I love having new members walking into Custom Body Fitness (who does not love people walking into their business). Even though it seems common sense that I love people coming in, the real reason why I love it is because I love hearing people’s stories.
When people walk into Custom Body Fitness door it means that they have a reason to come (another common sense sentence). My job is to discover these reason or reasons.
I had all type of clients. People are not usually looking for an exercise program. They are looking for something more. They are looking for a solution for their problem. So this is one of my first questions, “What brought you here.”
Of course, many people are shy to tell me the real truth. I get superficial answers in the beginning. I am a stranger for them, why they should tell me the real reason why they are requiring my services? Many are afraid I am going to judge them and others think I won’t be able to understand them. I don’t blame them. It is difficult for many people to empathy now in days and be guanine to others problems.
Once they know how sincere I am, they start telling the real reason why they are at Custom Body Fitness. I am telling you my secret for my success. I pay attention to people’s reasons that brought them to me. This is the key- the reasons.
These reasons made them come to a stranger and pay him to find a solution to their problems. Here, let me repeat this again. These reasons are the cause of people coming to me, so I can help them.
To make it clearer, many people are motivated by their reasons. This is why they decide to change. It could be because they don’t fit in their old cloth, they don’t feel comfortable trying new cloth because don’t fit right, the doctor told them that are diabetics or borderline diabetic, they are getting married, they quality of life have diminished, they are tired of feeling tired, their family are following their bad habits, and developing the same body or they are getting out of a break up. You get the idea.
Now, my questions to you is, why are you reading this article? reinforcement? Knowledge? Starting your new life? Support? You also have a reason.
Let’s make it even more clear, your reasons are the motive of your life and this is what I remind people, every day, if you want to succeed in your goal, you must read and go over reasons every month that brought you here looking for a solution. If you forget your reasons, if you forget the pain, you will stop finding a solution.
Write down all your reasons why you are motivated to stay healthy and never forget. The decisions that you are making today will affect your tomorrow and if your decision is not moved by your good reasons, chances are that you are going to make the wrong decision.
Get all your reasons straight, clear and ready to work for you and go over them everyday, very week, every month, every year and you will see how everything else becomes easy.
Eating will be easy, exercise will be easy, feeding your mind the right information will be easy and developing good habits will be easy.
It works for me, it works for my clients, I don’t see why it won’t work for you.
How strong is the power of direction? How can a purpose change your life? Does goal give a sense of living to your life?
When I was younger and I had no direction, I remember getting up everyday late, play video games, surf in the computer, or cruise in my car. My life had no meaning. I spend a lot of time washing my car, talking to my friends and really doing nothing productive. Being unable to walk for at least 4 weeks it reminded me of this.
There is no meaning in life without a purpose. Many of us wake up just living and doing, many times because we have responsibilities and many other times because we are looking just for pleasures. This is why many of us can’t find our happiness.
Having a purpose and setting up goals to see my life is changing, how I am helping to change other’s people’s life, and how I can improve the world, give me all the motivation and passion to continue moving forward. Life make sense.
Now I understand how many people who created are very happy of their creation not because the creation itself but because of what the creation is doing to help others.
Setting goals give excitement to life, getting out of the comfort zone and do something different every time. Life becomes boring doing the same routine without excitement to look for. This is one of the reasons why many people choose to travel, go to vacation, spend weekends out their town, go party and try something new. And there is nothing wrong with it. However, I find it more fulfilling to risk my sense of security and continue moving forward by creating. I have some level of fulfillment when I challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone. It is rewarding looking back and see what that challenge has made me.
Goal setting plays a hue role here because I write and go back to my goals every week to find out what I have achieved and what I have not and why. Is it my fault? I am procrastinating? Do I am waiting for someone else’s decision? Is it the capital? I can’t seem to get the resources? Is it not the right time? I am too busy with other projects? Why I have not achieve my goals.
I have been waking up (if I sleep) for four weeks thinking about my limitations, thinking about who I used to be and how I used to waste time. Not having anything to aim for make my day depressing. The truth is that having a purpose gives me the courage to just go day by day and knowing that one day I will be charging towards my goals.
If you are in the same situation I was, I don’t blame you. I needed to suffer before I could find my purpose. Many people tried to tell me about how I could live my life, but I ignore everyone. What they know about my life? However, my goal here is only to help you spark your life by making your days more exciting and start reaching for your dreams. It is important to know that you can achieve your dreams no matter the age, gender, race, religion and others.
The power of purpose, goal setting and the sense of direction will give you the desire to wake up to continue living everyday with excitement.
While I still believe that the best tools for you to lose weight are commitment, discipline and the desire to lose weight, there are many other useful tools that you may use to help you stay on track and monitor your progress.
It is important to check your progress for many reasons. It helps you stay motivated by releasing dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical released by the brain that is highly addictive. Alcohol and drugs also release dopamine, which is why people become addicted to them. Once you have the feeling of accomplishment by checking your progress, you will become addicted to your new behavior.
It also helps you understand that you are not wasting your time with your program and that all the hard work is paying off. It helps you psychologically. Plus, you can always go back and find out if you are moving forward or not. Maybe your plan is not working and you need to change the approach, such as your exercise intensity or the exercise itself, or your way of eating.
Here are some of the tools I use myself and with our members to help them stay on track to deliver the results I promised.
Skinfold to track your body composition…
This tool helps me to find out how much muscle and fat our members are gaining and losing. It’s not uncommon for our members to lose up to 15 pounds of fat yet gain 12 pounds. The scale does not tell you how much fat you’ve lost; seeing the change in your body composition is more convincing than going with the scale and thinking there is no progress.
Periodization assessment to check your weight lifting progress…
As with anything, you would like to know if there is progress. You may know how much muscle you have added and how much fat you’ve lost, but how do you know what is helping you add muscle and lose fat? Weight lifting periodization does help you understand how your muscles are becoming accustomed to the new resistance and therefore increasing your muscle mass and metabolism. Going over your weight lifting progress and testing each big muscle group can give you an idea what you should be expecting or lifting next month, or the months to come.
Goal setting revisit or resetting to make sure you are hitting your goals or at least are close to them…
It is important that you know you are on track by reaching your goals or at least being close to them. Going over your goals every week, month or three months is a good idea. You will find out if you either are wasting time or doing the right things to reach your dream.
Belief check to discard myths
There are all types of information. You can get information from the personal trainer who believes in myths or did not do research, or you can get information from a well-trained personal trainer. You can get information online from any deceiving website or from a credible one. You can get information from your friend who listened to another friend who listened to another friend, and the information may get distorted, or you can get information from a well-informed friend. Many times everyone has good intentions, but they don’t have the right information. It is good to question everyone (including me, of course) and make sure everything makes sense to you, so you can end up doing the right thing for you.
PH strips to test your alkalinity…
To find out if you are eating the right foods, there is a good tool that you can use: pH strips. Your body will turn alkaline when you are eating healthy foods and will turn acidic when you are eating the wrong foods. Being acidic contributes to many diseases and being overweight. So if you want to know if you are on track, use this tool. I test myself every weekend to make sure my body is alkaline.
These are very useful tools to meet and continue with your health and weight loss goals. If you use these tools you can stop worrying if your program is working or not or if you are making the right decisions for your health or weight loss.
I have heard many stories about women who were anorexic or overweight, men who used to drink, or do drugs who have changed their habits to exercise. Even though exercise is a good habit, it can become negative.
After these people found a better way to cope with their negative behavior, they start going to the extreme. Now they do almost anything to get a perfect body. They take steroids; they start doing unhealthy dieting and spend an unhealthy time exercising. Now, if you research, you will find many testimonials from these people and how they got lost in the other end. When they find out that their lives were not sustainable and realistic, they start looking for a balance.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a nice body, lose weight and tone your body.
My fat levels are 11% and I am happy how my body looks and how I feel. Back in the past I wanted to be like the guys on the magazines. Then, I found out that they are not natural and they health is in risk. Also, I am not willing to be a fit only by season. Many of these magazine models are fit only for the season and when they are in off season usually are out of shape and overweight.
I am not against their decisions and desires or I don’t think what they do is wrong. However, I don’t know how someone can sustain that lifestyle and stay healthy.
This is what I teach my clients., to be healthy, look great, have a balance and have a happy lifestyle.
Everything has a price. The more you want the more you need to pay.
What would you like to do? Lose a 5, 10 or 20 pounds? Or tone your body? Anything is fair, but you need to make sure what is that you want because your program depends of this.
I know I am not going to look like Arnold looked in his best because I am not taking the extra help with steroids. But that is okay because I am happy the way I look. I keep a balance.
The same you should take into consideration. Before starting your weight loss rutting, it important for you and your trainer to know how far you want to go.
If you want to increase some strength and lose 5, 10 or 20 pounds, almost any exercise and eating healthy can do it. You can do zumba, you can run, hike, swim, bike or light weight lifting. However, if you are planning to tone your body, you need more than just any exercise. You need a structured weight lifting program that allows you track your progress with periodization.
The body accustoms to the resistant you put it into it. For example, according to NASA, if astronauts don’t exercise, their bodies start losing bone and muscle, bone and muscle loss mean decreased size and strength. Once they land on Earth, weakened muscles and bones would make walking difficult.
This is because the body is adapting to the gravity in space which is much less than the one in earth. In other words, if you give minimum resistant to your body, your body will accustom to it. If you want your muscles to tone you must increase your weight lifting as you progressing.
One more factor, we are fighting against aging, as we age we lose muscles mass and the only way to regain muscle is by strength training.
One of the most important activities for astronauts is exercise. People on the moon lost their strength — and therefore their muscle — in days. That’s because of the lack of gravity. Astronauts have difficulty walking on earth after a trip to the moon, according to NASA. After a couple of days the astronauts readjust to the earth’s gravity, and they start walking normally again. This is why exercise is very important. If you think about it, the body needs to develop a level of muscle to be able to survive on earth. I want you to think about this when you want to grow muscle to tone your body.
You’ve probably seen commercials featuring girls with very nice, toned bodies doing aerobics with 3-pound dumbbells. Of course, we all want the easy way to get results. Usually if the commercial is trying to sell an exercise program, it is not going to advertise it as hard work. If you really looked into the routine of those toned girls you’d find that it’s nothing like the 3-pound-weight commercial.
Many people are not looking for weight loss. They are really looking for a nice body. They try everything — even exercise — and it seems they can’t get it. Many people who lose weight will still have flabby areas; that’s because they still have fat to get rid of, and without having much muscle, they look flabby.
So the reality is that as we age we all lose muscle even if we don’t want to, we eat healthily and we take basic care of our bodies. There is no way someone can tone his body without building muscle. Exercise in general will not lead to a toned body. Any exercise can help you lose weight, but toning your body requires more. It requires weight lifting and periodization.
Just as the body on the moon gets accustomed to the resistance on the moon — hence the loss of muscle mass — the body will adjust to any new resistance anywhere. The body transforms itself when subjected to new resistance. In other words, if the resistance is low, the body becomes weak, loses muscle and adapts to the need of that specific resistance. If the resistance is high, the body becomes stronger, gains muscle and adapts to the need of that specific resistance.
To say it differently, if you want to tone your body, you must build muscle. Muscle is hard, and fat is flabby. To grow muscle you must challenge your body to a higher resistance. Our members do this and are very happy with their results; they have strong, toned bodies and are getting rid of the undesired fat. The secret is very simple: Increase your weight lifting by following periodization.
For example, if you are squatting 20 pounds, you must go to 30 pounds when your body allows you and so on. When you are a beginner your progress is measured in weeks. Nevertheless, the stronger you become the longer it takes to go to the next level. It may take you months to advance after 6 months of constant training.
Now, if you were squatting 20 pounds and go to 30 pounds and then to 40 pounds, you have gained enough muscle to lift 40 pounds, and your body has responded to the new resistance. What happens if you decide to go back to 20 pounds or 10 pounds because you’re tired and don’t feel like doing it? Of course, your body readjusts to the new resistance and you lose all you have gained. This is why people who only exercise without following a plan or without knowing how to use periodization never can tone their bodies.
The key to having a nice, toned body is discipline, and many can’t do it. If you’re looking for weight loss, any exercise will suffice when coupled with the right eating habits. If you are looking to tone your body then you need to lift weights using periodization. And don’t be afraid of gaining big muscles. That is not true. It is a myth. I have trained lots of women who have toned their body by lifting heavy weights, and they have the most amazing toned bodies without having big muscles. There is no science that shows the development of big muscles in women unless they’re taking some kind of drug.
If you have being trying everything to tone your body, even exercise, and can’t seem to do it, try something new that works. I promise that if you follow these recommendations for at least 6 months you will find yourself seeing a toned body in the mirror. You will not regret it.
Many members of my family have or have had struggles with addictions, especially alcohol. I have an uncle who almost puked his liver out. The story goes like this: He has been beaten up several times for getting in trouble due to bad decisions he made because he was drunk. He has been sent to the hospital often for cirrhosis. He has been sent to rehab more than 6 times. He lost his family. He depends on other family members. Two years ago he went to the hospital vomiting blood. The doctors said his liver was giving up, and he had only a few hours left to live. He finally went into a coma. However, he recovered.
I thought for some reason this event would change his life. I was wrong. He still drinks just like he used to. I have seen similar stories with lots of other people. For example, my mom got into a lot of trouble thanks to alcohol.
I saw the story of a famous American drug dealer who got arrested and spent most of his life in prison. When he got out, he thought the next thousand-dollar drug deal would be the last one, and he got caught again.
People eat the wrong foods and overeat, regretting it every time, but then they do it again. Other people gamble and lose it all thinking the next time will be the last time.
One of my dogs, Pelon, overate last year. His was served more than he usually gets due to miscommunication. My bed is around 3 to 4 feet high. Pelon is a small dog that has the strength to jump onto and down from the bed. You probably know the story already about when he got hurt and slipped a disc because he jumped down with the extra weight of overeating.
He loves food, as many dogs do. He will get in the trash to eat bones, and he will eat the leftovers from the other dogs I own. I do my best to be careful and put the trash where he can’t reach it and make sure food is not around him. This year he has overeaten three times to the point where his health is in danger.
The first time, I got in the shower and forgot to move the trash to a safe area. The second time I was given organic ham to take home, and we forgot it in the car while we stopped at the supermarket. When we came back to the car the ham was gone.
And this last time, I was given dry food for another dog that I was taking care of. I never used the food because I feed organic ground beef to our dogs, and I fed the same to our visitor. The dried food was in the car, and I completely forgot to get it out, so Pelon got into it when I left him in the car. This was the worse time ever. His stomach was very big, and he was in a lot of pain.
I got very upset with him, very upset. The reason it bothered me was because he was in a lot of pain, and he is very valuable to me. I bet no one wants to see their loved ones in pain. I also got upset because it could have been avoided. How many times does it need to happen for me to understand that I need to be careful with Pelon’s bad habit? It could have been avoided, but I can’t go back to the past.
Now, when is Pelon going to learn about the pain he experiences when he overeats? Or the real question is, does Pelon have the capability of adding 2+2? Does Pelon understand his behavior? Who is going to get it first, Pelon or me? The truth is that I am a human, and I have a more developed brain than Pelon (or at least that is what I want to believe).
This is what makes us so different from animals: We can make conclusions about cause and effect. We have the potential to change our lives for the better when we notice that our behavior is not helping us to grow, feel better, stay healthy, or to be alive, free, without pain and happy.
We can make a couple of mistakes and understand that we are doing something wrong that is not contributing to our lives in a positive way. When do we stop being animals and become humans? Or is being human determined by our psyche instead of our actions?
What I certainly know is that I have control over my decisions and control over my desires, and I make conclusions about my behaviors. I want to think that all of us humans have something in common.
Last week two different women stopped me to congratulate me on my writing.
One of them wished me good luck with my book and told me that to lose weight people need to stop eating sugar and go gluten free.
After a couple of days, the other woman approached as I was getting into my car. She said she reads all my columns in the Post Independent and that she likes my writing, which is unique. She thinks I can help a lot of people. She thanked me for taking the time to write the columns. She also said America needs this information on losing weight and that she does not understand why so many people are overweight and unhealthy, even educated people with college or university degrees. She thought that educated people shouldn’t have a weight problem.
This past Sunday, I ran into a friend. We used to work together for a fast food restaurant in the Snowmass resort area. I was surprised when I saw him. He had completely changed his body. He was at least 30 pounds lighter, and he seemed healthier. (Sometimes people lose weight using questionable methods, and it’s obvious that they are not actually healthy.)
My friend told me that in fact he lost 50 pounds. He said he feels better, more alive and healthier, has more energy and you already know all the positive effects of adopting the exercise and healthy eating habits.
But what I really wanted to know was what made him adopt the new positive habits. He told me that his health was deteriorating. He used to have a physical job (not the restaurant job) where he made very good money, but it was deleterious to his health. He went to a doctor, who told him that he needed to find a different job. He decided to find another one that paid less but was better for his health.
It has been more than two years since he made the change, and he is happier than ever. My friend was telling me that he is now 50 years of age, and he regrets wasting so much of his life by drinking, smoking, eating junk and working in the wrong place.
Now after a few years, he has a better life and is happier than when he was pursuing his happiness with bad habits. All he did to change his life was to drop bad habits and adopt new good habits.
Yes, it’s true, maybe people need to eat less sugar, eat gluten free foods and exercise, etc. Also, obesity and diseases does not discriminate educated people. However, just like I told the two wonderful women that approached me, everything begins in the brain. When people have decided to change, eating healthily and exercising is not difficult anymore. This is what my book talks about.
People have seen the results our clients get from training at our facility. They see it in our publications; they hear it from friends or from other people. Thanks to this I have lots of people visiting me and requesting my services.
I never give advice I would not follow, and I never follow advice I don’t fully understand. One of the reasons why I am so happy and I can keep a balanced life is because I know how to spend my money. Therefore, I want people to do the same when they hire our services.
While there are many people who can pay $100 for personal training sessions, spending $400 a week, $1,600 a month for years, there are others who can maybe afford the recreation center (we are not even half as expensive as the personal trainer rate, but also maybe four times as expensive as the recreation center).
Usually the first assessment with me is free because I want to find out more about our new member and if we are a good fit for them in all aspects such as the environment, our type of training, their goals and so on.
I have had a few people who come to me and tell me that they can’t afford our membership, and I see a disappointed look on their face. Maybe they think I am the only way they can lose weight. Many people are waiting for the perfect program, for the best personal trainer, the right moment or place in their lives to start losing weight.
Although it’s true that you can hire someone who knows how to deliver faster and easier results with less frustration, it is also true that it can be done without the help of a professional. The key is action.
So my advice to people who can’t afford fitness professionals is: I do understand you can’t afford us, and I respect that. However, you don’t need the best personal trainer or program to start your fitness goals. It can help, but it is not a need. What we can do is make the trip faster and easier, but you can still get to your goals without us.
What you need is to take action, any kind of action, I call it imperfect action. You can be part of our newsletter, Facebook groups, watch our videos, attend our seminars, follow other health professionals and start a plan; start walking, eating your breakfast, stop drinking added sugar drinks, start eating more veggies, cut all the processed foods, eat on schedule, but start doing something.
You may want a toned body and to be in shape. You probably want to learn to lift weights and be motivated, have a program ready for you to follow, so you don’t have to worry about it. You want to know your progress every month to see that your hard work is paying off. You may want to know what is safe for you do to if you have limitations and what can aggravate your limitation. You may want to know exactly how to eat and what to avoid, how to set your goals weekly and monthly. Yes, I do encourage you to learn all these and have a professional to help you along the way.
But if you can’t afford the professional, start walking and eating as healthily as you can; it won’t hurt you, and it will help you lose weight. In addition, you have many options to play with to be in shape and learn fitness tools:
- You can buy and read a book about how to tone your body
- You can hire a personal trainer to teach you a session once a month
- You can buy one of those home exercise programs
- You can pay group training for 1 month and learn the basics and then do it on your own
- You can find a friend who knows and can teach you
There is no limitation when you really want something. As you see there are many options to choose from that you can afford and which will give you the basic knowledge. The whole point here is to take action on your dream and plan.
I have been helping a lot of people lose weight. My specialty is to help them realize that they can do it, and that is very simple when I understand their desires.
I have lots of people come to see me who tell me that they have tried many things to lose weight. Some have the notion that counting calories is the key, others exercise, some dieting and others are sure that protein shakes work.
While I’m not against of any of those, the first thing I make sure my clients understand is that none of that matters if they have not set up their mind to achieve their goal. It doesn’t matter how effective the program is if the individual is not ready to change.
You must be ready to leave your past and the bad habits that sabotage your success. You must be ready to think about the future that your weight loss success will bring you: no more medications, no more back pain, no more feeling tired, no more hiding your body in loose clothing, no more picking clothes that fit instead of the clothes you want to wear, no more worries about your health … These are only some of the benefits of losing weight healthily.
It is very easy to get motivated by other people’s results, the mirror, your friend or your doctor and sign up for a weight loss program. However, the most difficult part is to stay motivated, to remember why you decided to sign up, to remember that life is short and if you give up now, you’re losing time and your dream may become impossible because you could be doing the same thing over and over again, giving up.
I can honestly tell you that I have seen a lot more results from people who are committed and do not know anything about weight loss than those who know and do nothing about it.
We set up a plan, they follow it and — boom — magic happens, they lose more weight than they expected.
But staying motivated is not enough to get results: You have to understand why you are doing everything you are doing to lose weight, to understand your motivation and desire to lose weight.
Once you understand that, everything else is secondary.
Eighty percent of your success is psychological and the other 20 is physical. Many people fail not because they stop counting calories, the diet didn’t work, life was too busy or work got in the way. They fail because they haven’t made a real commitment to lose weight and find out the reasons why they want to.
Next time that you think about a car that you want, the partner you’re looking for or the trip you’ve been dreaming about, think about how nothing will prevent you from getting it. Why? Because you really want it and have set up your mind to succeed.
Same thing applies to your health: Set up your mind, get rid of excuses, and go after it. You will see that counting calories or dieting won’t matter anymore since you’ll be following the perfect program.
I promise you that if you follow the next tip, you will lose weight and even feel better with more energy and a clear mind.
I usually take my snack to “work” (I do quote marks because my job is not work for me. It is my passion ;)). However, many times I end up forgetting my snack at home. When this happens, I go to the supermarket to get it.
It is very interesting how I have trained my brain. I go straight to the produce area and pick up a couple of pieces of fruit. Sometimes I feel like eating something different. Nevertheless, I know that I will end up finding mostly junk in the supermarket. I turn around, pay for my fruit and go back to continue working on my passion.
Before I knew about processed foods, I would grab something that reminded me of my childhood. I bet you have a product that reminds you of your childhood. Since I’m from Mexico, of course, there are some Mexican pastries that take me back.
After I studied the effects of processed foods and understood why I had some extra fat and also how they were affecting my health, I started to check the labels. I was not checking for calories; I was checking the ingredients. I honestly didn’t remember that these products had so many chemicals and preservatives. It could be because companies did not use them as much when they were smaller, but as they grow and start exporting they need to use them. Or it could be because I simply was not aware and I did not care and did not pay attention to the labels. The truth is that now most processed foods are full of things that affect our weight and health.
I do a Grocery Tour 4 times at year for the community. The tour is very simple. We go aisle by aisle, and I let people choose their product.
One of the big mistakes most humans make, including me, is tending to think that people are like us. When I pick up processed foods, my habit is to first check the ingredients, so I feel like everyone must do the same. When I assess people I make the mistake of thinking that people know what products to avoid when we talk about them. Nevertheless, that is not the case all the time.
I noticed that many people choose their product for the appearance of the wrapping or because they were introduced to it without checking the label. Also, others check for calories and others only for sugars and fats.
But many people don’t know what is in their “foods” or that many corporations know how to hide their sugars, preservatives and chemicals as “vitamins,” “barley malt,” “agave nectar,” “dextrose” and others.
While there are some canned products that are acceptable, most of them are just junk.
Next time you go to the supermarket and get anything that is processed, read the labels, and you will be impressed how many ingredients you will find in your product or how clever companies can be in hiding their chemicals and sugars.
It got to the point that I checked my favorite pastries’ label only in hopes that they’d changed the ingredients so I could have one, because I do miss the taste. But I came to the conclusion that they never will, and because my health is more important than any flavor, I stick with my fruit.
If your goal is to stay healthy and lose weight or not gain fat weight, read the labels. It would make a big difference in your life.