Monthly Archives: June 2014

Find Something New to Love (Get Motivated to Lose Weight)

Dieting can be tough. However, if you only think about how tough it is, you are bound to fall off the wagon. This is one of the reasons why diets fail. The dieter focuses on the food they are not allowed to have. This kind of fixation will ultimately result in feelings of despair and want. That is a recipe for failure.

Of course, there are many, many ways to fix this problem. I will, more than likely, address a verity of techniques to overcome negative dwelling patterns. But in this blog, I want to discuss one thing that is bound to put yourself in the right frame of mind so you can stick to you weight-loss program. And that one thing is simply this: Find something to love. What I mean by this is find some new activity or aspect of your new life to throw yourself into. Here are some suggestions:

1. Low-carb Cooking: Some have thrown themselves into low-carb cooking. There is a lot of fun in learning how to cook delicious food without the high-carb ingredients. Challenge yourself in the kitchen. Grab a low-carb cookbook and try a new recipe every night, or at the very least once a week. I am particularly fond of low-carb desserts.

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2. Martial Arts: This is a personal favorite of mine. I have been involved in the Martial Arts since I was seven-years-old. Not only will you learn new skills, but you will also dramatically improve your confidence. There is nothing like knowing that you can defend yourself if needed.

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3 Weight Lifting: Get your pump on! Lifting weights is one of the quickest ways to see results in your body. This creates an upward spiral. The more positive changes you see, the more you will want to weight lift. The more you weight lift the more positive results you will see. Eventually, you just keep going in a positive direction.

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Here are just a few ideas. I’m sure you can come up with some of your own. And in no time at all you will find something new you love even more than bad food.

Make a Declaration

A client of mine recently fell of the wagon after only a few weeks on his diet program. Of course, I asked him what happened. He said that his mother invited him over for a Saturday dinner. When he arrived, he found that the meal was spaghetti. There was not a low-carb option. In addition, spaghetti was a personal weakness for him. It is no surprise that he broke down and indulged.

But this leads to the question: How could this situation have been avoided? Here is one thing to keep in mind: Not everyone knows we are on a specialized eating plan. This is particularly true for those who have just started. My client’s mother is not clairvoyant. She could not have known that her son needed to stay away from high-carb foods.

This is less of a problem for those of us who have been eating healthy for some time. For example, most (if not all) of the people in my social circle know that I have specialized dietary needs. They also know that I am committed to this kind of lifestyle. As a result, I’m usually in a situation where there is a low-carb option. But this was not the case when I first started. I had to tell my friends and family that I was on a new weight-loss plan. I had to make a declaration.

Of course some of my friends had seen me fail on diets before. Because of this, friends would invite me to places where there was very few low-carb items on the menu. In other words, they did not think I was serious. However, this happened less and less as time went on. The more my friends saw me make good decisions the less they invited me to places where bad decisions were the only option. But it started with a declaration.

My client’s situation may have been avoided if he declared in advance to his family that he was on a low-carb diet. He could have asked his mother to help him make a healthy decision. Would this have solved the problem. Not necessarily. His mother may have chosen to serve spaghetti anyway. But it would have given his mother the choice to either help or hinder her son’s goals.

When you first start a new weight-loss program, you need to stack the deck in your favor. Making a declaration will at least let people know that you are serious about your health goals. And in fact, staying silent about your dietary needs is really just another way of declaring, “I’m not really committed to make a change.”

Have a Shake for Failure (Why Diets Fail)

I’m all about getting results. I really do not care what method one decides to use as long as it is working (and its legal). So if you are one of those people who have lost a significant amount of weight and have kept it off though shake-supplements, then please ignore this rant. However, if you among the vast majority of people who who have failed at this kind of diet (like myself), then listen up.

As a side note, when I use the term “shake-supplement,” or “shake-supplement diet,” I am referring to those diets that use a shake or bar to supplement a meal. I am not referring to shakes as a vitamin supplement that one might have in addition to meals. I’m not necessarily endorsing those either, but I am certainly not referring to them in this article.

One of the reasons why diets fail is that people think of them as diets and not lifestyle changes. In other words, people think that they can do something different with their eating habits for a short period of time, get results, and then go back to the way they were eating. But what ends up happening is they just gain the weight back as soon as they revert to their old eating habits. In most cases, dieters also gain a few extra pounds and are worse off then when they started.

This is the mindset for many of those who are on a shake-supplement diet. They are not thinking, “Hey, I’m going to drink a shake for breakfast and/or lunch for the rest of my life.” That is not usually the attitude. Generally, this is something that people do for a short time to drop a few pounds. And guess what? It works! People will often drop 5, 10, 15, even 20 pounds! But they have not made a lifestyle change. As a result, as soon as they revert back to their old eating patterns, those pounds come right back.

Another reason why diets fail has to do with a manageability factor. Any diet that is really going to work has to be a diet that one can live with for the rest of one’s life.

So let us imagine that someone is using these shake diets with a long term goal in mind. I’m sure that is the case for at least some people who try these supplements. However, this kind of diet is simply unmanageable, and cannot it be lived out in the long run. What do I mean by this? Let me explain using some examples that I have gone though personally and have also seen with many people who have tried these diets.

Your alarm clock did not go off, and now you are late for work. You jump out of bed and do not have time to drink that morning shake. Furthermore, in the rush, you forget to pack your afternoon shake. Lunch time comes. What do you do? Don’t eat? Eat something bad for you? Neither option is good. If you eat something bad, then you are not really on the diet and its not going to work. If you decide to go ahead and starve, you will usually overeat as well as make unhealthy choices at dinner.

How often does this happen? What I have seen is that this does not usually happen during the first few weeks. But after that, it happens more than not particularly with those who are not “morning people.” Then, they are off the diet more than they are on the diet. Next, they are off the diet altogether. Why? Because this is simply an impractical way to live.

Or here is another example:

You have packed your shake for lunch and had your morning one as well. Your friend calls you up, and says, “Let’s go out for a bite, my treat.” What do you do? You may decline the offer for the first few of weeks, while your resolve is strong. Or you may go and decide just to enjoy the conversation but refrain from eating. Again, how long can this last? Are you never going to go out for lunch ever again? Or if you do, how long will it be before you break down and decide to eat something unhealthy in addition to the sake you just had? The answer is not long; just a few weeks. Then those pounds come back along will all the feelings of regret and self hatred. Why? Those kinds of diets are unmanageable.

Of course the shake diet is not the only kind of diet that fits into these paradigms. there are many diets that cannot be lived out on a day-by-day basis. If you are on one of those plans, quit!

I am so glad that I am not on a diet but have made a lifestyle change. Because of this, I can go out with friends and eat at almost any restaurant. Most places have a low-carb option. And if there is not a low carb-option I can easily create one. If I miss breakfast for some reason, not to worry (I’m not counting calories), at my next opportunity to eat, I can make healthy choices and not starve. The diet I am on is a diet (lifestyle) I can live with!

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My Spare (Bike) Tire

On the very first blog I wrote for this sight, I mentioned that I was not though losing weight. Recently, I was reminded of this fact when I looked in the mirror and noticed my spare tire. This was slightly discouraging. I have been actively living a healthy lifestyle for over a year and a half. While I have seen a dramatic change, I’m not finished losing weight–but I really want to be finished!

However, I was only slightly discouraged. I emphasis “slightly” because while I still have a bit of a spare tier around my gut, it looks more like a bike tier rather than a monster-truck tire. I am closer to my weight-loss goals than ever before, and that is something to be excited about!

But this caused me to ask the question: How much weight should I lose? The answer to this is I don’t know. My goal weight right now is 220. I’m only 6-8 pounds away! But, do I only have 6-8 pounds to lose? I guess I will not know until I get there.

I mention this because 220 was not always my goal weight. Let me explain.

When I started this weight-loss journey, I weighed apx. 286 pounds. And it did not take me long at all to drop 25 of those pounds. When I was at 260, I was really liking the way I looked. But I realized that I needed to lose more weight. I thought if I was at 250 I would be in peak physical condition. When I dropped to 250, I realized I was not in “peek physical condition.” I also thought that every one would notice how much I lost. The truth is very few people said anything about it at all.

It was at this time that I hit a plateau. (I will talk more about what I have done to get off my plateaus in another blog). I pushed though and dropped 8 more pounds. At 242 I hit another plateau. I also realized I was not finished losing weight.

Though a series of activities I lost 12 more pounds! 230! I honestly cannot remember the last time I weighed that much. I have to admit that I was pleased with myself. People who had not mentioned my weight-loss before were finally saying something. It seemed like everyone was talking about it.

I was happy, but not 100 percent happy. I thought I needed to lose another 10 pounds. Well, I have lost 2-4 of those 10 pounds and I still have somewhat of a spare tire. But is that spare tire an 8-6 pound tire? Well, I will let you know when I get there.

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Make a Commitment Already!

When people find out that I have lost 60 LBS, they often ask me how I did it. I don’t generally like to give out all my information for free, seeing that I am in the health and fitness industry. However, I will give them generalities, the kind of thing any one can find on the internet. I will tell them to stay away from carbs. I mention bread, potatoes, sugar, rice, and pasta specifically. Then I will hand them a business card and let them know if they are serious they can contact me for a more thorough health plan.

The sad thing is very few (I mean very few) people are committed enough to make an appointment. What’s even sadder is that the majority (the overwhelming majority) of those people who are only looking for free advice fail in reaching their weight loss goals. In fact, over time, I have seen them get further away from any type of health improvement.

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But, if they did just make the commitment and set an appointment, they would gain so much. They would gain a mentor who has been there and knows what it is like to lose weight. They would gain the strategies that I have learned in pushing past plateaus. They would also learn the techniques that I have applied to myself and others that help overcome laziness and stay motivated.

So why are people so reluctant to make the commitment? Well, there is probably not just one answer to this question. But I would venture to guess that one reason is they just don’t think that the consultation worth paying for. What that really means is they do not think success is worth it’s price. It’s true that success has it’s price, but so does failure. And the price of success carries far less of a price tag than the price of failure.

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Do THEY know What it is Like to be Overweight?

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There are many coaches in the field of health and fitness. You can see them on books, reality TV, and the internet. I have both my favorites and my not so favorites. I’m sure many of my readers do as well.

However, with the vast plethora of health and fitness coaches, there are some questions that always comes to my mind: Do these coaches know what it is like to be overweight? Do they really know how hard it is to lose fat? And, do they know how difficult it is to keep it off? I’ll be honest. I really appreciate a health coach who has actually lost weight and kept it off much more than one who has not.

Please, please do not misunderstand me. There are many health and fitness coaches out there who were never fat themselves, but nevertheless they still get results out of there clients. I respect these coaches tremendously! And in the end, getting results out of your clients is the ultimate test.

But I can really identify with a health and fitness coach who has lost the weight themselves. I cannot identify with someone who has always been fit because I have not always been fit. I was a chubby kid and I was an even chubbier adult. It was a struggle to lose the weight. It was a struggle to stay disciplined on an exercise program. There were times when I was tired and did not want to work out, but somehow found the will to do it anyway. I have hit several plateau in my weight loss journey and became very discouraged as a result. I wanted to give up, but I did not. And, when I see a coach who has been though the same struggles I have been through, I want to listen to them.

On the other hand, when I see some guy who has been fit his whole life, a person who has never had to struggle to lose weight, I tend to be more dismissive. This dismissive attitude can turn into down-right hostility if the coach is giving bad heath advice. There have been many times when I have been watching a video and I see one of these coaches who is naturally fit, talking about calorie restriction and high cardio workouts. It makes want to scream (and sometimes I do scream), “Don’t listen to this guy! He has no idea what he is talking about! He doesn’t know what it’s like to struggle!” NO Way 002 NO Way 003

So what about you? Does this kind of thing make your blood boil too? Are you looking for a health and fitness coach who knows what its like to be overweight, and lose those pounds, and keep them off? We are looking to expand our reach and do some coaching via internet. Leave a comment and let us know!

Say Goodbye to “Fat-Guy” Shirts

meandgeorge(1)I was taken aback when I recently ran across an old  picture of myself. It was a picture of me before I lost weight. However, what struck me most was not how much fatter I use to be. In fact, what gave me pause was something odd. It was my shirt.

In the picture, I’m wearing a Hawaiian shirt. I remember wearing these all the time. I did not wear them because I particularly liked them. I wore them because they were one of the only kinds of shirts I could wear and still look and feel somewhat decent. To say it another way: as a fat-guy I did not have a lot of options.

I remember becoming more and more depressed as the years passed. It seemed like with every birthday, there were more clothes in my closet that used to fit me. But as the years went on, I could no longer get in to because of my growing belly. Christmas and Birthdays were particularly depressing. As careful as my family was in shopping, inevitably they would always buy that one item of clothing that was too small. I was regulated to “fat-guy” clothing. Perhaps some who read this can relate.

But now those days are gone! In fact, what is more likely is that my family will buy me clothes that are too big. And if something is too small, it is because it does not fit around my muscles. I cannot tell you how good that feels. Do I still wear Hawaiian shirts? Occasionally. But it is not because I have to. It is because I want to.Fat Guy Shirts 003