Thursday, April 27, 2006

Some Real Results!

After helping getting people started, I like to check in with them once in awhile to see how they’re doing.

One couple in their early 50’s started their program last January 2nd. It’s been just over three months, and they’ve had great results, so I thought you might like to hear some of their secrets!

She’s 51 and he’ll be 51 in about a month. They’d been pretty inactive prior to starting their program, but both work pretty hard—she cleans houses all day, and he’s on his feet all day.

In 13 weeks, she’s lost 31 pounds and a significant amount of body fat, and he’s lost 43 pounds. This isn’t unusual, because it’s a little easier for men to lose weight than women. Still, for her, she’s averaged more than 2 pounds a week—and that’s about the best that anybody can ever expect. His results are actually pretty amazing!

I know they exercise on a regular basis, because I see them at least four days a week with the weights or cardio. She told me she’d always thought she was pretty active with her job but after starting a focused exercise program, realized it was a lot different.

She said when she first started exercising, she could only do about 2-3 minutes on the elliptical. Now she’s up to 20 minutes, plus walking. Before, she was “draggy, with no energy.” Now she just “feels so much better now.” And he said people are “trying to keep up with him” when walking through the plant, “instead of the other way around.”

When I asked them how they were eating, they said they cut out the fried foods and cut out the pop. Now, they’re eating more balanced meals (Protein, Starch, Fruits & Greens). They don’t eat as much bread anymore, and when they do, it’s whole grain.

When they eat out, they avoid fast foods, and try to focus on salads, chicken, and fish. If they have deserts, they make them small ones, but they don’t eat many of those anymore, either. He also quit spending money in the vending machine at work.

The other day, he read the label of a snack from the vending machine that was 150 calories/serving. It had 4 servings—and he used to eat the whole thing! Now, he thinks about what he’s eating because he knows what it represents in the gym.

Feeling a little like Larry King at this point, I asked them what they’d like to tell people who’ve been trying to lose weight. “You really can do it” she said, “but you just can’t give up—you’ve got to keep at it.”

He said it hasn’t been that hard. “You just have to make a commitment.” “Of course, it’s getting expensive,” they went on. “We need new Sunday clothes now.” And he laughed, “I let go of my pants the other day, and down they went!” Now that’s cool!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

You Need a Big "Have To"

Last time I told you about several people that have been an inspiration to me. Each of them had a personal battle to deal with—greater than many of us. Yet they kept fighting.

It reminds me of the Dylan Thomas poem. “Do not go gentle into that good night. Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.”

How is it that some are able to keep fighting when others give up? Why do some rage against the dying of the light while others simply surrender?

I’ve had people with arthritis tell me “It’s going to hurt regardless, so I might as well keep moving.” So, I’ll see them in the gym. I’ve also worked with stroke victims trying to find that reconnection between their mind and their muscles.

A friend has a condition where a virus attacks the myelin sheath around his nervous system—kind of like stripping and exposing a wire—so it just shorts out. Still, he comes to the gym.

Another client wanted to take more than 40 pounds off before a friend’s wedding next month. After 3 months, she’s lost over pounds, with a month to go. I know she’s going to make it, because she’s here about every day, sweating, working hard on the elliptical. She’s watching what she’s eating, and she’s getting to the gym.

These are the kinds of things that inspire me. Still, I’m haunted by the hundreds I’ve seen come and go. Sure, some moved, while others had work conflicts, and some were just too ill.

But why did so many others quit? Why do some stick when others don’t? I think it has to do with their “have to.” Your “have to” is what keeps you on track. It’s what drives you. It’s what keeps you working out, even when it’s tough getting there.

To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s a round of golf, swimming at the Y, tennis with a friend, walking outside, weight training, cardio, or taking my kickboxing class. You’ve got to do something! The Great Designer made you to move, and you’ll surely lose it if you don’t use it—if your “have to” is too small.

Each of us has a “want to” when it comes to things like poor food choices (junk food), over-eating, and even quitting. This extends to other destructive behaviors, too. To turn it around, we’ve got to have a bigger “have to” then our “want to.”

When you “have to” feel better, you’ll make a commitment to daily exercise. When you “have to” make a change, it won’t matter if you “want to” stay home today—you’ll show up. When you “have to” turn things around, your “want to” eat that Twinkie, or do that other thing, will have a smaller hold on you.

How big is your “have to?” Do you have one, yet? Because when you get your “have to”, things start getting better.

Monday, April 03, 2006

What About Bob?

I had a GREAT experience a few days ago. A person I’d been working with came up and said she just had to tell me something. “You told me something,” she said.

At this point I’m hoping I’d said something meaningful, or at least not stupid. She went on to say “You said that I’d be stronger next Spring when I’m in the garden. I just want you to know that you were right!

At this point I’m doing back flips in my heart because not only did I not say something stupid, but I’d actually said something that helped someone!

She continued, “I spent most of yesterday working in the garden, and I thought my back and legs would be really sore, like they usually are. You know what? I wasn’t sore at all! I just wanted you to know that.”

Wow. There it is. My reason for being. My purpose. And all her hard work paid off—she felt better and her life was better. And it’s kind of sweet to be right about something, once in a while, too!

Another woman was just talking to me about her husband. He’s in chronic pain all the time. She said I’d been an inspiration to him, and now he exercises most days. She said he’d all but given up before, and never would have left that chair. What she didn’t know, was that he really inspires me.

Like my friend Bob who came in a couple years ago, kicking and screaming. His wife basically dragged him in. Someone had told him he had the worst case of arthritis they’d ever seen (now that was saying something stupid), so he’d just given up.

He said he couldn’t do it, but I asked him to just try. So he got on the bike for just a minute—and ended up doing five. Over the next two years, he was a regular, working out twice a day! When he first came in, he was bent over, shuffling. In just a few months, he was walking with his chest held high. Though he went on to be with the Lord due to a serious heart condition and other complications, he’d inspired all of us every time we saw him.

And yesterday, another friend told me his knee had gotten hit by a forklift! It took the knee cap all the way around, and severed ligaments. They’d said he’d never walk without a brace, so consequently, insurance wouldn’t even pay for his rehab! He told me he’d joined a gym in Texas, paid $400 for the year, and worked on it himself! I’d of never known there was even a problem.

What do each of them have in common? They all did something about it. Yes, sometimes they had to be prodded a little bit—other times they had it inside that they weren’t giving up. But in each case, they worked it out, and to a person, they inspire me.

That woman I mentioned? I see her almost every day. And the husband? Him too. And Bob? It was twice a day. What are you doing?