Defeat Resistance to get what you want

By David Valentine, co-founder of Rethink
and partner/practitioner of the Veritas Lifestyle and Veritas Life Adventures


Everyday I wake up, the day has unlimited potential. I can choose to do what’s most important and life giving: Meditate, read, work-out, do incredible work at my job, and spend time with people who are most important to me. The problem is…as soon as I wake up Resistance meets me.

I capitalize Resistance for good reason, because I believe it to be a force that stands against us doing what is most important each and every day. Resistance wants to keep us from being who we are, and what we were created to do. You’ve met Resistance if you’ve ever tried a new diet or work out program. You know the voice telling you it’s too hot outside to go for a run? That’s Resistance in all of its glory. It’s the voice that employs some bit of logic to stop us from doing the things that will bring us the most satisfaction.

Here’s what Resistance tells me everyday I wake up, “You’ve got important work to do today. You run social media channels for a lot of your clients. It’s probably worth surfing the web a bit to see what’s trending to get your day started…. You need to write a few blogs today, but you need to get the perfect cup of coffee first, then find a good playlist to really set the atmosphere for creativity, your desk is a little disheveled clean it up first, maybe you need to read some articles to spur on your creativity…

Working out today, totally going to happen. You probably need to drink more water before you work out though. You are going to eat in 30 minutes, so you’re work out is going to suffer because you’re hungry. You’ll probably need to wait an hour to work out because you just ate.”

I’ve been working to beat Resistance everyday with one simple tactic.

Get stuff done.

Don’t wait until tomorrow, don’t surf the web, don’t wait until after lunch do it now. Get after the things that matter early and often. I write 3 pages every morning as soon as I get up. I wake up before Resistance does, and after he wakes up, to his dismay I’ve already accomplished something.

Today you can choose to beat Resistance by doing the things you were created to accomplish. Don’t listen to the voice telling you to put down the pen, pick up your phone, or pause before you work out. Today, get stuff done.

Disclaimer: A book I’ve been reading has been incredibly instrumental in helping in writing this blog. “The War Of Art” by Steven Pressfield speaks at length about Resistance, and how it stops us from accomplishing our goals, hopes, and dreams. I highly recommend it for anyone who is trying to achieve anything of significance.

Every step, intentional

A 30 Days of Veritas Tale

By Grant Boatwright, ED Veritas Life Adventures

One thing I have always told the Seekers in the program is, “I will never ask you to do something I am not willing to do myself.” The same goes for my buddy David when he started this #30daysofveritas initiative. So in conjunction with his lifestyle transformation I am challenging myself right alongside him to push myself further than I have before, trying to outdo one another in honor, and keeping each other accountable in what to American’s seems an eternity of time: 30 days straight of the Veritas Lifestyle, no matter the circumstances. Like David pointed out, this would not be easy; no simple pill or instant gratification will see this accomplished, so the only thing to do to make it to day 30 is begin with…

Every step, intentional

My #30daysofveritas fell just before a long 2-week road trip my wife and I had planned for two years: journeying across southern US states from Texas, up the southeast coast, cutting across the Smokey Mountains, visiting her graduate school and family in the northern heartland of Indiana and Illinois, and finally circling back to Texas where we began. How in the world was I going to keep the Veritas lifestyle going on the road, driving for multiple hours a day, no home gym to work out in, and having to miss our church home group multiple weeks? Unable to feed my body what it needs, work it out, or feed my soul in the usual, easy, and routine ways I had formed around my house, I was going to have to get inventive.

Every step, intentional

So I packed an extra bag of small workout gear: bands, push-up stands, my new suspension TRX toy, and my body weight (plenty of resistance there) for my workouts. We got easy snacks full of nutrition and light on calories for the long car rides: dried seaweed (like potato chips but better), kind bars (for that sweet tooth), kombucha (for digestion), and superfood bars (for extra nutrition). And of course to feed our souls we got a inspirational yet hard audio book (Unbroken) to realign our perspective and see how a man in TRULY overwhelming circumstances found and kept his faith, soul, and will alive!

Every step, intentional

The first part of the trip went swimmingly. Woke up at 4 am to work out with Jashley and start the road trip off right. Didn’t buy any extra snacks at gas stations (really wanted those powdered donuts). Then the storm broke… literally. The setting was our 7-mile hike to LeConte lodge in the Smokey Mountains National Park, Tennessee; this is where we really had to remember

Every step, intentional

Just like the 30 days of Veritas, we had an end goal when we started the trail: the lodge.  At the end of the 7-mile trek, the lodge promised both a comfortable bed and equally comforting dinner. Along the steady incline, lined with beautiful ferns, towering pines and oaks, and even boasting a rainbow waterfall; the thunder rolled in, and on came the pouring rain.


Every step intentional

Although we knew how long the trail was, and were fairly sure we were on the right one, the trail did not have any progress markers. To further compound our anxiety, we got a late start, 3:45 pm, and needed to be at the lodge no later than 6:45 pm or we would miss the very much-desired meal.

Every step, intentional

So with the thunder rolling around us, the rain blinding us, the slate rocks on the trial growing increasingly slippery, no indicators of how far we had hiked or how much we had left, Jashley accurately described our predicament as, “not being able to see the forest from the trees.” We had an end goal, but no way of knowing when, or if, we would reach it. Every bend in the trail looked the same, every tree looked like the next, and next, and next. Tired, moving slow, the incline of the trail only increasing, our wills started fraying. But this is why I train and why Jashley and I live the Veritas lifestyle. So, with my mind and will steeled, I encouraged Jashley (and myself really) to take it one step at a time, and make

Every step, intentional

At 6:30 we finally reached the trail fork I knew was near the end, just .6 miles of steep slippery slate rock trail to go (what the lodge staff called the hellish .6); and 15 minutes to do it. At 6:45 exactly we stumbled into the dinning hall, soaking, physically spent, and mentally haggard; but there, still waiting for us, was an abundant, steaming, mouth-watering meal. After dinner, the clouds broke, a beautiful sunset was arrayed before a breathtaking view of the valley below and we found a roof and soft bed inviting us in.


Every step, intentional

I want to tell you it was smooth sailing from there, but as I have always found in life, obstacles keep coming, trying to bring you down. However, I would not let my 30 days of Veritas falter.

When one of our friends could no longer host us, and as I was stuck in a 4X4 hotel “fitness center” I still got a good Insanity Max workout in. When, at a local park near my cousin’s house I tried to get some sprints in (via David’s inspiration) I misstepped, rolled my foot to the outside, and heard an old injury return in the form of two quick pops. My high intensity plyometric and run training on the trip was finished. For every step forward, it seemed like I was doomed to take four back; but I was determined to push forward, nurse my foot back to health, and make

Every step, intentional

I am now reduced to yoga and Tabata style controlled movement interval workouts. The foot is healing. Despite the temptation to eat out since we are technically on “vacation,” I kept up with my Shakeology meals and healthy eating. Then we get a phone text. My mother-in-law took a bad fall at work and fractured her femur; the news is still coming in. Needless to say it was a kick in the gut, especially after such a great day of work and presentations the day before at Jashley’s grad school. However, with consistent prayer and pulling together I know this will work out in the end, as long as we continue with

Every step, intentional

And so, my 30 days of Veritas tale continues. It has its valleys, and its peaks; and through it all I know I have Him with me. He tells me to take courage, that He will never forsake me (Joshua 1:5-7), that He has plans for me; which He promises to see to fruition, to benefit me, and give me a life of abundance (John 10:10, and Jeremiah 29:11). I am confident now that the good work I am doing during my 30 days of Veritas and beyond will not return void; that whether in my body, my mind, or my soul, through Christ I will see His work in me accomplished (Philippians 1:6).

In summation, I am seeing my body tested, but growing stronger. I am seeing that you CAN eat healthy on the road. And in all this I continue to see my faith and spirit awakened more each day. All I need do is continue with what I started, one foot in front of the other, keeping…

Every step, Intentional 

Now I ask you, what will your #30daysofveritas tale be?

Journey Not a Destination

By David Valentine, co-founder of Rethink and partner/practitioner of the Veritas Lifestyle and Veritas Life Adventures


Lose 30 pounds.

Read 24 books by the end of 2015.

Take at least 1 day of the week to myself.

I love setting goals, and, attaining them. There’s something about proving to myself that I can accomplish whatever I steel myself towards. Whether it’s a physical, spiritual, or emotional goal achieving them is a fantastic feeling.

I’ve learned over the years that I have to see goals as markers in my life instead of destinations. This is the reason why so many ‘diets’ fail. People will diet, or change their eating habits temporarily, to lose weight. They may lose all the weight they wanted, but when they end their diet, they go back to their poor eating habits and put the weight back on.

The point is not just to reach your goals, but to build on them.

Your life is not a static reality, but a dynamic one. You are not the same person you were last year, two weeks ago, or even 5 minutes ago. You’ve changed, transformed, and grown in a multitude of ways. This is one of the reasons why we have to see our goals as markers in a long journey of life rather than destinations.

If you have a weight goal you’d like to reach before swim season, you’ll want to set a new goal for the end of the year. The new goal may not be to lose more weight, but it may be to run further (which will of course effect your physique). Setting goals to be a more generous person is not something that ceases after you’ve achieved giving more in one season, but rather is something that happens over the course of your life.

We like destinations, but journeys are the stories we love.

Destinations are nice, because they have a finitude to them. If you’re running a marathon it will eventually, after you’ve slowly died, come to an end. Your sports season has an end to it, where the games, practices, and torment is no more. Your child’s terrible two’s stop when they hit three, hopefully. The stories we love, the ones we cling to, are long arching journeys where the protagonist has to overcome insurmountable odds on a regular basis. We love the stories where characters grow and change for the better, as a result of a long period of reaching their goals and overcoming obstacles.

Life is a brilliantly beautiful journey. Your goals are markers that point back to a larger truth, that you are transforming into a different, hopefully, healthier individual. Embrace the journey, and find a new purpose to your goals.

Bikinis & Cottage Cheese

by Cassie Byard Women’s Director at Veritas Life Adventures

When I was in the second grade my teacher had our class make our own personalized greeting cards. With my incredibly insightful 7-year-old wisdom, I selected my card’s cover: a magazine advertisement with a picture of Garfield looking disapprovingly at the image of his backside in a full-length mirror. The caption read: “You know it’s time to go on a diet when you start getting dimples in the wrong cheeks.” I had no idea what it meant, but I thought it was brilliant. And then, years later, my 13-year-old, 85-pound self suddenly looked in the mirror and saw that I had dimples in “the wrong cheeks.”

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think a lot of people have a certain idea about what “healthy” people should look like. The truth is, there is no perfect standard for what a healthy person should look like.  There is no perfect standard of what a person “should” look like period.  A friend of mine frequently pokes my stomach to see if my abs are doing any better at revealing their existence (they’re not). She has to poke past a little barrier of squish to find them.  Another friend has poked my belly only to declare, “Your stomach is too hard.”  A woman should be soft, she implies.  So which is it?  Is my tummy too soft or too hard?

Think about it.  If I ask you to imagine a person with a “perfect body,” what image comes to your mind?  I’m going to venture a guess that the person you imagine is young, muscular, toned, maybe tan* and in a swimsuit?  We (or maybe it’s just me) have been trained by society to associate these traits with perfection and health.  But is that reality?

The moment we demand to our bodies, “I should look like that,” or “This area needs some work,” we are giving illegitimate authority to a body-shaming culture that declares itself the legislator of standards.

In my last blog I “confessed” to having love handles and cellulite.  Someone commented that they disagreed with my assessment, as though to quell my presumed low image of self.  But the idea that I might (or should) feel bad about my body because it fails to live up to society’s ideal is the very idea I am trying to counter.  It is okay that I have love handles and cellulite.  Could I “get rid” of these traits?  With lots of VERY dedicated (arguably obsessive) work, possibly.  MAYBE.  But the point I’m trying to make is that if I am pursuing health and not a certain body, then I don’t need to worry about love handles or cellulite.  What my body looks like is not the point of the journey of health.

Am I saying we should throw discipline to the wind and accept whatever happens to our bodies as a result?  Absolutely not.  Nor am I saying it’s bad to have six-pack abs.  But the reality is that most people cannot (and, I could argue, should not) sustain the kind of lifestyle necessary to achieve and maintain society’s idea of a “bikini body.”  Sometimes the pursuit of the “perfect body” distracts from the pursuit of health.

When we invite you on the journey to health with Veritas, we are not talking about pursuing a certain body image.  I have cellulite.  I am not going to work on changing that.  But I am going to strive for physical strength and endurance, nutritional balance, and spiritual and emotional stability.

That is Veritas.  That is truth.  Seek it with us.



*The fact that I (and many others) tend to default to Caucasian imagery is a topic worth addressing.  This book does a great job at it.

"Hi. I'm Cassie, and I'm addicted to sugar."

by Cassie Byard
Women's Director at Veritas Life Adventures

  Sometimes when I tell people what I do for a living, I wonder if they mentally look me up and down and think, Seriously? You teach kids holistic health? But... I’ve seen you eat pizza. And didn’t you say you’ve struggled with depression? Also, you have more than 15% body fat. And love handles. And I can see your cellulite through your jeans.

Let me be clear: I’m not saying I think I’m fat. I’m actually quite happy with my body, but I recognize that I may not fit the bill for some people’s idea of a holistic health advocate. I’m not trying to make a point about whether or not I physically look the part (that’s for my next blog :)). What I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t take long to look at me and see that I have not “arrived.”

I am not the perfect model of health. Not because I have love handles and like pizza, but because there’s no such thing as the perfect “model of health.” Health is a not a final destination that can be quantified and then attained, especially if your measuring stick for success is acquiring a specific body type. When I talk about health, I’m talking about treating body, soul, and mind with care and respect. And let’s face it: I do not always make choices that respect my body, soul and mind.

Like the rest of us, I am on a journey. Every day I am faced with choices to respect myself or to stumble and try again tomorrow. Some of these choices are easy for me. I could even say I’m good at making some self-respecting choices consistently. But I also have lots of areas of struggle, and always will, because I am on a journey that doesn’t have a final point of arrival.

This isn’t to say we can’t have goals along the way. Maybe you’re determined to finally run that 5k or that marathon, so you make specific body-challenging choices for a season. Maybe you’re like me and want to break that sugar-happy habit, and certain boundaries and accountabilities need to be established for your body's benefit. Perhaps your stress levels are through the roof and it’s time to prioritize some serious rest and revitalization. Maybe that Netflix account is sucking away life and creativity, and your mouse or remote needs to be decommissioned for a while. Whatever it is you want to accomplish, go for it and be proud in both the process and attainment of your goals! But please don’t think it means the journey is complete.

We do not make this journey in order to “arrive” somewhere, or in order to attain “perfection.” We push on because as we learn to respect and love our bodies, souls and minds, we find ourselves fuller, healthier and better able to love and respect other people, too.  Sometimes it's rough and sometimes it's smooth sailing, but always it is a journey that urges us to move, invites us to keep on keepin' on, and promises reward and fulfilment simply through participation.

I have not arrived, for there is no arrival; the journey is the destination. But it's a worthwhile journey, and I invite you to join me on it!