How happy is your body? Probably pretty happy if you follow The Happy Body Program, a health and exercise path created by Jerzy and Aniela Gregorek. Jerzy and Aniela are both world champion weightlifters who’ve been training clients in THB lifestyle program for three decades. Their program takes a more mindful approach than the average health routine, with the purpose of returning joy to the practice of exercise, and “helping to infuse your body with a sense of dignity.”
Jerzy and Aniela are also published poets and translators who use poetry, stories, and philosophy in our work to help clients become comfortable with what’s uncomfortable. They are self-proclaimed happy stoics and created the motto: “Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.”
We talked to Jerzy and Aniela about their daily routines and how they stay mindful while running a successful business. Read on:
What do the first 90 minutes of your day look like?
Aniela: I wake up and first light the candle in my living room near the window. Then I put the kettle on for hot lemon water with cayenne for me, and tea for Jerzy. I weigh myself, then I go to our gym to practice THB exercise routine.
Afterwards, I meditate and then go for a short, brisk walk – a “nature bath” for my mental health. Back at home, I tidy the house before Jerzy and my daughter Natalie get up so I can work quietly and without interruption. Then I shower and dress, make my daughter’s lunch, and drive her to school before I return to meet my first client of the day. I consider this quiet time in the morning my “date with myself.”
What’s your definition of productivity?
Aniela: Planning ahead.
Jerzy: Constant accumulation of good things: knowledge, wisdom, skills – all in pursuit of achieving a long-term goal.
Any favorite tools or products for life?
Using art and poetry to befriend the inner wild horses, your wild emotions that aren’t aligned with your goals.
Choose the arts; they become your emotions.
Choose your emotions; they become your feelings.
Choose your feelings; they become your images.
Choose your images; they become your words.
Choose your words; they become your thoughts.
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habit.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
What have you become better at saying no to?
Aniela: Negativity and shallow relationships.
Jerzy: Entertainment masquerading as something meaningful. Pretending there’s substance when there isn’t.
Do you have a pre-bed/nightly routine?
Jerzy: I practice THB routine, read, meditate, and then say goodbye to the beautiful day and sleep. I’m a night owl while Aniela’s a lark.
When you lose focus, what do you do to regain it?
We turn to poetry and manuscripts of antidepressant poems.
What’s your #1 email tip?
We keep them short. Yes, no, and sign off with “fantastic.”
What’s the biggest hindrance to your productivity? How do you combat it?
Aniela: I read too much. To combat it I make myself write.
Jerzy: Nothing, I’m perfect.
In the last 5 years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
Jerzy: Eating an apple in 30 minutes. It’s “taming the beast”, a self-control practice so I don’t eat 15. It tastes sweeter and I’m proud of myself – self-control tastes better than self-indulgence.
Aniela: New belief about aging – you don’t have to get worse, you can actually get better. We have many clients who are late bloomers and have become physically better than they’ve ever been before – stronger, more flexible, more attractive.
What bad advice do you hear often?
False and untestable claims about food, exercise, meditation etcetera. Overstimulated motivational speeches that are shallow and don’t work. They’re like drinking too much coffee – they’ll drain you emotionally.
What have you learned from your failures? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?
Jerzy: I learned that you can criticize yourself to the point where it becomes counterproductive. Now I know how to forgive myself.
What is the most worthwhile investment in time, money, or energy that you’ve made?
Mentors, books, anything that’s educational. Aim for the best.
Get a copy of The Happy Body book, and if you’d like to go deeper and help others you can sign up to take the course to become a THB Mentor.
Follow The Happy Body on Twitter.
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