Lara Foster

Lara Foster

Lara is an obesity survivor! Tipping the scales at 350 lbs in 2007, she knew her life needed a drastic change. With basic, focused fitness and nutrition efforts she lost 150 lbs by 2008 and became a certified personal trainer.

Her knowledge and experience of what it takes to sustainably lose weight, get in shape, and stay in shape is akin to no other. After coaching thousands of sessions in the last 8 years she has broadened her approach to sharing all she has learned through journalism and visual media.

Currently a freelance writer, full-time coach, and part-time rancher, Lara focuses on the action steps needed for a full, whole, sustainable life. She studied Mass Communication at The University of Utah and honed her skills as a sports journalist and photographer. Lara is a NASM certified trainer with PES, CES, USA Weightlifting and Crossfit L-1 to round out her background.

She enjoys the outdoors, photography, and sharing her experiences through this newfound life. Showing others it’s never too late to change, your life CAN be an adventure and you CAN live your dreams!

 

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Family Fitness: WOD Together

Sitting in a car for hours can leave the body feeling restless, depleted, and tired.  It's the same position we face in airplanes, in offices, and most variably our couches or chairs at home.  

One of the best lessons I learned about movement was from Jennifer Azzi, a coach of mine who played for the WNBA.  I asked her how their bodies kept up with all the hours of travel. She said that no matter where they went, how long it took to get there, or when they got there, the First thing they always did was Workout and Move their bodies.

The truth is, no one Feels like working out after a long day, a long ride, a long whatever.  But most of us Know, that no matter how we feel now, we will feel better during/after/when we workout or move.  So we do.

Basic human movement is something that can be tough to discern for most.  We see lots of big healthy promotional pictures and video of the way other people interpret basic human movement on t.v., in magazines, Facebook, and those perfectly framed Instagram pictures.  The heart of the matter of your interpretation of basic human movement will always start where you are.    

How much do you sit in your day?

How active are you?

What CAN you do?  Do you do it?

We live in a busy culture connected by technology and our physical bodies sometimes take a backseat to everything else moving in our lives.  We have to find a way to incorporate basic human movement into the other important components of our lives, especially our families.  There is a way to move together...

The Family WOD!

Most of the time family activities turn into hikes, walks, or bike rides.  But how about when you need that surge of a good a** kickin' workout?

Here is a simple example of how to combine different basic movement capacities amongst the different people in a family so that you can workout together AND spend time together. 

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Gretchen, Samsoni, Lara, Dave (& Princess)

Here's what we came up with:

Use TABATA timing.  For those that are unfamiliar that's 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest.

Create a rotating circuit.  We were on a playground and had a few pieces of equipment to use.

  -Kettlebell

  -Hill

  -Monkey Bars

  -Ground

  -Bench/Step


Create stations in a circle so that transitions from each exercise during the 10 seconds of rest are seamless and easy.

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All stations are available to be utilized with your capability, so scale as needed.  Vocalize this so all the players know.

Station 1:  Kettlebell Swings 35#, to any height/range

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Station 2:  Hill Sprints or Walk (with or without added rock)

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Station 3:  Pull-ups (regular, kipping, jumping, or dead hang hold)

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Station 4:  Toes 2 Bar (Or knees to chest, or push-ups on the ground)

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Station 5:  Box Jumps or Step-Ups

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Use an APP on your phone to alert the transitions through work/rest/rotate modes.

Here's a link to what we used:  Interval Timer - Timing for HIIT Training and Workouts by Deltaworks

Use Music on another phone to keep people jammin' while they move.  Pandora, Spotify, Itunes, all work.

Have FUN!

We treated each station as a circuit and went in order as presented above. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 then started over at 1 again.  We completed FOUR Full Rounds of the circuit, all with the sequence of TABATA Timing.

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It started getting harder at the end and the movement through to a new exercise after 20 seconds was a welcomed transition.  It was easy to constantly push ourselves because we were all moving at the same time giving our 100%.

This type of Family WOD is easy to adapt and create to work the best for your family.  So give it a shot and get your family moving.  Together.

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The Power Of Personal Manifestos

By: Lara Foster

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” - Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

A Personal Manifesto is an engagement in writing and a telling of the story of your life. It is an act of authoring in present time. It can change the aspects and meaning of past, present and future. When new actions or reasons arise, the definitions of what you thought was, and what you thought could be, morph into new realities.

On his YouTube Channel Shots of Awe, Philosopher Jason Silva describes The Power of a Story  as “tool and technique for transformation.”

Think of a Personal Manifesto like your own personal story train moving along the tracks of life. The seats of the train hold your intentions.  The engine room holds your heart/soul/beliefs. The outside of the train is plastered with goals, affirmations, and overall life plans, habits or thoughts.

The train tracks that you’re on could be called destiny. But it’s your continually unfolding understanding of the path in your own life that will alter where those tracks go and how they move.

Manifesto: A manifesto is a published verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government.

 

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So let’s talk about destiny, because a manifesto is the vehicle of how you’ll be operating with destiny and living your life…

I’ve had moments in my life where I saw different paths laid out before me. People or images would inspire a story of, this could be your life in 20 years, and then I’d be asked, would you be happy with that? Generally most of the time it was an emphatic NO. And so I’d thank the vision for showing me what things could be and then Change Shit UP!!! Because I wouldn’t want to keep travelling that path anymore.

The decision to take new action was the first step. But it was the follow through, the continual focus on these new actions that kept propelling me forward instead of becoming complacent again and sliding backwards into old habits of living.

“Destiny is a feeling, not a destination.”

A Personal Manifesto helps one to engage their present focus towards where they want to go and who they want to become much in the same manner that a Bucket List can.

 

A personal manifesto is the ULTIMATE feedback loop.

 

Feedback Loop:  The section of a control system that allows for feedback and self-correction and that adjusts its operation according to differences between the actual and the desired or optimal output. 

 

Your Life is the measurement for this feedback loop and your happiness/fulfillment is the data that helps you change things.

In this short clip Jason Silva describes how to create impressions for a positive feedback loop.

 


Three Vital Impressions:

  1. The Idea, the moment you think of it or it comes to you.

  2. Write it down, Record it, Transcribe it.

  3. Reflect on or Review what you wrote down later in the day.


 

“After that third impression you’ve literally primed your brain with an archetype for that that it will then unconsciously be on the look out for,” says Silva on an episode of The London Real

Towards the 44:50 mark to 50:00 of this London Real episode the conversation goes on to elaborate, "We CAN manifest our destiny."

"Our minds are like parachutes. They only operate when they're open."

Silva continues, "Quantum Physics says that the observer is required for reality to exist. And Joseph Campbell says ‘God is that which exceeds all our intellectual capacity.’ So it’s not this bearded guy, but it’s just this great metaphor for that which we don’t yet understand…

“But what if we are able to understand it. What if we are able to say, oh syncronicity is just a glimpse, a brief moment of awareness of the subconscious proceses of psycho cybernetics. Of you creating these impressions for yourself that will guide as orienting sign posts through your life that will be telling you where your path is. And that ultimately The Hero’s Journey is like Quest Physics.

zpath

 


As Jason Silva quotes off the cuff about the wonderful Elizabeth Gilbert and directly relaying from the book Eat Pray Love,

“The rule of Quest Physics goes something like this: If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.”

 

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Your ideas, your writing, your story, your Personal Manifesto engages the creativity of The Hero’s Journey. Your life becomes an interplay with destiny, a co-creation of Quest Physics, and everything you do is fueled with purpose and intention for the greater good.

A Personal Manifesto engages the creativity of Quest Physics in your everyday life. Turning and facing the truth of your personal life path brings on a whole new set of circumstances and awareness of realities.  Listening to the teachers, discerning the lessons, and applying action... Surely more times than not, you’ll enjoy the results!

The brilliant writer James Altucher says, “Living by your personal manifesto lets you touch people. Let’s you celebrate living. Turns you into someone worth touching.”

 


 

Cool Links:

How to Write a Personal Manifesto in 5 Steps

How to Write a Personal Manifesto  

eHow – How to Write a Personal Manifesto 

 

Sources:

Altucher, James. “The Ultimate Guide to Making a Personal Manifesto.” (article)  [Blog Post] Retrieved from http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2015/02/the-ultimate-guide-to-making-a-personal-manifesto/

Coelho, Paulo. (1993) The Alchemist. New York, NY. Harper Collins.

FreeDictionary.com. Feedback Loop Definition. Current as of 12/22/2015. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/feedback+loop

Gilbert, Elizabeth. (2006) Eat Pray Love. New York, NY. Penguin Books.

London Real (Producer) (2013, June 16) Jason Silva - Shots of Awe | London Real. YouTube: https://youtu.be/DV1g4BC_cSM

Maltz, Maxwell. (1960) Psycho-Cybernetics. New York, NY: Pocket Books.

Silva, Jason. Shots of Awe. “How We Prime Our Brains to Achieve More.” You Tube: https://youtu.be/LZshegzVADM

Silva, Jason. Shots of Awe. “The Power of a Story.” You Tube: https://youtu.be/lHZ72NkBueU

Wikipedia.org. Manifesto Definition. Current as of 12/22/2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifesto

 


 

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How To Write A Bucket List

By Lara Foster

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"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten" -Tony Robbins

A Bucket List is a list of things to do before you die, according to the most popular definition on UrbanDictionary.com. It also states that the term comes from the phrase, "he kicked the bucket", as in, he died.

Bucket Lists are AWESOME! It was a bucket list that I wrote 10 years ago that helped me to lose 150lbs and Start LIVING Again.

Bucket Lists are all about Creating a Better Life. When you create a bucket list, you also create intentions that you'll move forward and complete the items on your list. It gets the ball rolling with momentum.

  


 Here's what a Bucket List could look like.

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The 8 Main Points of Creating a Bucket List are:

  1. Allow yourself to Dream and Open to possibilities/wonderment
  2. Be INSPIRED by Getting in The ZONE/Flow
  3. Write it down
  4. Quiet the critic
  5. Create an Action List
  6. Do ONE thing that will get you ONE step closer
  7. Continue Momentum by Putting your Bucket List UP somewhere you can see it
  8. Start at Step 1 again for reviews

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Some people are naturally inclined to live their lives in a bucket list sort of way. Every adventure, every interaction is an acceptance of the impermanence of the moment. It is surrender in motion. It is Flow. To read more about my article on Flow and Getting In The Zone click here.

A lot of people tend to shy away from the fact that death is right around the corner. May it be today, tomorrow, next week, or 20 years from now… Dying is a part of the human experience.

Photo Credit: Emily Becker
Photo Credit: Emily Becker

The basic interaction with a bucket list is the acceptance that someday, you too, are going to die. BUT, before that happens

WHAT IS IT THAT YOU REALLY WANT TO DO?

I’ve brushed by death several times in my life. I can remember each moment poignantly. Something shifts within you and you commit to living better, to loving better, to doing better.

And you do, for a while, until you flat line again...

So the question then becomes, can we thrust ourselves INTO LIFE? Into the vibrancy of living, into our dreams, and live without the constant tug, nag, pull of death right around the corner?

I believe we can, and I believe it starts with a Bucket List.


A Bucket List is an acknowledgment that how you’re living now needs and can be stepped up a level.

What have you always wanted to do, but were too scared to try?

What have you always dreamed about?

What is the thing inside of you that constantly gets shut down by the voice in the back of your head (the critic)?

What ignites you?

What makes you feel ALIVE?

Where do you feel most vibrant?

What scares you?


Action Steps for the 8 main points:

  • Get in the space of feeling, ask yourself these questions
  • Write the first things that come to mind
  • Release any judgment
  • Write it -or- Type it up officially
  • Commit to doing ONE thing on that list
  • Leave the list open to add any other ideas
  • Put the list up where you can see it every day
  • Write the ONE commitment on a note card and put it in your wallet/pocket/purse to read at least 1-3 times every day

The Breakdown...


An exercise to release judgment and quiet the critic.

When creating something as courageous and vulnerable as a Bucket List you MUST leave your ideas of limitations at the door. This is a new space of endless possibility. Allow your thoughts to travel there. Personally, It's been one of my biggest challenges and truth be told this is something that I've just employed recently.

The trick is to leave your personal editor in the other room. You know the critic inside that stops you from doing things. If you can’t do this, then use two separate sheets of paper. One side will be your Bucket List Ideas and the other side will be the editors (The Critic) list.

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As you write ‘I'd like to travel more…’ but then you feel, hear, see anything that limits it like, ‘You can't afford that’ ‘That could be dangerous’ ‘You don't have the time to travel’… Write the editor/critic, limitation on the second piece of paper, just to get it out and acknowledge any fears you may have. If nothing comes up, then leave it blank.

The next step after the acknowledgment is to then refocus your attention to your Bucket List Ideas, and you can do this by crossing out ALL of The Critic's comments and write I CAN statements on top that instill confidence in your ability to complete the ideas you've written on your Bucket List. This will bring the energy back towards your initial dream and help you focus on the positives of the situation, not the fear.

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For extra measure in quieting the judgments the critic contributes you can add the physical action of tearing up the paper which really SEALS THE DEAL!

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NOW IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE!

The Celebration for actually completing a bucket list (no matter what it says) will help to creatively fuel the happenings of your dreams.

Once you've walked through the initial stages of creating your Bucket List, then write it all down on one official piece of paper and put it up where you can see it, so you can look at what your dreams in action look like on paper, and this will provide the space for your heart and mind to visualize what actually being in those moments will feel like, and that will continue to inspire you with momentum.

Visualizing How you want to be, and How you want to move while you create/enjoy/do the things on your bucket list will continue the momentum. If you are not physically close to how you envision and you Can change it, then start there. Commitment to Health and/or Fitness programs are a great way to start travelling on the path towards your Dreams.

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Ultimately when it comes down to it, all of these exercises and actions help you to ENVISION the person you want to BECOME who is capable of ALL of those feats.

 

It's YOU living your TRUEST/HIGHEST POTENTIAL.

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Sources:

UrbanDictionary.com, Top Defitinition, 'Bucket List',http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bucket%20list , as of 11/11/2015.

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#Getting In Flow

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life OUT of Flow.

Nothing ever felt quite right.

When it did, I was either in nature, physically active, studying/writing, -OR- checked out.

I generally opted for checking out because I had no idea of another way to live.

Being checked IN was painful.

Being checked OUT was not painful, it was numbing.

I WAS WRONG.

I missed the mark.

What I missed was all those other experiences.

Nature, physical activities, studying/writing… none of these things were being checked out.

They were FLOW.

#waveflow
#WaveFlow        #SurfersGetIT

I’ve been looking for an explanation for a lot of the things that I’ve experienced in my life over these last several years.

Moving through the floodgates of grief – after the death of my father – opened the treasures of writing, exploration, discovery, creativity, and stillness for me.  OR, maybe they’ve always been there and the wall was just broken down that finally allowed me to reach them.

Once it did, my mind didn’t know what to DO with it, or what to Think of it, and so, admittedly I went through some pretty crazy loops of WHAT it all could be. (Thanks G for helping to anchor through that.)

The realization that this space is THERE, HERE, and it is available to ALL of us is joyful to say the least.



What can we call it?

#FLOW     #TheZONE     #Zen     #Stillness



I feel it when I write. I feel it at times during hiking. I’m in it when I walk outside. There can be glimpses in fitness/athletic pursuits. And it’s always present in music.

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#WritingFlow

Ever heard the quote, ‘Dance like no one is watching’?

That’s FLOW.

IF you can do it.

The truth is, FLOW operates in each one of our lives. We just may not be aware that it’s there, or how to continue engaging in it. I sure didn’t!

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#RiverFlow

Check Out The Flow Genome Project www.flowgenomeproject.co

Here’s a test that will help determine your best access points for flow. http://www.flowgenomeproject.co/flowprofile/

My results: Deep Thinker… Surprising?  Probably not.

The Flow Genome Project is an advanced group of individuals navigating the avenues of flow states across the board. That means for All of us, not just action adventure adrenaline junkie athletes. They are the official source for flow science and training.

Their mission statement: The Flow Genome Project is the trans-disciplinary international organization committed to mapping the genome of Flow by 2020 and open sourcing it to everyone.

The Flow Genome Project was started by Steven Kolter & Jamie Wheal. Kotler is the author of the New York Times Best Selling book “The Rise of Superman.”  Wheal is Executive Director of the project among many other pursuits.

During a recent podcast on Bullet Proof Radio with Dave Asprey, Episode #216, both Kotler and Wheal break down the project in simple terms.

"The technical definition of Flow is an optimal state of consciousness. [It’s] getting consciousness where we feel our best and where we perform our best,” Kotler says.  “So Flow refers to total absorption.  We get so sucked in by the task at hand that action and awareness start to merge, and everything else just disappears."


The core elements of flow are, 

It massively amplifies motivation. The state is really addictive. Whatever produces the state, we want more of it.

They are quoted as saying that Flow has a 500-700% boost in creativity. And that heightened creativity outlasts the flow state itself.

Flow accelerates learning.


The Flow State

-Motivation

-Creativity

-Accelerates Learning

fibonacci flow
#FibonacciFlow

In their research, those tested as having the most flow in their lives, score off the charts with happiness and fulfillment in their lives too.

This isn’t just airy fairy stuff. There’s neurobiological research to back up everything they’re discovering. And their findings are,

Awe Inspiring.

“State of Mind or State of Being where there’s neurochemicals involved, but commonality is that it, makes you kick more Ass whether you’re skiing, or whether you’re giving a speech, or writing a poem,” says Dave Asprey the host of the podcast.

Wheal goes on to describe the

“Four different personality types.

  • Hard Charger, which would be the sort of quintessential red bull athlete adrenal junkie.
  • Flow Go, yoga and meditation type person.
  • Crowd Pleaser, extrovert who gets their juice from immersing themselves in a Ted conference, concert, fraternity, sorority, or a football game.
  • Deep Thinker, (48% of 6,000 people who’ve taken the Flow Genome test) get into flow not through any of the flashy stuff, but through quiet contemplation. This could be someone who is an artist, someone who is a computer coder or programmer, someone who is a musician, someone who enjoys gardening, hiking, walking.  Quiet and Creative Introspective Pursuit.”

One of the things I never knew is that if I wasn’t a hard core extreme adventure enthusiast that I could get into a state of flow that was on the same level as such.  The Flow Genome Project's research and findings show that Flow is everywhere, for everyone.

flower flow
#FlowerFlow #FlowFlower ;)

The point here is this. Your own personal discovery and utilization of Flow can Change your life. It can change the way you feel about your life.

That’s not all said, without some caution. Flow is extremely addictive. So, if you haven’t dealt with emotional aspects of your life, or anything that you may be suppressing or repressing, then Flow can also kick you in the Ass and leave you in the gutter to dry.

As Kotler relays in another Bulletproof Exec podcast (#109), “There’s a flipside. The five neurochemicals. These are the most addictive neurochemicals the brain can produce. Flow is the only time the brain cocktails them all at once. These are very very addictive. If you start going down this path and you start producing more flow in your life and you don’t know what you’re doing and something goes away, you can find yourself in the deepest darkest most suicidally dangerous depression possibly. You really need to know what you’re doing on flow.”

As with any opinions, ideas, research, take it with a grain of salt.  Consult your own personal physician when facing physical, emotional, and mental difficulties or experiences in your life.  That is your responsibility.

With that said, In watching how people operate in their lives, I notice that comfort is a main draw.  And when people become comfortable, they become stagnant.  Sometimes people need a kick in the ass.  I see this happening in the form of opportunities, accidents, illnesses, discoveries, breakthroughs, shakeups, make-ups, break-ups, etc.

Basically everything that IS Life. 

These types of things get us to shift, change, move, and expand our perspectives. Why? Because we have to.

But, I don’t always believe a kick in the ass is necessary. You can pro-actively engage in things that do all of that already. You can Open Up to shifting, changing, moving, and expanding… 

family flow
#FamilyFlow

Some easy examples of doing so?

  • Try new things
  • Take a new class
  • Learn something new
  • Accomplish a new skill
  • Start a new fitness program
  • Read a book completely out of your personal range of favorite subjects
  • Talk to someone from a different background than you
  • Have a conversation with someone who has different beliefs than you
  • Travel
  • Explore
  • Go on adventures
  • Challenge yourself
GFlow
#GFlow

This is where the One Step Life is VERY applicable. What kind of things move through your range of capabilities and just expand it one step?

A personal example. I like to write. Sometimes poetry comes out. I have no idea where it comes from. I don’t really share it too much. So, something like signing up for an open mic night to share the poetry is ‘just beyond’ the edge of my current capabilities. It’s something I Can do, but sends a surge of nervousness through my body, my breath, my thoughts. Even just saying it here makes me feel a little anxious.

There in lays the challenge of engaging flow. Vulnerability. Risk. Altruism. Empathy. Creativity. Moving through who you become by proactively engaging in these opportunities. You see the world through a different lens, and your world expands.

FLUIDLY.

That's Flow.

#EnjoyIT

 

Sources:

Cool Links:


 

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