changes or lumps. Once a month, women should perform a breast self-exam. Call your doctor if you notice any new or unusual changes.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer. Postmenopausal weight gain is especially dangerous. If you’re overweight, take the necessary steps to lose weight. Get more exercise and reduce the number of calories you consume.

Drink Less Alcohol

Your risk of breast cancer goes up the more alcohol you drink. Current recommendations encourage women to drink no more than one drink a day. One drink is equal to 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

Get More Exercise

Living an active lifestyle reduces your risk of breast cancer. Besides being active throughout your day, plan to get at least half an hour of moderate intensity exercise five days a week. Include cardio as well as strength training exercises in your routine.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking increases your risk of developing various types of cancer, including breast cancer. Women can reduce their risk of all kinds of diseases by not smoking. So either put down the cigarettes today or if you don’t smoke, don’t start.


Women who breastfeed their babies are doing not only their babies a favor but also their breasts. For some reason, breastfeeding seems to have a protective effect on the breasts.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a Mediterranean diet lowers your risk of breast cancer. This healthy eating plan includes mostly plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and olive oil. Fish, rather than red meat, is a main source of protein.

Limit Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy for postmenopausal women has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer. With that in mind, hormone therapy should be used to relieve the unpleasant symptoms that accompany menopause only in rare cases. If hormones are used, go with the lowest possible dose for a limited amount of time.

Chemoprevention or Surgery

Other preventative measures may be recommended for women with a very high risk for breast cancer. This includes women with a family history of the disease and a precancerous breast condition. Chemoprevention medications block the effects of estrogen and may reduce a woman’s risk of cancer. Surgery to remove the breasts and avoid cancer is a last resort option, but some women have taken this extreme step.

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 
Powered by FitPro Magazine™Terms of Service | Legal Disclaimer
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. 
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Do these 7 exercises to improve your posture

Do these 7 exercises to improve your posture

Proper posture doesn’t just make you look taller and more self-assured. It also reduces low back pain, boosts energy levels, builds lung capacity, improves digestion, and relieves neck and shoulder tension.

When you hold your body upright, your spine is in a neutral position and there’s less strain on the muscles and ligaments that support your body. Unfortunately, good posture doesn’t always come naturally. You have to train your body and build strong muscles to hold you upright.

In order to improve your posture, plan to incorporate the following exercises and stretches into your regular workout routine.


Good posture is easier when you have strong muscles supporting your spine. The plank is an exercise that helps strengthen your core and back. For a plank, get on all fours on the floor. Straighten your legs and arms and raise your body up so it’s in a straight line. Keep your head in line with your heels and look down at the ground. Hold this pose for up to a minute. To make a plank slightly easier, bend your arms and hold your body up on your toes and forearms.


The bridge is an exercise to strengthen your lower back, abdominals, and glutes. Lie on your back and bend your knees so your feet rest flat on the floor. Keep your arms down by your sides. From here, tighten your core and glutes, keep your shoulders and arms on the floor, and lift your hips and torso off the floor. Hold this position, slowly lower your glutes back to the floor, and repeat.

Neck Stretches

Relieve tight neck muscles and improve your posture with neck stretches. While standing, slowly lower your chin toward your chest. Then lift your head and let it slowly fall back as your chin lifts in the air. Raise your head and slowly lower your right ear toward your right shoulder and then your left ear toward your left shoulder.

Child’s Pose

The child’s pose is a simple stretch that helps lengthen your spine, hamstrings, and glutes, relieving tension in your back and neck. Get on the floor, tuck your legs under you, and sit on your feet. Your big toes should be together and your heels pointing out toward either side. Now bend your upper body forward and bring your forehead down to the floor. Press your hips downward and extend your hands above your head or down by your sides. Hold this pose and relax as you feel the stretch.

Downward Facing Dog

Include the downward facing dog Yoga pose in your stretching routine to help strengthen and align your back muscles and improve posture. Get on the floor on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Support your body on your hands and toes and slowly lift your hips toward the ceiling. Slowly straighten your legs and press into your palms and heels until your body is in an upside down V shape.

Shoulder Rolls

Relieve tension in your neck and shoulders by doing 5 to 10 shoulder rolls each day. Sit or stand with your hands down by your sides, raise your shoulders up toward your ears and hold for a few seconds. Then, roll your shoulders back, bringing your shoulder blades together, and then lower your shoulders to their starting position.

Seated Twist

Do a seated twist to stretch your back while sitting at your desk. Hold your desk or right arm of your chair and twist your upper body toward the right. After a couple of seconds, return to forward facing. Now, twist to the left and hold. Repeat.