Don’t Give Up Just Because “Life Happens”

If you woke up today and are reading this then there’s a good chance that something happened OR will happen that you didn’t see coming. Your car breaks down, you trip on the stairs and twist your ankle, your computer crashes, your child is sick, you didn’t get the promotion, etc…The point is “LIFE” is going to happen, the stress of those situations is going to come crashing in and you have two options in how you respond and how you let it affect you and your health.

Option One: Let Stress Get The Best of You

Consider these facts as reported by WebMD

  • Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
  • Seventy-five percent to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
  • Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually.
  • The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.

Before I got serious about my health I was experiencing each of these to some extent. When I encountered stress my immediate reaction was – FOOD. Even today, as in just a few hours ago of writing this blog post, I faced a big serving of stress and I immediately felt the desire to go hunting for something to eat.

Option Two: Conquer Stress and Win

Stress definitely has it’s roots in the mind and there are a number of mental tools to deal with that side of stress. But, one thing I have found that help keep stress in it’s place is the dreaded E-word; EXERCISE. And yes, I get it and have been there – nobody wants to talk about it or do it but if you are going to conquer stress it’s going to take work. There will be a level of discomfort involved.


My personal experience with exercise and the positive impact it has had on my ability to deal with stress has been incredible. Over the last eighteen months I have experienced a physical change in my brain, no just my mind and emotions. If I miss working out for more than two days I start to feel the effects in my brain. I will begin to feel slower in my ability to process things and will lose my mental edge.

The American Psychology Association reports the following:

Biologically, exercise seems to give the body a chance to practice dealing with stress. It forces the body’s physiological systems — all of which are involved in the stress response — to communicate much more closely than usual: The cardiovascular system communicates with the renal system, which communicates with the muscular system. And all of these are controlled by the central and sympathetic nervous systems, which also must communicate with each other. This workout of the body’s communication system may be the true value of exercise; the more sedentary we get, the less efficient our bodies in responding to stress.

How I Started Exercising

I love challenges. Over the past three years I’ve competed in several different health challenges. Even as I’m writing this post I am finishing a year long challenge sponsored by 1st Phorm supplements called My Transphormation Starts Today. But I love the competition and being in the trenches with a group of other people pushing towards a shared goal.

Through my challenges I have learned a number of things.

First, I’ve learned NOT to set unrealistic goals. If you haven’t exercised in quite a while don’t expect to run three miles within ten minutes your first time out. Don’t expect to lift like Arnold your first time slinging the barbells. Set your expectations high enough that you are going to need to sweat and work hard, but not high enough that you become discouraged fifteen minutes into your first workout.

Second, you need to be consistent. I started exercising three times a week and doing 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. Over the course of the first six months I worked up to three times a week at sixty minutes per session. But, by the end of my first year I was hitting the gym five times a week and doing a variety of cardio and core exercises. During the second and third year of my health journTrust the Processey I began to lift weights in addition to my cardio. But the key was staying consistent and committed to working out.

Third, trust the process. Eric Thomas says you have to fall in love with the process. And when you fall in love with the process the results will come. You have to take a long term outlook with your health. If you are looking for a quick fix and not a lifelong change then give it up now. You will need patience and when things are tough and you aren’t seeing a lot of change you will have to trust the process and know that your persistence will bring the results.

Life is always going to happen but in the midst of it you have to stay committed to your goals, remain consistent and trust the process. Don’t give into the temptation of justifying poor choices just because “life happens”. Push back against “life” and run towards the prize of a healthy and productive life.


2016 Transformation Update

2016 Fall Update Pic

Left Picture (2012) Right Picture (2016)

Wow, I just noticed that the last time I provided an update on my 2016 health transformation was more than a few months ago. The past eleven months have been solid and I’m headed into the final weeks of the year with more determination than I began the year with. My fourth and final health and fitness challenge of the year (My Transphormation Starts Today) ends on December 31st and I’m pumped.


When I started this year I was still facing some pretty significant health issues even though during the previous two years I had made some great strides. A few of the highlights from this year include:

  • In 2011 I was diagnosed with fatty liver disease, NOW IT’S GONE
  • Cholesterol levels are NOW NORMAL
  • Blood sugar is NOW PERFECT
  • Lost SIX inches around my waist
  • I’ve continued to trade pounds of fat for pounds of MUSCLE.


Over the course of the year I’ve had my share of sports injuries; from lower back pain to joints, muscles and tendons. There were also a couple of run ins with the flu early on. But, each time I felt good enough to get back into the gym and back on track I did it right away.

Then the middle of the year hit. After the first three challenges were completed I took my foot off the gas a little. I never quit hitting the gym but my intensity lessened. I never fell off the wagon with my diet but I became more relaxed and not as diligent with what I was putting in my mouth.

3 Things That Helped RE-FIRE Me Up

As the summer ended I hit the reset button and got back into the routine I began the year with. There were three things I focused on that helped push me and poured fuel on the fire to focus on finishing the year strong.

  1. Refocused on my why – understanding why I began my health journey almost three years ago.
  2. Filled my mind with podcasts and information that educated and motivated me.
  3. Looked for people to connect with that would be a positive influence on my transformation.

Don’t let a few (or many) struggles keep you down. Take one, two or all three of things that helped me and give them a try. You and your health are worth it!


How My Health Transformation Started

Change Begins In a Moment

The moment my change began was a few days after my 45th birthday. I found myself in my doctor’s office (the picture below) for an annual wellness visit and all was NOT WELL. I was busting the scale at mochris rainey 45 years old before picturere than 270 pounds. My 47″ waist was as round as my 8-year-old was tall. My blood pressure and cholesterol was out of control. I was never diagnosed with sleep apnea but when you wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air you don’t need a doctor to tell you something is wrong. My mind was in a continual fog. I wasn’t able to concentrate and focus which impacted everything from my personal to professional life. The list was long.

What Was I Thinking?

That wellness visit only confirmed what I saw in the mirror every single day – the guy I was looking at needed to make some significant changes quickly . But the biggest thing I struggled with wasn’t what I could see in the mirror. My biggest obstacle was found between my ears – my thinking. Food has always been my “go to” for comfort and quick relief in times of stress and challenges.chris rainey before

Life hasn’t been short on challenges and stressful situations to find lots of “comfort” in food. Late night snacks, early morning snacks, mid-morning snacks, afternoon snacks, fast food and junk food binges were the norm for me. Many mornings I swung by the convenience store to grab a slice of “breakfast pizza” and a large diet soda – yeah, I said diet, because you don’t want to add unnecessary carbs and calories, HAHAHA! And then, on the drive home, after a hard day at work, I would stop by the store again to grab a soft pretzel (my kryptonite), something sweet and of course a diet soda, HA! If you work hard you deserve to “treat” yourself – right?!

Decide to Fight!

The “moments of change” continued to take place. I began making the right decisions and saying NO when I wanted to grab fast food to “comfort” myself. I made continual decisions to fight to change my mindset and I do mean FIGHT! I knew if I didn’t change how I thought about food, exercise and overall health the future was not bright.

I was not willing to let the middle of my life become the end of my life because of bad decisions and stupid habits.

Challenges & Transformation

I started making changes with my diet and began to exercise. Over the next two years I lost over 50 pounds and almost 10% of my body fat.

70 Pounds Lighter - January 2016During year one I started to make small changes in my health. I participated in a weight loss challenge and placed in the top 20 of almost 1000 participants. This challenge was a catalyst for me and as the year continued I made several small changes that added up.

Year two was pivotal. I got serious about my eating habits and embraced more of a paleo, ketogenic, low-carb lifestyle. I got serious about exercising, hitting the gym 5-7 days per week and working out for 1-2 hours each time. Half-way through the year there was a psychological shift and I started to crave working out. I could literally feel a change taking place in my brain; the fog and unclear thinking started to disappear.

Even in the midst of a handful of sports injuries throughout the year, I didn’t stop. At times I had to take some days or weeks off to let my body heal. But, as soon as my body was feeling good enough to resume workouts I was back in the gym.

Now I’m in year three of this three year transformation.  To kick off this year right I joined four different health challenges; The 2016 Golds Gym Challenge, 250K Challenge , a challenge with co-workers and then a year long challenge sponsored by 1st Phorm called My Transphormation Starts Today.

I’m more motivated than ever to continue to transform my life. I’m not settling with where I have been. I know I’ve got more and I am determined to grind and do whatever it takes to live my life with NO REGRETS! I don’t want to stop with changing my life but I want to inspire and challenge others that transformation is within their grasp as well.

2016 is the year of MY TRANSFORMATION!