Today is a new day. I have learned that to live to the fullest and avoid suffering, I have to let go of the past and forget about what it used to be. I have to plan my future, and not expect that everything comes as I expected. In other words, I can only live in the present. One day at a time.
That I should always do my best to expect the best…
to stop making excuses, accept my mistakes and take responsibility for all that happens in my life, to let life happen and let time uncover the reasons why things happened. Like Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect the dots looking back.”
Mistakes bring pain, losses bring pain, risk brings pain, trying brings pain. But if we don’t make mistakes, we don’t learn; if we don’t lose it means we don’t make mistakes; if we don’t risk, we don’t make mistakes; if we don’t try, we don’t risk. To become better everyday we must try, risk, make mistakes and lose. Therefore, pain is inevitable and it is needed to continue progressing which leads to happiness.
I have experienced two types of pain, physical and emotional. Physical pain I am very used to. I know it will go away soon. It is only a discomfort of my body telling me that I hurt it, but it will heal. It will only take time.
Emotional pain is a little more complicated for me. It is hard to fail and start over, to realize that my life will not be the same because of my loss. Emotional pain brings me to my knees, it makes me cry and ask God for forgiveness. It makes me ask God for his wisdom to understand this pain. It makes me a better person. It makes me humble. It makes me human. It makes me understand others. It teaches me that I still have more to learn about life.
I have noticed that only people who transcend are capable of embracing high levels of pain…
Martin Luther King is an example. He went to jail for months for doing what is right. His life and his family’s lives were threatened many times. Living everyday wondering when and where another bomb was going to detonate and always leaving his family behind because of his high purpose in life.
Gandhi is another great example, walking for more than 500 miles to free his people from unjust laws. He fasted many times, almost to death to help his people to do the right thing. Giving all his material things and sourcing by only necessary means.
Mother Teresa also sacrificed her comfortable life to help others. Without support and resources she was begging for food to help the needy. She was rejected so many times and she never gave up.
Jesus also suffered. The thought of him knowing the pain he had to go through that I’m sure was pure agony. He knew he was about to get whipped almost to death, and then he needed to carry his cross, nailed and crucified, exposed in the sun, hungry and thirsty while many people were laughing under his feet.
I notice that to achieve something extraordinary, I must become extraordinary…
and to become extraordinary, I must endure pain and discomfort. The good thing is that pain is not here to stay and will leave some day. It may last hours, days, months or years, but one day it will be gone and I will be better, stronger, wiser and more skillful.
My life will be average like many others if I am not willing to risk and try, but great achievements come from great endurance. Therefore, I am willing to continue moving forward and not give up on my dreams, because with God I can overcome any difficulty. Today I am a better person thanks to the pain that I am living and pains that I have overcome. I am living today for what I have and for who I am. The past is in the past, and the future is not here. Consequently, I am living my present like there is no future or past, doing my best.
Custom Body Fitness is located in Glenwood Springs CO and Carbondale CO
To me it is very important to understand my clients in order to help them reach their goals. When I interview them, one of the questions I ask is what they want to get from exercising. Many of them are shy about telling me the real reason. But I don’t blame them because I would be shy as well talking to a stranger and telling that person about my life or the real reasons I want to exercise.
As we warm up and start talking about their real issues, we discover many things. I have come to the conclusion that most of us are looking for almost the same goals, but we express them differently.
Let me tell you what I have found out…
maybe you can relate. We want to stay younger; be healthy, in shape (tone body and low body fat) and energetic; have stamina; enjoy longevity; be stress free; be independent; increase our sex drive; be sharper; be more self-confident; have a stronger body and fit into our clothes, among others positive things.
If you related to this and know how it feels (low self-esteem, not happy with the way our body looks, unhealthy, tired, embarrassed not to be able to do many physical activities, old, lethargic, weak, and not able to buy the clothes we like but instead what fits), you probably agree that it’s time to change.
This is why many of us look for help…
We are tired of the pain of those feelings, and that pain is stronger than the pain of changing. However, many of us don’t want to take the steps in life required to really experience such change.
Many of us spend $4 for a coffee at Starbucks, yet we think that a dozen organic eggs are expensive at $4 compared to the conventional ones that cost $2.99. Or we spend $100 in a night out every weekend or twice a week when we can cook at home and save $60 each time and we don’t want to spend $150 in a good exercise program. Or we buy a couple of drinks for $9 each plus tip, and we complain that organic is more expensive.
Many of us complain about how expensive healthy food, a gym membership or a personal trainer is, but we don’t pay attention to all the money that we spend on things that don’t contribute to our goal.
With this I am not saying that people should not buy a cup of coffee or go out and eat…
What I am saying is that many people don’t notice how their money is spent. Even when it’s about an investment to improve our life, we think it should be cheaper even though farmers worked hard to bring such healthy food to our tables. But, once again, we are willing to spend dollars in toxic things such as alcohol.
When I learned that conventional foods contribute to many diseases such as cancer and diabetes, I decided to start buying organic. The issue back then was that I was broke and in debt. I was at least $5,000 in debt, had no job and owned a business that was taking money instead of providing me with it. Also, my car was broken. But something just made sense to me, and if I wanted to save money and avoid diseases, I need to start buying the right foods. So even though I was in debt, I decided to put a couple hundred dollars more into my credit card.
When I was in that situation I learned a lot about saving money…
and investing it in the right places. That was when I paid a lot of attention to my spending habits. I got out of debt, bought an apartment and helped my business grow. This is what I learned:
Television only takes my time and money. I could save at least $80 a month from cable.
Back then the smart phone was the new thing, and everyone had one. Any plan with data was between $100 to $150 (compared with a plan for calling and texting that cost $40), plus the phone itself that cost from $800 to $1,000. I saved between $60 to $110 a month, and I kept my Sony Erikson i810.
I stop driving everywhere and taking unnecessary trips, which saved me a couple of tanks of gasoline a month from $20 to $0.
I stopped eating out, which saved me around $80 a week.
I stopped buying clothes because I liked them and bought only when I needed them. That saved me around $150 a month.
I stopped spending money on my car, which was one of my hobbies. I concluded that all the money I put into it will devalue just like the car itself. I can only estimate how much money I wasted, around $20,000. So I am guessing I also saved a good amount of money here.
Once I did some accounting, I was saving at least $600 a month. I can only imagine how much money someone who eats out every night and buys drinks at the bar can spend a week.
Even though there are some people who can’t afford a gym…
or personal training memberships, they should at least be able to invest their money in their food, buying the most healthy and organic food available. In the long run, they will save more money avoiding cancer and other diseases.
When someone comes to me and tells me they can’t afford a gym membership or a group training program, I can only think that they don’t want to afford it or they simply don’t see the value of it.
We are always going to spend money, either for bad habits or good habits. The problem is not spending the money; the real question to ask is, are you wasting your money or are you investing it?
So if you want to change your life and get any of the results I mentioned earlier, you have to ask yourself, is where I am putting my money helping me reach my desired goals or getting me away from it.
No matter how much money you end up making…
you always are going to find a way to spend it, and the truth is that many times what should be a priority is not and what is not becomes a priority. I see some people driving luxury cars and stopping in a fast food restaurant.
Nowadays I invest my money in seminars, courses, books (a lot of books), exercising, food, real estate, Custom Body Fitness, my family, charity, tools that I need for work and to help others, anything that is going to drive me closer to my goals and not farther away from them. For example, I would never spend $8 for a drink, but I would spend $30 for a book. If I buy a pair of pants that cost me $150 and I wear them very often, it is money well spent. But if I spend $15 for it and wear it only once, I have wasted my money.
So if you want to stay younger; be healthy, in shape and energetic; have stamina; enjoy longevity; be stress free; be independent; increase your sex drive; be sharper; be more self-confident; have a stronger body and fit into your clothes, invest your money in the right place.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There is only one way for effective weight loss and that is by changing your life and take action in what you have loss control.
Every time I have an interview with new Custom Body Fitness members the first thing I need to find out is why it’s important for them to lose weight. Many people come to ask for our help without even knowing why they want to lose weight. They know they want to lose weight, but they don’t know exactly how weight loss will help with the problem they may have.
Usually, according to their response, I can tell if they are ready to lose weight and transform their body. I also discover how much weight they are willing to lose, what effort they are willing to put into the program and how important it is for them to lose weight.
The “why” is very important because it’s going to give you the fuel, the passion, the excitement and the energy when you are tired and unmotivated.
For example, my “why” to get in shape was so powerful that I became obsessed about weight lifting. I was very young and I did not know much, but my “why” was enough motivation for me to get to the gym and drop many bad habits, such as drinking. I wanted to have a nice body to feel attractive. I wanted to stand out.
Now that I know how important exercising is, my “why” has improved to wanting to be strong and independent, adding value to my life. It helps me to be sharper and have better ideas; it helps me with my stress; I avoid injuries due to weakness; I’ve become mentally strong; I burn fat faster; I buy the clothes I like not what simply covers my body; it makes me younger; it makes me a better example to follow; it contributes to my efficiency at work and life; I don’t get sick as often as many other people; and it is a human need for a higher quality of life, and a high quality of life is what I want.
If you’re not sure why you want to lose weight, find out and make it a priority before you start any weight loss program. Otherwise it will be very easy for you to quit. Is it for your grandchildren? To find a partner? To gain self-confidence? Because you are dying? Because your clothes don’t fit anymore? Because you can’t do all the recreational activities you’ve always wanted to? Because you don’t fit into a single airplane seat? Because you want a better life and being overweight is a hindrance? Because you want to prove wrong others who doubt you can lose weight? Because of your upcoming wedding?
Even though you may think your “why”s are superficial, write down all the reasons you want to lose weight. Remember that my “why” in the beginning was to be more attractive and get noticed by the opposite sex. It was superficial but strong enough to change my life. Make sure they are clear and your feelings are attached to those “why”s. We are emotional creatures, and our emotions make us do incredible stuff. Without emotions we would be like robots — without motivation.
Why exercise is important
I am going to help you a little bit just in case you are unmotivated to exercise. Many people think that exercise is only for the narcissist and the metrosexual, or for those who can waste their time because they don’t have anything better to do or because they are successful and don’t need to spend as much time working as the majority. To dispel that last myth, the more successful people are, the busier they get and therefore the less time they have. However, they know that exercise has contributed to their success, and this is why they find time to exercise.
Let’s forget about being successful and think about being happy. The less people suffer the happier they are; the better they can cope with adversity the happier they are. Exercise helps with both.
Let’s talk about the whole human being and the basic needs for a higher quality of life. For example, you can survive without knowing how to read, but how far do you think you could get in your career? You would need someone to read important documents that you need to sign at all times. Of course, like I said, you could survive, but you would be missing out on a lot from life. Knowing how to read increases your quality of life. Just as with this example, each area that I am about to talk about will increase the quality of your life and happiness. You can live without them, but your life will not be the best, and you will be missing out.
First, we are spiritual beings living in a human body. To be in peace, get rid of stress, feel safe, know that everything will be okay, accept life for what it is, improve this world and ourselves, release our potential and leave a positive legacy in this world, we must maintain our spirit. Without a healthy spirit we cannot achieve anything I mentioned above, and we may look for destructive ways to achieve them. Doing the right thing, forgiving, meditating, being grateful and helping others are ways to maintain the spirit.
Second, we are also social beings. We need people around us for many reasons: support, acceptance, joy, comprehension, empathy, love, legacy and compassion. Family is the people we are closest to. We can maintain our family relationships by spending time with them talking, understanding their needs, letting them make their own decisions, supporting them and cooking together.
Third, health is part of our whole being. We are using a body that really does not belong to us. This body needs maintenance because it’s the only body you will get. If we don’t maintain it, we suffer from diseases, illness, pains, stress, mental problems, premature aging, overweight, fatigue and weakness. We can take care of our health by exercising, eating healthily and knowing how to manage stress.
Fourth, our purpose gives meaning to our lives. We have been made for something special and to serve people and the earth. Without a purpose our lives do not make sense. This is one of the reasons many people are lost trying to see how life make sense. Our profession defines our purpose. We spend more than 1/3 of our lives working, and work that fulfills our purpose makes our life more enjoyable. Studying, learning, helping others, creating, overcoming adversities are other ways to fulfill our purpose.
Fifth, we need the services and products of other people to progress, feel comfortable and survive. One of the ways we get these services and products is by exchange, and most of the time what we exchange is money. Money gives us freedom to continue with our purpose, improve our health, spend time with our loved ones and focus on our spiritual growth. We can take care of our finances by investing money, not wasting it on bad habits or useless products, supporting good causes with at least 10 percent of our income and not seeing money as our master but as our servant.
As I mentioned before, to have a fulfilling life and a high quality of life or to live a better life and be happier, we need to meet specific requirements. As you noticed, our health is part of those requirements, and exercise is one of part of health. I want to live my life to the fullest without limitations. Therefore, I see exercise as pleasure instead of pain.
Weighing your decisions
It is easy to get addicted to substances such as alcohol or any other drug and bad behaviors such as gambling or checking our phone every 5 minutes. And the reason is very simple. We are always looking for pleasure. But there are people who have tried drink, drugs and gambling and have a smart phone but don’t become addicted to any of these behaviors. The reason is because they have made conscious decisions about their pleasures and pains.
People who drink and continue drinking are looking forward to the pleasure alcohol brings. However, they usually do not think about the future consequences of alcohol use, such as problems with family, health, relationships, work and being overweight. If you think about food or exercise, there are similarities. We can go home and sit and watch TV all day, getting excited about the next TV series or game. But the truth is that because of that decision there are consequences such as body aging, gaining weight, and losing strength and stamina. If we choose to eat fast food or processed food, it is also for pleasure — the pleasure of convenience, of not cooking, of having more time (what is not clear to me yet is more time for what?).
On the other hand, those who eat healthily and exercise focus on the pleasure exercise and eating healthily will bring. Everyone knows that exercise is uncomfortable, many times painful and time consuming, but people who do exercise don’t focus on that. They focus on the results they are getting: a more attractive body, more energy, more strength, less illness and diseases, more independence, less aches and pains, lower fat percentage and an increase in self-confidence. People who cook are the busiest people, yet they manage to eat healthily. They cook not because they have plenty of time, they cook because they know their health, energy, performance and quality of life depends on it.
We always weigh our decisions depending on the pain or pleasure we perceive from one option compared to another. It all depends how you look at things, your beliefs and your past experiences.
Bring your future and past to your present
I have made many wrong decisions. They taught me to make better decisions next time. I used to drink, smoke, gamble, eat junk food, waste my time and simply play with life. Until I suffered a setback. It was so painful that I decided not to go through it again. Now I make better conscious decisions about my life. I use the pain from my past when I was in depression to motivate me to continue on the right path of good habits.
Think about your past, whatever it is: not fitting into an airplane seat, being called obese, not being able to fit in the clothes you used to or want to, not being able to run to catch the bus, being embarrassed when wearing a swim suit, suffering a heart attack, running out of breath when you play with your kids, or not being able to perform at work to your potential. Bring it to the present and feel the pain, so it can give you the motivation you’re looking for.
Just like I bring my past to the present, I do the same with my future. I picture who I want to be and who I don’t want to be. For example, I don’t want to have diabetes, be dependent on someone else, be unable to fit into the clothes I have fit in since I was 18 years of age, or be weak, defeated, sick or ill. I want to age gracefully, being strong, independent and healthy, with a young body, energetic and athletic until the last day of my life. When I think about this, I have the motivation to do my exercise no matter how difficult it seems or how busy I am. How do you paint your future?
Once we find our motivation and we are on fire to achieve our goal, we need something very important: a plan. Without a plan, it will be difficult to achieve a goal, no matter how motivated we are. And a plan starts with goal setting.
When I run I know how far I am running, why I am running, how long it’s going to take and what obstacles I may come across, and I plan milestones to make it easy. For example, I usually run 6 miles. I don’t focus on the goal, but half of the run, 3 miles. Then when I am returning, I focus on the upcoming dog park, then the first traffic light, then the second traffic light and the road close to my house. Keeping small milestones helps me to achieve my long-term goal.
It might be difficult to see yourself losing 100 pounds, but how about 5 pounds? If you target 5 pounds, even though you know that you need to lose 100 pounds, it looks easier. Now, when I am running, my focus is not on milestones but on the next step, how I feel, my self-talk, my dreams, or any other positive thought. Once you have set your long-term goal — 100 pounds — now you need your short-term goals — 5 pounds. After that you need to start working towards your 5 pound weight loss. What changes are you going to make? How many times a week are you going to walk and for how long? How many times a week are you going to work out and at what intensity?
Let me be more specific about goal setting: The first thing you need to know is why you are losing weight to wake up your ultimate motivation (I want to feel alive and find a partner). Second you need to set your long- and short-term goals (losing 100 pounds in 20 months and 5 pounds per month). Then you need your plan of action (what you are doing every day to achieve your goal): I am working out 3 times a week lifting weights; I am walking every day for 30 minutes; I am cutting all the processed foods; drinking only water, no alcohol; increasing my veggie intake to 50 percent; eating my breakfast; cooking at home; making time to eat and prepare my foods,\; no longer eating at fast food restaurants; eating fruits as snacks; and eating because I am hungry, not to cover emotions or stress.
Not all exercise delivers the same results. Any exercise is good and better than not exercising, but you need to be honest and realistic with yourself about how far you want to go. As soon as you start changing your habits for good ones, consider yourself healthy. You will achieve weight loss, but the question here is losing 100 pounds, 30 pounds or whatever your goal is. For instance, if you want to lose the weight only because you want to avoid a heart attack, like I said, by eating healthily you already are doing it. The 30 pounds will come off. Good goal. If you want to lose 10 pounds because you have clothes that no longer fit and you don’t want to buy bigger clothes, keep eating healthily and exercising, and once again, it will happen.
However, if you’re planning to tone your body, it’s a different process than losing weight. You need a specific plan, and the exercise that should be prescribed is not the same as the exercise for simply losing weight.
How far you want to go determines the exercise you should be performing. Running does help to lose weight, so does swimming and hiking, but you won’t be able to tone your body by doing just those activities. Also, lifting weight won’t tone your body unless you have a plan that helps you progress. A well-designed weight-lifting program will help you tone your body.
Dealing with problems and stress
Everything sounds easy: Find your “why,” get excited about exercising, set your goals, do the right exercise according to your goals, and take action. But the truth is I know you have a life and therefore problems: you lose your spouse, your children are sick, you lose your job, you lose your house, you lose your investments, you’re getting heart surgery, you’re not happy in your marriage, you’ve been arrested unjustly and many other possibilities. Get used to it. That is life. Everyone has problems and tragedies.
The issue here is not the problems but what decisions you are making and how you are reacting to these problems. You are going to have some winters and summers, bad times and good times. How resilient are you? Do you know where the problems are coming from? Can you continue with your life when tragedies happen? What do you do when things are not going as expected?
Here is when many people get divorced, stop having faith, have a heart attack, gain weight … Correct, here is when most people gain weight, because this is how they deal with stress. This is the reason your “why” should be powerful and present at all times.
Now I am not suggesting to ignore all your problems and focus all your energy on exercising and eating healthily. If your spouse died, of course you are going to be in a lot of emotional pain, but what good will it do just thinking about it without taking care of yourself? Of course, we are all human, and we need to grieve. But one day you need to get on your feet and continue living your life. Your life is not over, so continue with your goals. You had heart or knee surgery? Same thing: You need to recuperate from it, but once you are back to normal, you can’t live in the past and set yourself limitations. You need to continue moving forward and reaching your goals. When your children are sick, take care of them and make sure they get the best attention, but you need to take care of yourself as well.
Think about your life; there was not a single time when you had no problems. If you wait to lose weight until you are free of problems, you are going to be waiting all your life. Life is a cycle, and the cycle goes up and down hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and even every 7 years. Like I said, there will be good times and bad times. Sometimes you’re going to be up, and others you’re going to be down. You need to continue with your goals through it all.
There is only so much time during the day, and here is where you need to prioritize your values, including weight loss, if that’s important for you. I myself prioritize my life in 5 areas: God, family, health, profession and finances. I make sure I take care of these areas every day. I recommend you do the same and make sure that everything you are doing is improving the areas of your life that are important for you. And since you are here to learn about weight loss, I think you should put that in your priorities.
Once you learn how to deal with problems, you became bigger than your problems and know how continue moving forward. Weight loss will not be a problem for you anymore. The only thing you need to know is how to maintain your weight. This is very simple. Keep in mind something: For you to make $1 million a year, you need to become a $1 million person. For you to have a functional family of 7, you need to become a functional and great leader. For you be a successful heart surgeon, you need to become that person. Here is what I am saying: You can’t become a successful person just by being born. It takes hard work, dedication and discipline.
The same goes when you have achieved your ideal weight. You didn’t lose the weight because you took a magic pill, it was because of the work you put in that gave you the results. In other words, you must continue doing what you did to get where you are to maintain your ideal body weight. For example, if you’ve been lifting weights 3 times a week, walking 2 times a week for 30 minutes and eating healthily, that is exactly what you need to continue doing to maintain such ideal weight. Stick with these habits for life, and you will never have to deal with having those extra pounds.
Let’s go over the whole plan again: Find your “why,” get excited about exercise, set goals, take action, know how to deal with problems and stress because they will always be there, and just keep at it. That is all you have to do.
One of my favor activities in life is meditation. Meditating, after gathering different information, helps me to see thinks clearly. My continue education, studies, research and my life experiences have gave many answers to my struggles. As I was meditating, one of the things that I noticed is that many of us want to see prompt results in many areas of our life without investing time effort and dedication. We engage in buying lottery tickets to have money, in surgical procedure to have an attractive body, in buying pesticides to grow food faster, etc…
The reality is that nothing of these results are real. Simply because we have bad habits and soon enough we will lose it all and pay the consequences of our easy way of getting to our goal.
Some of us have the tendency to think that we are successful because of the end result which can be an illusion. The real success of having money, an attractive body, united family, etc., is the time, dedication, effort and passion we invested to get to the end results.
Same way we have the tendency to think about the weight loss approach. We concentrate so much in losing weight that we stop focusing in the real matter. Dieting, pills, surgeries, hormones and others are easy ways to lose weight. The real matter is that, as explained above, we are going to regain the lost weight. What will help us to lose weight and keep off forever, which is more important, it is the process of changing our lifestyle to a healthier lifestyle.
Ones we understand this, we can measure success on a variety of levels. Here are some areas that we can focus on changing to see long lasting weight loss results:
- Exercise at least 3 times a week
- Eat breakfast
- Lower you meat intake
- Increase vegetables and fruits consumption
- Eat real food (organic). Don’t eat GMOs
- Think why are you eating and eat in respond of hunger (and ones in a while for the taste of it, why not?)
- Limited alcohol beverage to, I will say to zero, but do the best you can.
- Don’t over eat, but satisfy your hunger
- Increase your muscle mass
- Drink lots of water and avoid all added sugar or any sweetness, including aspartame, drinks. The body only needs water as liquid nutrient.
- Smile and enjoy life!
Even though is only one suggestion that you change and keep it for all your life, it will help you to get to your goal. However, the more suggestions you work on, the more results you will see. And this is success. When we start working on our habits and do the best we can to change them to better ones. Then the scale number will decrease without getting frustrating about results. What good it does if we restrict any of our negative habits to go back to them later again?
The process is what matters and we should enjoy it! Ones I heard that we only have one life. It is the most precious thing we have. Therefore, we need to live it with dignity and giving the best of us every moment. Make sure you enjoy your meal, masticate it and take your time tasting foods, exercise in a place that you like. Walk, run, hike, weight lift in places that you enjoy. Weight loss is a process not a regiment. Once again enjoy it!
Hiring a Personal Trainer is not that simple, especially when you are spending thousands of dollars to achieve a fitness outcome. It is like hiring a babysitter. You want to leave your kids in the best hands possible where you know they are safe, learning new things and treated well. The same goes with your health and fitness goals. You want to make sure you get the best results from the investment you are making. Therefore, you want the best Personal Trainer that fits your goals.
Here a couple tips I can give you to find the best Personal Trainer for you.
Find out what your goal is…
Just like finding a surgeon, you need to know what the goal is. If you need knee surgery, you are not going to find an eye surgeon to fix your knee. If you want to be trained to run marathon, then find a trainer who has the knowledge to teach you how to efficiently run one, don’t hired a body building expert, even though the body building expert is a great personal trainer, he is not what you need. Remember that the “best personal trainer” around is not always the best fit for you.
For example, when people come to me and ask me if I can help them compete in a fitness competition, I send them to a different route since what we do is body toning and weight loss, not competition.
Find proof that they can help you achieve your goals…
If the personal trainer you are going to hire is helping you run a marathon, ask the obvious questions, has he run a marathon? How many people he has helped to run a marathon? How successful have they been? For example, I have many testimonials of people who I have helped lose weight and tone their body. This tells my clients that I have the capability to help them.
Like your personal trainer…
It does not matter how great your personal trainer is at what he does, such as running marathons and how many people he has helped if you don’t like him. There should be a sense of relationship between you two and both have to like each other to work together. You won’t date someone you don’t like because your relationship will fail. Why would you hire someone you don’t like only because he is the best? For example, I had a member who did not like me because I am very pushy and she said she needed a more “compassionate” program when I reminded her that we had a goal to meet. We sat and talked about the issue and both agreed that we are not a good fit. She walked away from our program and I let her go, even to this day she has not achieved her goal. But we were honest with each other. On the other hand, I have other members that like my attitude and my passion to deliver them results.
Your personal trainer should have the knowledge…
Knowledge to teach, knowledge about the topic, knowledge about human behavior, knowledge about anything that has to do about the results you want is very important because getting to your results is a journey and it won’t be a just one event that gets you there. Your personal trainer should know how to pass the knowledge on to you. For instance, weight loss is not just about diet and exercise. It is about many other topics and I spend a lot of time teaching our members where they can improve for them to get better results.
Should help you to get out of your comfort zone…
If you are hiring a personal trainer chances are that you are not only looking for knowledge but also motivation. Your personal trainer should know how to challenge you and get you out of your comfort zone by motivating you. He should always ask more from you because he wants you to be the best version of yourself. If your personal trainer is only pushing to the point where you put some resistance, he is giving up and not doing his duty.
I believe these are the most important things that you should take into consideration before hiring a personal trainer. Money is not an issue when the personal trainer meets all of the above requirements. You will be willing to pay when you find the right personal trainer.
When we think about the life we desire, we get either excited or discouraged. Many people think that their dream is impossible to achieve because they don’t have the resources or because it requires a lot of effort and they don’t want to get out of their comfort zone. Others get motivated and start their journey to their dream but stop as soon as it gets difficult.
I remember a conversation I had with one of our members. We were talking about food, and the issue was that she did not want to make time to prepare her food. She is a hair stylist, and I wanted her to understand the importance of time and effort. As a comparison, I asked her to imagine a client walking into her business and telling her, “I want the best haircut, with color and style that suites me perfectly, and I want it in 5 minutes.”
She admitted that it takes time (more than an hour) and effort to get a good hairstyle. I continued adding examples: “Do you think a nice house will be built quickly and easily?” “Can you grow a family quickly and easily?” “Can you write a good book quickly and easily?” If nothing that is worthwhile can be made quickly and easily, why do you want your meal to be quick and easy? For the same reason most fast food is not good for us. Everything that is worthwhile requires time and effort.
Therefore, I am guessing your goal is worthwhile, so why do you think it will be easy to achieve? I have set many goals and achieved them. Often I have anticipated problems, and that makes it easier for me to achieve the goal, but not easy. The truth is that for every goal I have achieved I have had to overcome problems or obstacles.
I want you to imagine a football, soccer, hockey or basketball player. On offense, these athletes have one goal in mind when they are playing: to score. It would be easy for them to go in a straight line to the goal. However, they have many obstacles to overcome. They need to dash, tackle, pass the ball, turn, run opposite directions, move right or left, or take a step backwards.
I do the same trying to reach a goal. For example, opening CBF in Glenwood Springs, CO, I looked into three buildings. We had been looking into the first one for 6 months, and the deal fell through. We looked into the second, but the owners where never around, and we couldn’t come up with a deal. The third one seemed to be a very good fit, so I decided to sign the contract. However, it took some time before the agent could give me the contract to sign. As I was waiting for it, I found another attractive deal, which I took. This process took more than 8 months. I was planning to open CBF in Glenwood in January, but I ended up opening in September. Even though we were finally under contract on the right building, getting permits for building, finding contractors and passing all the inspections were still issues.
The goal was to open a CBF branch in Glenwood Springs, CO. I never lost sight of the goal. My plan was to move into the first building without inconveniences, but just like the football player, I had to dash, turn, tackle and overcome problems to make it to my goal.
So any goal that is worthwhile will present problems. If you don’t lose sight of your goal, the problems are nothing more than obstacles you need to overcome. It will require patience, time and effort to achieve, but by the end, isn’t it what you want and live for?
There was an experiment where people were asked to walk to the end of a room in a straight line. They were shown exactly where the end or goal was. There were some chairs in the way, so some walked around them and others jumped over them until they reached the goal, the end of the room.
Then they asked another group of people to walk the same straight line. The same chairs were in the way, but this time each person stopped at the first chair.
The message is that the first group of people had a clear goal, and they overcame the obstacle to get to the goal. The second group of people did not have a clear goal, and they stopped at the first chair.
Your desired life and your dream are possible. You are here to make a difference and achieve your goals. Set up your goal, never lose sight of it, overcome all obstacles no matter how difficult, and know the path you have to get there will not be a straight line. It will change, and you need to change your plan accordingly. And wait… it will require time, patience and effort.
Marian finally decided to lose weight after many years of contemplating it. She knows she can lose 20 pounds in less than a year. She knows there are many ways to do it, but she chose to ask for help. She researched the best candidate to help her and hired her. Between her and the new professional, they came up with a plan. She now has: monthly goals, eating habits, an exercise routine, weight loss resources, support, follow ups, books to read and other tools in place. She knows it’s going to take her a little over a year to get there.
After trying so many “easy” weight loss plans, Marian finally realized that weight loss is not easy or fast.
Start with an idea, Keith is an architect who wants a beautiful house that stands out in his neighborhood. The goal is to finish his new house in a year. He wants a contemporary house with details that other houses don’t have. It takes time and research before he decides on every detail. He starts with the plans and takes it to the city to be approved. Now, he knows that many skilled people need to be hired to build the house, a general contractor, concrete company, carpenters, insulation professionals, electricians, plumbers, designers, dry wall professionals, framers, painters and so on to finish the house. Each professional will build accordingly until the house is finished, which may take over one year to get there.
When I started to exercise, I learned about weight lifting, cardio training, supplements, nutrition, physiology and other things. I started lifting weights and eating better. As I learned, I added new knowledge to my routine. I was patient until I reached my goals, three years later.
When you plant a tree, build a car, write an article, clean the house or just simply do anything in life it requires a process, and it needs time. Why should weight loss be any different?
Weight loss is a process just like anything else. Complete the whole process and enjoy the end result.
John Johnson had a discussion with his wife. She was tired of his behavior when he drinks. He gets aggressive and he forgets about his responsibilities. The Johnson’s are financially suffering because the only income they can count on is Mrs. Johnson. John spends his money drinking; he does not show up very often to work because he is “sick”. He has lost different jobs because of it. He can’t drive for the many DUIs he has. His health is also diminishing, with fatty liver and he is overweight.
When he is at home, he is always angry and mistreats his kids and wife. Mrs. Johnson is tired of the situation and asked him for a divorce. John noticed that she is serious about it and besides all his problems; he is now realizing that his divorce would be very painful. He does not want to get divorced and lose his family for many reasons. The pain he is in at this moment makes him think about his mistakes and he mentally sets some goals, stop drinking, be more responsible at work, start contributing financially at home, learn to control his anger, be a present dad and husband, take his family for various vacations, get a better job…
Mrs. Johnson agrees to give him another opportunity of now so many. He changes for 3 weeks and goes back to the same. He forgot about the pain he felt when his wife asked him to divorce her. He forgot about the goals he mentally set up and how wonderful his life could be and gave up to the pleasure of alcohol.
Those who keep in mind their emotions, write down their reasons for changing and their goals are following a system or process, and are more likely to stay on track and achieve what they promised.
I remember many times telling myself and my ex girlfriend that I would change and never did. It was not until I really suffered and that I started a process of change. Since then, I have a clear “why” I changed and all my goals written down. I go back and look at them at least three times a week and that has helped me not to forget why I am doing what I am doing.
Just thinking about changing won’t do anything for you to change. Keeping in mind the reason why you are changing, writing down the “why” and your goal, and revisiting them often will remind you of the pain you went through to make you change. Remember that you changed thanks to the pain you experienced and that same pain will keep you from relapsing.
Write down your “why”, your moment of change, your goals and revisit them very often- everyday if possible.
After John got divorced, his pain was not enough for him to change. In fact, he got more into drinking to cover the pain of depression. Sometimes when he did not have a headache from the hangover, he was thinking about why he was so weak to alcohol. He did not want to admit yet that he was an alcoholic, but he noticed that he could not say no when someone invited him to have a drink. He noticed that he would drink anywhere, even at home, but how can he stop drinking when he had bottles of wine, whisky, tequila, vodka and beer at home? At night his hobby was going to the bar and when he felt like talking about his problems he would always call a friend who he goes with to drink. The parties he attend to meet another woman, now that he is divorced, always offer alcohol. Even when he thinks about doing something healthy such a hub trip, there is alcohol involve by the end of the trip. No matter what he does, there is alcohol.
According to statistics, 68% of prisoners released in 30 states were arrested for a new crime within three years of their release from prison, and 77 percent were arrested within five years. Ninety percent of alcoholics relapse within the first 4 years. Ninety five percent of people who start a weight loss program, never finish it. Ninety five percent of the 5% left, regains the weight lost. Only the 5% left keep the weight off. That means 1 of 400 people who start a weight loss program actually keep the weight off.
We all have an addiction to a bad habit that destroys us. The only difference for the one who knows and the one who does not is that one has accepted it and the other one has not. I am aware of my addiction and therefore, I do everything I can to clean my environment for success. I am responsible for my decisions and if I relapse it is no one else’s fault but mine, including the environment.
For example, for the alcoholic it is important to stop practicing behaviors that make him drink, such as partying, attending bars and watching football if he used to drink while watching it. In addition, stop hanging out with people who drink and don’t buy any kind of alcohol with the excuse of only buying it for the guest. The same is applicable for the person who is overweight. For example, is there is processed food in the house for an emergency. Getting rid of the processed foods and prepared foods for those cases is an option. Stop hanging out with people who are not active and eat processed foods and drink while socializing and don’t watch TV where you see commercial about processed foods.
Your environment has a lot to do with you being overweight. Nevertheless, is not the environments fault you are overweight. It has always been your decisions. Clean the environment for success.
Many people are confused with what foods are good for them. I recently had a client who told that she was researching and found out so much information about all times of diets that she ended confused. And I understand her because there is so much information about food that people ended eating the diet of the “moment.” However, what I have learned is that a healthy diet includes the calories needed by the body and eating the necessary nutrients that we can acquire by eating vegetables, fruits, grains and limited meats, everything should be in the most natural stage, and ultra-processed foods should be avoid. A sedentary lifestyle should be changes to an active lifestyle. An active lifestyle includes, at least, one hour of exercise per day. However, it is very easy to say, but we humans like to make things more complex than they are.
According to America Council on Exercise, one of the largest and most trusted organizations in this field, “Overweight involves a complex interaction of many factors involving psychological, environmental, evolutionary, biological and genetic causes.” After 4 years of working with different people, I found out that this statement is true. People who are overweight are affected by several of these factors. This is the reason why it is not so simple to eat right and exercise and get the healthy body desired. Here is an example, a person who is concentrating at work (environmental) and stress (psychological), stops and eats at a fast food restaurant (evolutionary and biological) comes tired to home (psychological) and starts watching television (evolutionary and environmental) not exercising the body at all. Later, this person passed the lifestyle and, therefore, a predisposition to his or hers offspring to become overweight (genetic). And the chain starts over again.
Each single area of this overweight epidemic should be approached in order to optimize a weight loss program. Here I will address some of the environmental factors that many of us don’t have the knowledge or we have not taken it seriously.
Our society is used to eating high density foods such as all the junk foods. Simply, if the goal is to lose weight, these foods are not going to help. According to a study, “The main cause of obesity is an increase in consumption of energy-dense foods combined with a sedentary lifestyle” (Michelle Jorna). Vegetables and fruits are better choices. Evidence shows that having a high intake of fruits and vegetables is protective against obesity (Michelle Jorna). The reason is simple since fruits and vegetables are high in water and ﬁber content, low in calories and energy density, and nutrient rich. They are an important part of a healthy diet and have the potential to reduce long-term risk for obesity and unhealthy weight gain if substituted for energy-dense nutrient-poor foods (eg, foods high in fat, added sugars, and calories) (Laura K. Kann). It is clear that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is the key to beat the overweight epidemic.
Diet is very important for weight loss. It is the base of any healthy weight loss approach. Without a good diet, mostly likely people are predicted to fail for a long term weight loss. But with all types of information that people are getting from many resources, they are getting more confused than knowledgeable. Michael Pollan, an American author, journalist, activist, and professor of journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, advises not to buy foods that are advertised. The reason is for industrialized food companies are only trying to sell their product. Industrialized food may have added sugar, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, genetic modified products or many other health threating products that may contributing to obesity. Once the problem has been discovered with industrialized foods, corporations find ways to give wrong information to the public, so the public will ending buying the food yet advertised. This can be a contribution to the variety of information given to the public. However, there are many organizations that are willing to help the community. Here is a list of products that should be avoided:
Good chance it contains Genetic Modified Organism:
Vitamins : E, A, C, B2, B6, B12, D, K
Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash
Animal products such as milk, meat, eggs, honey, etc. because of contamination in feed.
Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”)
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
High fructose corn syrup
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils
White (refined) flour
White (refined) sugar
Table salt (sodium chloride)
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Also, I’m including a diet which it reflex an idea about a healthy diet.
The WELL (weight loss, exercise, lower blood pressure and longevity) diet was based on the DASH diet4 and had an additional focus of weight loss. Subjects were required to consume at least four serves of vegetables (one serving = 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables, one cup of raw leafy vegetables or salad, or one medium potato), at least four serves of fruit (one serving = one medium piece of fruit (100 g), 1/2 cup of chopped fresh fruit or 200 mL fruit juice), at least three serves of dairy (one serving = one glass of milk (200 mL), one tub of yoghurt (200 mL) or two slices of cheese (40 g) ) and a maximum of four serves (four teaspoons) of fats (mono or polyunsaturated only) per day. They were also required to consume four serves of unsalted nuts (one serving = 1/3 cup) and seeds (one serving = 1/4 cup), at least three serves of ﬁsh (one serving = 120 g cooked), one serve of legumes (one serving = one cup cooked) and a maximum of two serves of red meat (one serving = 90 g cooked) per week. Subjects could freely consume rice, pasta, wholegrain breads and lower-salt cereals as long as they were consuming the required amounts of the other food groups (Michelle Jorna).
People who care about their health and weight are taking new alternative to get the write information and they started making changes in their lives. There is a good amount of good information from credible sources. Always pay attention where the information is coming from. Remember that natural food will always be the best choice for your health.
Michelle Jorna, et al. “Dietary Approaches For Weight Loss With Increased Intakes Of Fruit, Vegetables And Dairy Products.” Nutrition & Dietetics 65.2 (2008): 115-120. Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 Mar. 2013.
Laura K. Kann, et al. “Weight Management And Fruit And Vegetable Intake Among US High School Students.” Journal Of School Health 78.8 (2008): 417-424. Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 Mar. 2013.