Weight loss is like a destination. You need directions to get there. Usually on the first assessment and goal setting meeting with new members, I ask them if they remember the first time they traveled by road. Then I ask if they remember how they got to their destination.
I get many answers:
My friend drove
I got directions from my friend
I followed the road and stopped at gas stations to ask the way
I used a map
I turned on my GPS
I got there safely (This is the one that I like the most)
The reality is that no one can get to their destination without knowing where they are going and how to get there.
Everyone needs some type of assistance: GPS, a map, a friend who knows the route. Some people used to take directions from the stars when they were traveling. We all need guidance. If people don’t follow directions, they can end up far, far away from the real destination. They can be going in circles in the same area like I did when I got lost for 5 hours driving in Mexico City. They can even take a different road that leads to a different destination.
The rules for weight loss are the same as for that road trip. You need to know where you are going and how to get there to achieve your goal. You need a map (instructions) to lose the pounds you want to lose. People can get distracted or go slowly or take the wrong turn when they’re not following their directions when driving. Therefore, it might take longer for them to reach their destination. Same thing happens when you don’t follow and constantly refer to your weight loss goals.
The steps to get to your destination (weight loss goal) are:
Determine your destination (how much fat you want to lose, why, and by when)
Split it into monthly goals. When you’re on a road trip, it helps to know you’ve passed or are close to a city, town or state line. That helps you psychologically. It gives you a sense that you are closer and motivates you to continue.
Make specific goals that will lead to the monthly goals. To start your road trip, you need to plan it and know the directions you are going to use. Planification requires knowing the things you will do as you travel, such as eating, stopping and getting gas, using the bathroom, resting, maybe enjoying the view, stretching, and fixing problems like flat tires.
Not planning or specifying your goal can leave you with consequences you probably were not prepared for. If you want to go to Florida to get away from the winter and start driving without destination, you may end up in New York.
Or if you did not plan and check your car before driving, you may come back home in a tow truck.
Goal setting is very important. I do it with all CBF’s members. As a matter of fact, one of our members has lost 25 pounds in 3 months and passed the goal setting — or “tips,” as he calls them — along to his brother, and he lost 20 pounds in 3 months.
Get real results by taking into consideration a tool that has helped many people achieve their destination — goal setting.
Recently I assessed a new Custom Body Fitness member who had lost 13 lbs in 15 weeks. It reminded me of another member four months ago who had lost 15 lbs. in the same amount of time. Both of these members were overweight, and most heavy people lose between 2 to 4 lbs a month. Therefore, I was surprised to see people lose more than 10 pounds in the first 5 week assessment. Another sort of member Custom Body Fitness have are those who fall into the “fit” scale. They were active before they walked in the door. This people can put into an “athlete” category. Fit people generally cannot lose 10 lbs in four months, because they are already in the most healthy weight level. However, they also impress me when they lose 2 lbs or lower their fat levels by 1 percent, since few do that. This raises a question: Why do some people, in the same “fat level category” lose a significant amount of fat and others don’t? After assessing hundreds of Custom Body Fitness members, I have found a pattern: Different sorts of habits and behaviors get us different results.
- People who get results are usually open to change. They listen to my suggestions, learn about healthy eating and exercise, and then they put this new knowledge into practice.
- They find a balance between work, family, exercise, and other activities in their lives.
- They change their eating habits by cooking at home, cutting meat intake, adding more vegetables and fruits, eating organic, substituting added beverage for water, and eat five times a day.
- They have an active lifestyle; they come to Custom Body Fitness 3 to 4 times a week, and hike, walk, run, or bike on their own.
- They find support by seeking out active people like themselves who are striving for the same goals.
- They take time to analyze their life—they meditate.
- They figure out their goals, write them down specifying each one, and work towards them.
Some people come to CBF with some knowledge of healthy ways already and just need to be reminded; others simply don’t know how to start they journey to health and weight loss. My hope for all members is that they learn to find a balance in their life in order to accomplish their desires. I want them to feel less frustrated about losing weight and concentrate on their habit changes, not on the weight they are trying lose. So if you want to lose weight in a healthy and fun atmosphere that fits your lifestyle, think about the suggestions above. These pointers have been proven to work, so why not let them help you.
Last week I assessed one of my clients. He had lost 12 pounds in 2 months. He said that he recommends me to his group of friends. He enjoys our sessions, feels healthier, has more energy, is stronger, and — the most important reason he talks about CBF to his friends — he’s happier. When he refers me to his friends and shows them my website, some of them expect to see a picture of a bodybuilder.
He was telling me that he knows a couple of guys who are huge; they use drugs to increase muscle mass. Some other guys he knows use supplements. Since I advocate “natural fitness,” he assumes I don’t take any drugs or supplements.
While it is true that 6 years ago I used protein shakes and creatine, I now know that these products don’t really help me perform any better or add value to my health. Also, they are likely to do more harm than good. In my experience, acne and lack of oxygen at night were only two side effects of these products, which is why I stopped taking them. When it comes to drugs everyone seems to have a different opinion about them. My opinion is that drugs simply don’t contribute to health even though they may increase muscle mass, endurance or some other facet of human performance.
Even though it sounds sad, many professionals nowadays don’t distinguish between fitness and health; but being fit does not mean being healthy. Someone taking drugs or using supplements may be able to run fast, have tremendous lean muscle mass or lift incredible weights and can be classified as fit. However, this person may not be healthy. Such a person may suffer or develop side effects such as sex impotency, osteoporosis, high blood pleasure, cancer and others.
However, fitness is a factor that contributes to health just like eating nutritious foods and controlling thoughts and emotions. But many people put their health in jeopardy to be fit.
Weight loss has also taken the same path. Many people have heard from their doctors that they need to lose weight because of their high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, knee problems, etc. Many look for the easy exit, taking pills, using hormone therapies, taking supplements or undergoing surgery.
Even though weight loss is the goal, the purpose can get lost while trying to attain the goal. The purpose of weight loss is to be healthy. While some people are looking to lose weight for a better appearance (and there’s nothing wrong with losing weight to be physically attractive), they, also, miss the real purpose. Losing weight in an unhealthy manner won’t help an individual become more attractive.
Getting to know the difference between fit and healthy helps us a lot with the habits we need to practice. It helps us be aware of our health while we get fit and to remember that we get fit to contribute to our health. Weight loss is not about being fit only. It is about being healthy by incorporating fitness in our lives.
Having difficulties losing that extra fat and toning your body? Getting in shape is not easy as it may seem. Either in my experience, I have noticed that losing weight and getting fit takes more than exercise and eating healthy. The problem is more formidable than people think although of course it is highly attainable. Signing up in a weight loss program is a first, easy step, though keeping up with the program is harder.
Stress is one of the factors that can affect one’s intentions to work at a weight loss program. One’s working schedule as well as health problems are some form of stress. Work and health issues sometimes are out of our control and, therefore, it mess up with our weight loss program. But a balance always can be found. If we don’t find it, we will never get to our desired body weight.
Other factors that can disrupt a weight loss or fitness program are bad habits. I read that a human being can never erase a bad habit. It needs to replace by a positive habit. Sometime, due to lack of knowledge, people don’t even know that their habits are putting their health at risk. Of course, others simple don’t want to give up bad habits because of their prompt relief. Instant gratification is reinforcing, but we can learn to think more long term and, with steady work begin to morph our day to day practices and diet. Good habits result in slow but lifelong rewards which a bad habit does not do.
Another factor in determining whether or not people will change their lifestyle can be the existence of past traumas. The other day, on my walk, I ran into a young man I know who confided in me that he was afraid to try a real career because he’d been raised to feel he would be a failure no matter what he tried. He was a bright person but had pretty much stopped trying at all! We chatted for a while, and I tried to make him see that without some failures we can’t learn to succeed. And it’s true. People who are successful needed to make many mistakes to get to where they are. For the many arrows that missed the target, one of them will hit it. Some people who have been traumatized by their past don’t give their best or make the commitment to succeed, whether it’s losing weight or sticking to a workout routine. They say “Why try? I’m not going to succeed,” So they are ready failures before they start. My feeling is that, as scary as it sounds, we need to enjoy our failures as much as our success. Life is a journey.
One more factor that sometimes prevents people from beginning physical training is past injuries to the body. People are afraid of pain and want to avoid reinjuring their bodies. For them, if they feel any pain while they exercise, it’s a warning sign to them, and they stop exercising. That’s where a Fitness Professional comes in! We can help a person differentiate “good” pain from “bad” pain. There are pains which show us that we are getting in shape: one overloads the muscles a little each time, and this helps us get to our goals. Once we know what pain is “good,” we can train our minds not to panic if we feel a twinge or two while or after a workout. On all levels of life, pain is part of it, and is needed to succeed in most aspects of life. It is important to talk to a professional dedicated to your wellbeing to understand the difference between pains.
Sometimes we wonder why we can’t lose weight and change our lives. These factors most likely are unconscious. Thus many factors contribute to our weight loss or fitness problems, including psychological, physical, and environment dynamics. Nonetheless, we have control over our lives, and we can do whatever we want if we really want it from the bottom of our heart. The power of changing is with you and only you.
There are different exercise tips that need to be fulfilled in an exercise session to reach your fitness goals. Attending an exercises session is the first step; however, it is not all it takes. You could compare this to attending a lecture class and not paying attention to the teacher. Nothing good will come of just showing up. There should be a sense of concentration, taking notes, reading, participating, actively asking questions, etc. The same goes with exercise, engaging our muscles and our minds. Here are six exercise tips that you should follow if you want to see results:
- Be in discomfort: Any well designed program made to give results should not keep you in a conform zone. You should feel some sense of challenge all the time. If you don’t feel any challenge, the body is accustomed and will not change to meet the demand. Therefore, you will not see results.
- Don’t go backwards: Many people think because they pushed last week, they don’t need to push in the present. Remember that the body becomes accustomed to the resistance given. In other words, if instead of increasing your weight lifting from 15s pounder dumbbells to 20s and go down to 12s, or if you run less or slower than most times, the body will get used to the new resistance. This means that either you get more toned and lose weight by increasing your weight lifting or running distance, or you get gain fat and lose muscle by decreasing your weight lifting or running distance.
- Have a “progression” mentality: Think “what can I do better today?” Some examples could be, increase your weight lifting, increase your intensity of the exercise, try to do your entire program in less time, add other exercises and so on.
- Live the moment: Concentrate in your exercise and forget about everything else. This is your time to get in shape. Everything else will have its own time.
- Find people who are more motivated than you: People who do what it takes to get results usually motivate us, both by personal encouragement and by inspiring us. These people will help you get to your goal.
- Enjoy the exercise: Exercise should be challenging, but you must have in your mind that you love it. If you think the opposite of it, you will drain all your energy and you will not get results.
Take these six exercise tips into consideration and get results. My goal is to give you tools to continue your fitness journal. Exercise is a need to stay and live healthy. I think we all want to do it right, enjoy it and get the most out of it. Don’t waste your time and start this week!
By the way, please check out our website. Go –> here <– to see more successful stories.
If you don’t belong to Custom Body Fitness yet and are wondering what type of workouts and training we provide, here’s a short introduction. You can learn this program and take it with you on your summer or other travels. This program designed are for those who’ve been with us a while and for you who just started on your fitness journey. Keep in mind that this program designed is for people who have no physical limitations. Warm-ups:
Run, bike or do some other cardiovascular activity from 6 to 10 minutes. You can also do the following:
Jumping jacks x 1 minute, mountain claimers x 1 minute, jump rope x 1 minute; then repeat the sequence. .
Once you are warmed up, you may begin doing the program. Rest one minute every time you finish an exercise sequence.
- 10 Push ups
- 20 Alternative lunges
- 20 Double crunches
- 1 minute Jumping jacks
- Rest one minute
Repeat the sequence three times.
- 10 Inverted pulls ups
- 10 Romanian death lift
- 20 Alternative curls
- 1 minute Mountain climbers
- Rest on minute
Repeat the sequence three times.
- 10 Overhead triceps extensions
- 10 Military presses
- 1 minute Plank
- I minute Jump rope
- Rest one minute
Repeat the sequence three times.
To cool down, develop a series of appropriate stretches for 5 to 10 minutes.
If you have any question about these exercises, email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org. If you aren’t sure what some of the above exercise are, look online, Google Images or YouTube. Have fun, challenge yourself, and make working out part of your life routine, wherever life takes you.
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.
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 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.