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Effective Weight Loss: Understanding Nutrition

What should I be eating?

It’s easy for me to tell you to eat healthy, but for many of us we don’t really know what “healthy” looks like. I remember back in my pre-Custom body Fitness Days I thought that I was eating healthy. But in reality I was 30 pounds overweight. Let me tell you what I would typically be eating. Breakfast I would make protein pancakes. This consisted of banana, oatmeal, eggs, and protein powder. Then I would have an apple and a protein bar for snack.

Lunch would consist of ground turkey, quinoa pasta, and spaghetti sauce. Then I would have another afternoon snack – maybe some crackers and hummus and then dinner would be the same thing I had for lunch. Now, this was if I followed my “meal plan”. Often times there would be a doughnut, cookie, or some other tempting snack readily available at my office.

Also, I ate out for many meals a lot of times as well. If I had documented everything I was eating back then and read it today, I am sure I would be appalled.  This is what you should be eating. The number one staple in your diet should be vegetables. Shoot for 50% veggies in all your meals. And by vegetables I don’t mean 50% potatoes, although they are a wonderful food, keep your plate full of veggies like kale, spinach, brussell sprouts, cauliflower, zucchini, squash. and carrots. Now that being said, be conscious of how you are cooking your vegetables.

Raw is always a great option in salads and other dishes. But if you prefer to cook them you should use healthy oils like coconut and avocado oil. You may also steam, bake, and dry sauté them. Another energy source for your body (because food is fuel) is carbohydrates such as fruit and other grains. Some of these carbohydrates are going to keep you fuller longer. Fruit is a fast acting carbohydrate and is going to burn much more quickly and is going to give you instant energy. Grains are going to metabolize slower than fruits and keep your blood sugar stable for longer. Therefore, it’s important to eat both depending on the situation.

The next energy source for your body is healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, dairy, nuts and seeds. These are going to help keep you fuller longer. It takes the body longer to break down fats than it does carbohydrates. The last energy source to burn is protein. Good sources of protein include organic meat, organic dairy, nuts, and many plants have protein as well. These should be incorporated in your diet as well. As you can see many foods contain a variety of the macro nutrients (proteins, fats, and carbs) usually with one primary macronutrient.

The combination of all these energy sources, or foods, is what you should be consuming. Again, eating a variety of foods but also being conscious of which foods are higher in calories. Also, some people enjoy eating more protein and fat for energy, others enjoy less protein and fat and a higher carb diet. Some like to balance out the macronutrients a little more evenly. The point is again, watch the amount of high calorie foods you are eating and eat foods that grow on a tree or in the ground is a good rule of thumb for the majority of your diet.

Is exercise really that important?

In addition to eating a clean diet it is also recommended to exercise for weight loss. But what is more important, eating or exercise? Now if you really want to lose weight and tone your body there are three things that you need to be doing. I call it the weight loss triad. You must eat healthy, lift weights, and do cardiovascular exercise. All are very important; however, it is very difficult to out exercise a bad diet.

As I mentioned before, weight loss at it’s most basic level is calories in and calories out. So, if you are eating more calories than you are burning you are not going to lose weight. It’s not that diet is more important than exercise; they both have very important health benefits, it is simply the fact that if you eat too many calories it is impossible for the average person to reach a caloric deficit by going to the gym and exercising for an hour a day. I am going to give you an example of exactly what I mean in the following example.

How much sugar are you drinking?

For this example we are going to focus on sugar added drinks but this can also apply to processed and packaged foods as well. Make sure to read the label to find out how much sugar and how many calories you are consuming.

We have all heard that sugar-added drinks are bad for our health and lead to weight gain and even obesity. When I say sugar added drinks I am talking about soda, juice, teas, energy drinks, powdered mixers and even the so-called “healthy drinks” such as Gatorade, Powerade and Vitamin Water.  So the question on my mind is “Why do we still drink these beverages that are so bad for our health in the first place?”

The answer is clear to me- addiction. That’s right, we are so addicted to the feelings we get from drinking these sugar laden beverages that we lack the willpower to ditch these dirty drinks once and for all. Or, perhaps we have heard these drinks are bad for our health but we don’t really understand the actual consequences of ingesting them on a daily or frequent basis. So what exactly are the implications of drinking so much sugar?

Well many of you are reading this because you want to lose weight. Therefore, I am going to explain to you just how your sugar consumption is affecting your weight loss or contributing to weight gain. As I mentioned before, weight loss is basically calories in and calories out. All you have to do is burn more calories than you eat and you will lose weight? Well that sounds pretty darn easy to me! I’ll just eat less and run more.  Ok, great, we have a plan. Now let’s talk how many calories a typical person will burn each day.

Being a woman of 140 pounds and 5 feet 7 inches tall I will burn about 1200 calories a day without any additional movement. If I have a very active job I will probably burn more, but this is what I would burn if I were rather sedentary.

Earlier we talked about exercise being one of the key to weight loss due to the fact that it helps you burn extra calories as well as provide many other additional benefits. If I run a mile I would burn 100 to 110 calories and weight lifting burns anywhere from 400-500 calories an hour.

If I naturally burn 1,200 calories a day and I exercise for an hour or so I can burn anywhere from 1,600-1,700 calories in a day. This is the amount of calories I would need to consume to maintain my weight. If I want to lose weight then I need to consume less.

Here is what an average American’s day looks like when consuming sugar added drinks:

While at the gym they drink their 12oz Gatorade and that Gatorade is packed with 21 grams of sugar.

Then it’s time to eat breakfast. A meal replacement shake is awesome! For many that is breakfast and it has 7 grams of sugar, but a lot of people are still hungry so they have two eggs and a glass of Juicy Juice. The juice is a is a whopping 27 grams of sugar.

Then a peach tea with lunch because tea is healthy- 26 grams. Three pm crash rolls around and you need a cup of coffee in the afternoon, however, you must have creamer. But you only use a little, so it’s ok. When in reality many people don’t realize that they add around 3-5 table spoons of creamer to their cup of coffee- and this adds up to 15- 25 grams of sugar.

With dinner a nice glass or two of Chardonnay – which adds up to about 3 grams of sugar.

Now, let’s look at the amount of sugar consumed in a day. That totals up to 130 grams of sugar!! Just in what was drank!

The recommended intake of sugar for many people is 25 grams per day. Not to mention that 130 grams of sugar is 520 calories!!

This many grams of sugar would take an hour in the gym to burn off. Why not just ditch the sugary drinks and save some hours in the gym?

Use fear as your motivator

Emotional eating: We all struggle with it and we all wonder why. What are the some of the reasons that we eat? We are hungry, tired, bored, stressed, celebrating something, sad about something, out with friends, we are being peer pressured by our friends, our beliefs, it’s readily available, or we don’t want to make someone else feel bad. Now, I could stand here all day and give you superficial and silly ideas that will help to stop yourself from eating an entire bag of chocolate M&Ms when you are feeling the slightest bit of stress or sadness.

Here are a few examples I have come across over the years:

1. Pamper yourself:  wear soft, comfortable clothes, take bubble baths, read a book with some hot tea.

That’s great and all but I know how busy you all are and when you’re running around during the day the last thing you can do is stop and take a bubble bath.

2. Create a “hunger scale.” Now when I saw this I wasn’t sure what that meant exactly.

I’m guessing it’s like a pain scale. You get vicoden if you’re at a certain level, if you’re a certain number on this then you can eat the potato chips.

3. Keep a food journal. I believe this does raise awareness and holds you accountable for what you are eating.

But is it sustainable long term?

4.Snap your wrist with a rubber band.

I have tried this one. I ended up taking the rubber band off of my hand after just one day.

5. Smell the food but don’t eat it. I will do this sometimes. Especially cake and doughnuts!

This is somewhat fulfilling, but it can also make it more tempting for someone who has no reason to not eat it other than weight loss.

6. Play with your dog.

I do love to play with my dog, but I found out that she enjoys potato chips just as much as I do! And she would probably encourage me to buy them! Alright, back to emotional eating. We have six primary emotions:

Anger

Disgust

Fear

Happiness

Sadness

Surprise

Out of these six emotions, which do you think is the strongest? Any marketing executive today will tell you that it is fear; fear is the most motivating emotion. Fear trumps all other emotions and when we are feeling fear our other emotions are no longer as powerful.

Fear is an emotion that has a bad reputation. We think fear and we automatically assume something negative, but do we ever consider that we can use fear constructively within ourselves?

Let me tell you my story. I was diagnosed with hypothyroid disease over ten years ago. I had an enlarged thyroid and my Mother noticed one day. She was concerned so I went to the doctor to get it checked out. I went in and the doctor told me that it was my thyroid. We ran some tests and I had an ultrasound done to confirm that it was not cancer. Turns out it was not cancer which is a blessing. However, I did have a very significant case of hypothyroidism.  He gave me a pill and told me that I would have to be on this thyroid hormone the rest of my life. I wasn’t upset at all. You see, I had a very different mindset back then. It was, “oh poor me, I have this disease and there is nothing I can do about it” I’ll just get progressively worse. I will just have to live with these symptoms, and I did. Eating the Standard American Diet and continuing blindly on this path to self destruction. I figured I was just going to have to live with acne, weight gain, hair loss, mood swings, exhaustion, and brain fog. The majority of my early twenties were spent this way. I never once tied all my symptoms or my disease to the lifestyle that I was living.

If you remember earlier I told you I used to be 30 pounds overweight. I really began my health journey three years ago when I joined Custom Body Fitness. I call it my health journey because it has not been just about weight loss for me. I look back now and realize that I was a miserable shell of a human being and when I came to Sandro (the owner of Custom Body Fitness) he challenged my beliefs and he really pushed me to find a better solution and to improve my health. Not just with exercise but with lifestyle changes. At first I was resistant and even angry with him for questioning something that I thought he knew absolutely nothing about. But slowly I came around. I started doing my own research and little by little I changed my own way of thinking.  I began realizing that when you accept something the way that it is, you have given up. Given up on yourself and the people that you love and who love you.

I began researching and finding alternative treatments. It wasn’t more than a year after I began my healing journey that I was diagnosed with Hashimotos, which is the autoimmune thyroid condition. I believe I had this condition all along but was never diagnosed. This was a huge setback for me! All of my effort and I get more bad news. I could have rolled over and given up right then, but no. Something inside of me wanted to fight. I knew there was a way to heal and improve my health. So I researched more and more. I became obsessed about my health. I finally found a hormone specialist who did IGG food sensitivity testing. I found out 35 foods including dairy, wheat, soy ,and corn were exactly what was causing all of my symptoms. I cut out all of these foods and started to feel much better. But then much to my dismay my symptoms started to reappear, so I did more research and tweaked my diet even more.

My diet is very restrictive, and it is difficult at times, but I always remember my motivation. My point here is that I have motivation to eat healthy due to all of my intolerances, but more than that what drives me is fear. What will my future look like concerning my thyroid if I don’t do the best I can every single time I chose to eat something?

We all fear something whether we like to admit it or not. What I have found to be the most powerful influence to make better choices is living through fear-at least in the beginning. Allowing the fear to consume you to the point that no other emotion is capable of taking it’s place in the arena of healthy eating. If we allow our fears to surface and use them as or reasons for wanting a healthier lifestyle then maybe we can consistently make better decisions.

Perhaps you have a health condition and you have never really thought about the implications or what you are consuming. Or maybe you have and are simply choosing to ignore that fear until you have to face it. Maybe you have a family member who is suffering from an illness, or maybe a friend. Maybe your fear is that you won’t be able to physically do the things you want to do. I focus these fears on health because ultimately that is what a poor diet and excess weight leads to, health issues. You’re probably thinking, wait a minute this is about weight loss not disease prevention. Well I think that we all know that obesity and poor health usually go hand in hand. Also, once you find the motivation to eat healthier for whatever your reason is, weight loss will automatically become a part of that.

I know this works because I have lived it and it has taken me many years. I was never able to make a permanent change until I allowed myself to want to be better and at first that was driven by fear. It is interesting though, sometime our fear can turn to hope and that is just as powerful. If you have found yourself in a situation similar to my own I want tell you right now that I live in one of the two places at all times. Fear or hope, fear for what could happen if I make the wrong choices and hope for what will happen if I continue to make the right choices. Our mind is amazingly powerful and the things that we choose to focus on are the things that we can control.

Weight loss is about knowing the best actions you can take for your health, caring enough to contemplate those actions, and controlling yourself enough to take those actions.


Here Is The Solution To Some Of Your Problems

She started crying as she was relieving her stress,

She continued adding more details to the story.

It reminded me of the story of another of our members. She was the opposite…

“Many people compliment me because of the great body I have, and I feel uncomfortable and I tell them I owe a lot to my genes.”

“To your genes? So that means that you just started and soon you look like this?” I asked.

“Not really. I have been active since I was a child. I rode my bike everywhere, I was in sports, and I remember staying active all the time. My family always ate healthily and never gave us sodas or candies. My parents are a very good model to follow, so I am doing the same thing with my children. So I guess I have been active and eat healthily, and that is the reason why I am in shape.”

We have two different stories here:  

one person who is coming from a very dysfunctional family and another who has great role models. The first member is in her third marriage, and the second has a very successful marriage. One does not have her emotions under control, and the other one does. One is struggling with her kids, and the other one has children who are adopting good habits.

This is not luck at all. The decisions they took earlier in their lives put them in this current situation. Therefore, for the first person to lose weight, no pill, surgery, shake or easy weight loss program will do it. She needs to undo her habits and replace them with good habits. To become active and stop being lazy, to be sober and stop drinking, to stop overeating and eat because she needs to — to control any problem — first she needs to understand that she has a problem. Then she needs to break the habit by planning, taking small steps and understanding that relapses are normal and they will become less frequent as she strengthen the new good habit.

The second member needs is a good program that she’s comfortable with where the routine is set up for her.

Making wrong decisions is not uncommon…

This is the message Jesus sent when he said, “Let he who is free of sin cast the first stone.” I am very aware of this. I know better, and I still make mistakes. Yet relapses are not as common as they used to be when I made unconscious decisions, but I still suffer from them (sorry, I am still human). It doesn’t feel good when I make a mistake because I know I am going to suffer the consequences and I will lose time and whatever goal is valuable to me.

Everything starts with our parents, their beliefs and the environment where they raised us. For example, in the case of our first member, she made many mistakes when she was raising her first son because she did not have good parental models, and no one taught her how to be a mom. She failed in her first marriage because no one taught her how to look for the right man, and maybe she was not the right woman either. Her beliefs about food and money came from her parents and were reinforced throughout her life by her peers. She did the best she could. Now she is paying the consequences of all the bad decisions she’s made. And not stressing out won’t help, but stressing out won’t help either. To fix her life, she needs to study her past and understand her mistakes, so she won’t make the same mistakes again and again. She needs to start making different decisions to help her son, work on her marriage, lose weight and reverse her diabetes.

I believe many of us have the same problem. We want all our current problems that were created by our past wrong decisions to go away over night…

For many of our members what they are experiencing now are not the results of last night’s decision or a genetic problem but are results of all the decisions they have made throughout their lives. This means that to fix many of our present problems we need to start making better decisions now to expect better results in the future.

I also made many wrong decisions until I turned 28 years of age. This is why I fell into depression, was in debt, failed my family and had subpar health. When I started making better decisions, my life changed — not right away, but it changed. Now I am in a different place. Can you imagine if I had made better decisions since the day I was born? I would be in a better position today. However, I did not know better, just like many of our members. And I still do not know better. I still make mistakes; I still have limited beliefs that are not letting me progress. But it helps me when I understand that many of my present problems are the results of many bad decisions, they are my responsibility, no else’s.

We all are going to continue making mistakes by making the wrong decisions…

However, the more aware we are of the consequence, the less prone to make bad decisions we’ll be. We all have weaknesses, and fighting them takes more than strength. It takes a plan and a Superior Power by our side.

My hope is always for our members to change their ways to a better life and find their happiness and understand that present problems can’t be solved superficially. They need time and effort. I have been in their shoes before.


The Easiest Way To Reduce Weight

I am going to reveal to you the most comfortable and easy way to lose weight…

I have heard many people say that when they were young their bodies were perfect and they did not need to exercise. A similar story I hear is that when people stop exercising within two years they are at least 20 pounds heavier.

There are many factors involved with weight gain, but we are going to focus on the obvious one.  Probably you know that 3,500 calories is equal to 1 pound.  So let’s say that you eat 500 calories extra a day or spend 500 calories less a day. If we add that up over a week it becomes 3,500 calories, which turns into 1 pound. There are 52 weeks in a year, and this is how you gain 52 pounds a year.

Have you heard about the compound effect?

You probably know it. If you make a penny a day and each day your savings double, in 24 days you will have more than $1.5 million. This is how the compound effect works. This is how people gain and lose weight, by compounding their habits. Each Coke that you drink daily, each pizza that you eat per week, each candy that you enjoy, each processed food that you eat, each alcoholic beverage that you drink, each workout that you miss, each walk that you avoid, and each failed attempt to exercise adds up, and you end up with a compounding effect of fat by the end of the year.

You can do the same thing to lose 52 pounds in a year that you did to gain it. All you have to do is increase your activity by 500 calories. However, be careful, because when you exercise you end up hungrier. You tend to eat more, and adding the calories you burned or eating the wrong calories won’t help. Also burning calories alone may not be all you need to do. Many times medication and processed foods will not allow you to lose weight because your body simply does not work properly. But, if you make the right changes, you will lose weight.

You can also cut your calories by 500 and make it 1 pound a week…

But once again, be careful, because 500 calories of beer is not the same as 500 calories of broccoli. Broccoli gives you many nutrients you need to metabolize calories, while you get empty calories from alcohol. In addition, alcohol won’t fill you up, and you will still need to eat, while with broccoli you won’t be able to even eat 100 calories worth when you are already full with all the nutrients you need to stay healthy.

So yes, it is about compounding your habits to decrease your caloric intake and increase your caloric use. Nevertheless, you need to be smart when you do it. Cut the right calories. If you stop drinking soda, eating processed foods, eating out and eating fast foods, for example, for sure you already are cutting 500 calories a day without the tedious action of counting calories. But remember that it’s not the one penny that adds up to make more than $1 million. It is the compound effect that makes $1 million. The same goes with your habits. It is not the one soda or one beer that you stop drinking, but all the habits that you are changing.

You don’t have to make all the changes at once…

and you don’t have to go crazy about your weight loss. You can start making small changes each month. However, each small change you make will compound, and you will see results in the long run. For example, if you decided to go for a walk every day this month and stop drinking soda, there you have your 500 calories a day. Make sure you keep this habit for life, and next month you can start thinking about your next move.

Next month maybe you can stop eating all processed food or eat bigger potions of veggies, and you can start running for 10 minutes in your 30-minute walk. And next month you add more changes, such as no longer eating fast foods and beginning resistance training. You do the same the month after. If you keep all the changes you have begun, not only will you see weight loss results in the beginning, but the changes will compound so that your weight loss will be impressive and you will achieve your desired weight loss quickly. You can see why Albert Einstein thought compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world.


Don’t Lose Your Path To Health

I went hiking with one of our members who has seen great results. He went from 30% body fat to 17% body fat. It took him only 8 months to lose that fat. We have studied his pictures, and it’s obvious how unhealthy and unhappy he used to look compared to the new picture.

He is an overachiever…

I recognize the overachievers, of course, for the effort they put into their program, and because, for them, what they do is not enough. They want to do more.

He has changed his way of eating, stopped drinking and become very active. There is not much he can improve now. Of course, there are always small improvements that can be done such as a cleanse or detoxification. However, if he continues doing what he is doing, results will continue coming his way. Results are inevitable. He will continue increasing his muscle mass because of his dedication to his weight training, and he will continue losing fat because he eats healthily.

As we were hiking, the question came up: What else can I do to get to 11% body fat? Because he is an overachiever, I was expecting this question from him, so I told him, “All you have to do now is be patient. You will get there soon.

Could he really do something else?

Yes. He could take steroids, but I advocate health, and drugs come with serious negative consequences. He could diet, but dieting is only for the moment, and soon people end up where they started or get even fatter. He could spend more time at the gym — instead of exercising for only an hour at day, he could spend 3 hours. But that means he would need to take time from other areas of his life.

There are many things he could do that are not the best choice. I mean, unless he is competing or his career is bodybuilding, I don’t see the need to spend so much time in the gym or to jeopardize his health with drugs.

Our member is not a bodybuilder, and he is not competing. He has a successful business, a united family, he is financially free and he has a lot of dreams to accomplish. To be able to continue taking care of his business and keep his family united, and achieve his dreams, he needs time and energy.

We often want to get to our goals as fast as possible…

And, by doing that, we forget that results take time and patience. If you plant a seed and you are looking forward to the fruit, you know that you need to water it, take care of it, remove weeds from your garden and wait for the sunshine. That is the process, and then all you need is time. If you overwater the seed, or expose it to more light or heat than it needs, or you remove the good insects from the soil, you are going to kill your plant.

You can’t go to the gym for 9 hours one day and expect to be in shape the next day; or eat healthily or fast for one day and expect to be toned the next day. What it takes is a series of changes that you

need to do every day as a lifestyle, and then one day you’ll see results in the mirror.

Once you’re already taking the right path to health, don’t get desperate, you may lose the path…

Results will come thanks to the changes you have already made. All you have to do is be patient with the process. Trust the process. It has delivered results before, it should continue to deliver results.

Health is only one part of our life. It is not our life. When you start taking the right path to health, results will show up. All you need to do is to be patient.


Get Fit: The Difference Between Reasons and Excuses

I am very straightforward with our members at Custom Body Fitness…

This is one of the reasons we can help them get fit. Many times I seem to be rude, and our members know that. But from the bottom of their heart, they know I care, and this is why I tell them the truth about their results.

One of the things I have noticed is that many people don’t know the difference between excuses and reasons. I had a conversation with a new member, and I started the conversation by pointing out what we need to work on first. She is afraid of pain and injury like many people, of course. Who wants pain or being injured?

She told me about a muscle spasm in her upper back she got from separating two dogs during a fight. She started the conversation by saying that it was a poor excuse not to come to session, but it was painful. To which I replied that it is not an excuse but a reason according to her brain.

So let’s figure out what is an excuse, a false reason and a real reason.

False reason…

The truth is that our new member does not know the difference between an injury and a muscle spasm, so her brain is sending a signal that something wrong is going on in her body, which is true. The muscle spasm is painful, and if she doesn’t know how to decode that, her brain is asking her to stop all activities to not aggravate the muscle spasm.

It is very normal that she is afraid, because all humans run from pain. So the reality is that she is not making an excuse. Her brain is just decoding the pain as a threat, and the only thing she can think is to stop exercising not to aggravate it. This is what I call a false reason, because it is a reason. There is pain, there is fear and there is an impediment. However, she can still workout, but she does not know that.

Here is another example of a false reason. The other day a member tripped and fell and got a bruised knee. She got hit on the knee and there is tissue damage, but it’s nothing that can be aggravated by exercise. You don’t have to be a doctor or have a degree in science to figure this out. Of course, just like the muscle spasm, there will be pain with movement.

However, in either of these examples experts in health and fitness recommend some level of movement and use. The movement and use will allow blood flow and muscle movement, which allows the injury to heal faster.

The truth is that many people are so afraid of any pain or small injury that they stop their activities. Like I said before, I don’t think this is an excuse. It is just that the person is not well-informed, is not used to this type of pain and does what he or she thinks is the best for her or him.

Real reasons…

When I was 28 years of age, I dislocated my knee. My tibia completely came out medially, spraining three ligament of the bone, ACL, PCL and MCL. I could not move my knee. The strength of my knee was lost instantly. It was painful, and I could not put any weight on it.  That night I went to bed thinking about what could have happened to my knee. It was easy to conclude that, because of the

way my bone was, my ligaments were gone. I think, even though I was in pain, what really kept me awake was being worried about not being able to walk normally again or lift weights.

When there is a broken bone, a sprained ligament, a strained tendon, a funeral to attend, a fever keeping you in bed, a court session, one of your loved ones got into an accident or is in the hospital, delivering a baby … You get the point. Those are real reasons not to exercise and give yourself a break.

Excuses…

We all have excuses for our poor performance. As a matter of fact, if we are not aware of our false thinking, our excuses come automatically. For example, one of my bad habits that I have improved this year was to be late to almost all my appointments. In the morning, I usually start my drive at 4:40 a.m. It takes me 12 minutes to get to my destination. At the time there is no traffic. Sometimes I forget about traffic when I am driving later than 6 a.m. When I am driving, my brain starts to think about all the excuses I can tell my client in case I am late:  “There was a lot of traffic,” “All the lights were red,” “The person in front of me did not want to move from the passing lane,” “There was an accident” … But I catch myself thinking all this. When I arrive, if I am late, the only thing I say is I am so sorry. I know your time is valuable and I messed up. It won’t happen again. How can I fix my mistake?

If I remember there is more traffic after 6 a.m, I can leave 10 minutes earlier and arrive on time. I need to wake up 10 minutes earlier or sacrifice some of my early activities. I can stop blaming the traffic lights, the person in front of me, the traffic, the accident, etc. Not giving myself enough time to be on time to my destination is my fault not anyone else’s.

Because I know how important people’s time is (because I value my time) and because I want to become a better person, I stop my excuses and take responsibility. I want results in my life. I want to improve.

However, yes, I won’t lie, many times I do come out with excuses. For example when someone is trying to sell me something I don’t need and I already told the person no and they continue to bug me, then I can make any kind of excuse, but that is because I don’t care. Excuses only show how much you care.

So when people come with stories — and I hear these stories often — such as “I am too busy at work,” “I was too tired to come,” “I did not feel good today,” “I stayed up late last night,” “I have too much to do,” I think all these are excuses. The reality is that their weight loss is not important. They are just looking for excuses to justify their lack of commitment to their health. I am not saying there is something wrong by coming up with excuses, but until the person becomes responsible and clarifies the real reason why he or she did not make it to the session, there will always be something or someone else to blame.

I admit, I need to work at not making excuses, consciously fighting my false thinking and accepting responsibility for what happens to me and determining if I am committed enough to my desires. I recommend you do the same and be aware of making excuses. It will help you a lot to face reality, and you will deliver better results because now you are responsible for your future and the consequences, not your excuses.

Now, it all depends how committed you are to your weight loss program. Yes, I think everyone should be okay with other people’s excuses. However, if you are making excuses, you are not fooling the person who you’re giving the excuses to. You are fooling yourself. You should also know that your excuses will not deliver results on your weight loss program.

So if you have an internal fight and you don’t know if you have false reasons, real reasons or you are making excuses, think again and be true and honest with yourself.

As I mentioned before, many times you have false reasons to avoid the new positive behavior and give yourself a break, but this won’t help with your goal. It is important that you inform yourself and think differently to overcome any false reason that prevents you from reaching your goal.

Also, don’t be so hard on yourself if you really have a reason not to exercise because there are real reasons that are going to stop you from practicing your new positive behavior. Take care of those real reasons and as soon as possible get back on your feet and continue with your weight loss program.

And remember, if you make an excuse, it won’t help you deliver results, and you’re lying to yourself, no one else.


Set Your Mind For An Energetic Strength Training Session

Understanding your body and your mind will aid you to better perform at your strength training session…

Thus yelling better results and getting to your fitness goals faster.

Obviously, skeletal muscles are needed to perform any physical activity.  Muscles are the main energy burning factory.  To move any muscle the body requires energy.  If there is no energy, the muscle can’t be move making physical activity impossible. However, according to experts, there are 3 types of muscle fatigue which not all involve energy depletion.

Synaptic fatigue…

The least common fatigue.  The brain sends a signal called action potential to the muscle. Right where the nerve and the muscle attach, neuromuscular junction, action potential “tags” acetylcholine, acetylcholine “tags” sodium, sodium “tags” calcium and calcium binds to troponin allowing muscle contraction.  Rarely the body would not release enough acetylcholine to complete the cycle.  When this happens, synaptic fatigue happens.  If noticed, the signal starts with the brain.

Muscular Fatigue…

The second most common.  Here is where there is not enough energy synthesized. The body goes into different chemical process to create the energy use by the muscle- adenosine triphosphate (ATP).  Fat, carbohydrates and protein are used to synthesize ATP.  The body is restoring ATP at all the time.  However, depending on the energy system (anaerobic or aerobic), the body can perform some activities more efficiently than others.

Psychological Fatigue…

The most common fatigue. The body has all the requirements to do physical activities, acetylcholine, ATP and all other chemicals to cause muscle contraction.  Nevertheless, the individual may think that he or she can’t perform physical activities.

What you think, when you exercising, is very important for your performance and results by the end.  Many people have busy lives, but being busy does not mean that the body is tired and can’t perform an hour of exercise. So if you are straggling at your training and feel that you are tired most of the time, it could be that you are psychological fatigue since is the most common one.

If you want better results and feel energetic, take into consideration reprograming your brain and start thinking positive, train your brain to feel strong and send signals to your body instead of your body controlling your brain. Don’t let the erroneous perception of “being tired” defeat you.

Remember that by the end the only person who has control over your brain is you…

Stressful times can take a lot of your energy and drained you.  However, when this happen, keep in mind that no state is forever and you will get over it. But I challenge you to continue with your positive thinking and control your thoughts.


Take The Positive Out Of A Negative Event

An event is an occurrence happening at a determinable time and place…

(I got the definition online). Events can be negative or positive, and I believe events are always good. It all depends upon our perception of the event. For example, dislocating my knee was good because I learned deeply how the knee works, and I can relate to many others who get the same surgery, and I can help them to overcome such injury. Knee dislocation seems negative, but I turned it positive.

Events can take advancement and time from our lives or add advancement and time to our lives. For instance, paying for my surgery required money that took time from my life to earn. At the same time it paused my goals, and I needed to start my fitness level almost from the beginning. This is not bad, but it took time and advancement from my life.

Death is an event. It is negative for many people but positive for many others. It is painful to lose a family member, but at the same time it can make people be aware or push them to change to a better life. I read the story of a young man who was drinking and driving with his friends. He got into a car accident, killing one of his friends and sending the rest of them to the hospital. Now he is spending years in prison for vehicular homicide.

The event was the car accident…

This can become positive by making families aware of why alcohol is so dangerous. Many other young men and families can turn their lives around by being against alcohol, improving the community and saving lives. The truth is that now this young man has lost time and advancement in his life.

Let’s go back a little bit. Let’s say that this young man made a different decision, and instead of getting into alcohol and partying he put all the energy into studying and being the best he could be. He might have become a heart surgeon, a lawyer, a chemist, a philanthropist, the next star or anything that could add value to the community and his family.

But … he decided to choose a different event delivering different consequences, changing the course of his life and others’ lives completely.

A decision makes an event, this is my point…

Mother Teresa, for example, had it easy after becoming a sister. She was very comfortable as a sister at the Catholic Church. Until one day she suffered so much from seeing the poor die. She was about to take the train to Calcutta when a man yelled, “I am thirsty.” She went back to helped the man lying on the floor, who died in her arms. That was the “moment of change,” the event. She made miracles after that. She could have continued teaching from the church and had a comfortable life.

Bernard Nathason was an abortion doctor. He performed more than 60,000 abortions. He was the director of the Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health, the largest freestanding abortion facility in the world. One day Nathason saw a video of his practice that was recorded by a small camera. He saw how his instruments took the arms, legs and head of the fetus, which was alive and fighting for its life. It was vivid and sad. This was the “moment of change,” an event, for Nathason.  After this he became prolife and against his career.

Bill Wilson had a rough life. Dad and mom left him when he was young. His loved one died after a surgery, and he could find peace only in alcohol. He lost his career, his reputation and on many occasions his freedom because of alcohol. People around him wanted to help him, but no one knew how. He was destined to either die of alcoholism or live under supervision. It was not until he cried out loud to God that he started to rehab. Allowing himself to cry was the “moment of change,” an event that he took to free himself from alcohol. After this he met another rehab alcoholic named Bob Smith, and they created AA.

There are many people with similar stories, such as Abraham Lincoln, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn and Buddha.

After a tragedy many people find the good in themselves and make the right decisions to be happy…

I also suffered before I changed. An event happened, and the moment of truth revealed itself in my head. I started to make better decisions. Tragedies happen to everyone. You are not the only one. These tragedies are not reserved for you and only you. They happen to everyone. I am one of them. The truth is what you are going to do after it happens…

I just thought of a joke I heard no too long ago: On a rainy day two salesmen look out the window. One of them said, “What a terrible day to make sales. I better stay home.” The other salesman saw the same storm and said, “These are good times to make sales. Everyone stays home, especially the salesmen.”

You see, the truth is not the event but what you do afterwards…

You have the power to change anytime and change at any event. It will always be how you see events. What you believe of events will enslave you or empower you. Losing weight can be part of your change and your decisions; so can your finances, relationship, career, health and happiness. It is your life. You can feel happy by making a change in yourself or you can waste time making the wrong decisions.

It is what you decide to do after the event. Choose wisely.


Weight Gain: Is That Person In The Mirror Really You?

I am actually laughing right in this moment. I have no idea how important is their hair for men, but I know is very important for woman. As a matter of fact, when I take care of my hair, some of my clients let me know how great it looks and this is because many times I usually don’t care about my hair.

What we focus on is what we see and what we pay attention the most

Every morning when I am getting ready to work, I make sure I am using my uniform and it is clean. Another important part of my appearance is my face hair. I make sure is nottoo hairy and if I need to shave, I’ll do it. When I am finish my perception of me is that I look great, professional and attractive.

It is not after I have my morning assessments when I notice that my hair is a mess. I feel embarrassed. It is not a big deal I believe, but if I do notice it, everyone else can, even though I don’t notice it in the beginning.

When I was younger and I did not lift weights my perception of me was as a strong man. It was not until years later that I went through some pictures that I found that I was very skinny and weak.

I heard a story of a personal trainer who helps her new clients to find out how much extra weight they are carrying…

by asking them to lift some heavy dumbbells and walk around, seat and get up with them. When they notice how hard it is to do that, they usually start crying or they get surprised because they never thought it of that way and never noticed how much extra weight they carrying every day. The realization came after external intervention.

I have many clients that don’t recognized themselves in their before picture. They never though they let their bodies go so low. They usually think themselves as a different person. Sometimes, I have some clients who thought they were in shape until they try one of our sessions; they never thought themselves as out of shape person. Then, they find out they are ready to change.

In this past article, I have explained how frogs are cooked

If you through a frog in boiling water, the frog will jump as highest as possible to escape the heat. However, if you set the frog in room temperature water and slowly increase the heat the frog will boil to death. The reason is because frogs can adjust their blood temperature to the environment temperature.

Interesting enough, we humans are just like frogs. We get adjusted to our environment; this is the reason why many people can’t believe when a woman is being abused by her husband. The husband begins by raising his voice, next comes insults, next a small push, next a harder push, next a slap, next a punch and when she noticed, she is getting beat and she needs help. All this happens slowly.

We can’t believe what is happening in others lives because we can see it from other prospector. We can see the frog getting cook, the woman getting abuse and the person gaining weight. They can’t feeling it because they are getting accustom to it without even taking the time to think what is happening. Of course, I don’t think the frog has the potential to seat and meditate its life, but we do.

I am not free of sin, this is the reason why I love criticism…

I never take it wrong and I love when people find my mistakes and I constantly ask what can I improve because I know I am blind to my own pot of hot water.

Of course, the frog does not want to be cook to death, the married woman does not want to be beat up and the overweight person does not want to gain weight. All this happens on a subconsciously level.

I don’t know about you, but I have been there many times, when people abused me, when I

am the result of our environment, when I am in danger and don’t even noticed it. What has helped me many times is to sit and contemplate my life and take capable people’s criticism in a positive way.

I don’t want to be overweight, sick, abused, kill slowly, manipulate or anything that will contribute negatively to my life. I want o succeed, be free, enjoy a good health and body, help, and live the life I want. If you want to do the same I recommend to set sometime aside and for 1 hour study your past, present and future and find out if where you were, are and will be is plan of your plan.

Doing this will help you free yourself from the environment that is taking your life slowly just like the nice warming up water is taking the frog’s life. Remember, taking responsibly of your actions will set you free.


These Are Some Traits That I See In People Who Get Weight Loss Results

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.


The First Steps Towards Weight Loss

Close your eyes for a minute and think about your biggest dream. I want you to think about something that you think is crazy and no one has invented, created or achieved yet. What is it?

Not too long ago, I still remember, I was a child, people just started to communicate on wireless cell phones and navigate the internet. While this does not sound wild for many, think about how your grandfather or grandmother never thought or they could only imagine communicating via a phone and even take it to the next level, a wireless phone.

People can run 1 mile in 4 minutes, we can fly, we can match people’s blood, we can type on computers,  and we can travel to the moon… and do many other things people thought were impossible back in the past. All this started with a crazy person who thought beyond what is rational. Even though, all these inventors created the impossible, they still have limitations. These are called limited beliefs.

Just like them, we have limited beliefs as well. We have not created more in our lives do to our limited beliefs. We all have limited beliefs. Otherwise, we would be in a different place as individuals and as a society.

You and I and everyone act the way we act because of our beliefs and we cannot become better until we break our limited beliefs. In other words, we have created and achieved what we have, because our limited beliefs do not allow us to be better.

Weight loss is no different. If you have not lost weight and achieved the best version of your body it is because you have not become the right person yet and to become the right person you must break your limited beliefs.

You may believe that you are destined to be overweight, or that you being overweight is genetic, or that you don’t have control over your eating, or that it won’t affect your health or lifestyle. The point here is that you may have some limited beliefs that are stopping you from taking action to improve your life and lose weight. Until you start challenging hose beliefs, your body and life won’t change.

I know it is hard. I also have beliefs that stop me from progressing and accepting that I have been wrong takes humility. Being wrong is not easy to accept, especially when we have lived our lives teaching and acting upon those beliefs, something that we thought was true and someone else comes and tells us “You are mistaken.”

Many times I find myself being wrong when I spend time alone questioning my beliefs. Being alone for a period of time everyday clears my mind and this is when I am the most willing to understand that it is only a belief and that such belief can be broken.

This is when I have a breakthrough and my life improves. I honestly don’t know the best way to break a limited belief, but I can say that I always questioning myself and spending time alone helps me breaks many beliefs.

Remember that the impossible becomes possible when someone else comes and challenge the status quo. I know I mentioned this before, but the things that we see now, such as computers, cell phones, airplanes, cameras and many other thing are possible thanks to those who questioned their limited beliefs.

Even paper was created because of it. Not too long ago, people recorded on stones and wood until someone invented paper. I was watching a retrospect video from many years back about the Olympics and recent videos, compared to 50 years ago, people can do amazing things that, once again,  is not mind blowing for us because we see it often, but it would be for people back then.

So when I say that you can change your life and lose weight, I do mean it. Question your beliefs and be humble. This could be a beginning of an impactful life that you never imagined before.