Friday, March 27, 2009


“It’s all in your head.” Has anyone ever told you that? Whether you were feeling sick, frustrated with something, or even depressed—perhaps you’ve even thought it yourself.

Sometimes it is. There’s quite a bit of evidence suggesting many illnesses have a psychosomatic component. Or at least the cure does. When they treat test groups with actual medicines and placebo’s (fake medicine), a surprising number of people actually improve on the placebo.

It might mean that they were about to get better anyway. But if they really believe the “medicine” is going to help them, sometimes it works. This is called the “placebo effect.” I think it goes deeper than just the mind (which is already pretty deep). I think it gets down to the level of the heart—perhaps our spirit. And it can work for us—or against us.

The bible gets into this. “As a man thinketh, so is he.” In the gospels, Jesus said if we’ve just thought about it in our heart, it’s the same as if we’ve actually done it. We do things that become patterns that can take years to get rid of, if ever.

And the consequences can be devastating. Try to resist that thing. It’s tough. Think about it long enough and you’re probably going to do it, whether it’s cookies, smoking, or even a sexual addiction.

But the concept applies to good things, too. Remember, as you think—so you are. That’s why the bible tells you to “think on these things” and by the “renewing of your mind.” Start thinking differently. You’ve got to quit thinking “you can’t do it, so why bother?” Instead, you need to start getting around people who are doing it, or have done it, so some of that can rub off on your spirit.

That’s why it’s helpful to go to the gym, or join a group like the Biggest Losers. It’s still a struggle—you’re just not struggling alone, and that helps. Lions look for the stray animal that’s grazing away from the herd. They’re easy pickings. Stay with the pack and you’ll find safety and support when the lion comes. You’ll win some battles and at some point you’ll start thinking, “maybe I can.” Then it turns to “I know I can do this.”

Sometimes we need a little more help, too, especially when we’ve got years of programming to undo. Whenever I’ve felt over my head (frequently), I’ve asked God for help and he’s never let me down. Sometimes the answer takes awhile, or isn’t what I expected, but he’s never failed to help me out.

If you’re struggling with something, my best advice is to ask God to help you figure it out. Ask him to help you understand why you do what you do. Often, our problems stem from things that have happened to us long ago, even as children.
Sometimes we need to heal old wounds that we’re really just putting Band-Aids on. Once the real issue is dealt with, things often take care of themselves. It can be a little painful, but it’s worth it, especially if you really want things to change.

That brings up another point. In the end, you’ve got to actually really want to change. Not just lip service, knowing “you need to do it.” Quit kidding yourself. We like doing what we do. If you don’t want to change, you might as well just eat up, light up, drink up, or whatever else, because in the end, you’ll keep sabotaging your efforts. Real change takes guts. It takes a commitment. And it’s going to be painful.

So it’s got to be more painful to not change, then to do all the stuff you’re going to have to do to get there, or you won’t stick it out. Find reasons to change. Big ones—things worth fighting for. This is a big deal. God’s on your side. Start thinking like this, and who can be against you?

First place this week was a tie between Dawn Hopper and Pam Kelly, each losing 1.8% of their body weight. Dawn lost 3.4 lbs and Pam lost 4.2 lbs, winning the $20 Wal-Mart gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance and the free massage from Bridgett’s Therapeutic Massage.

Third place went to Teri Dennis who lost 1.7% of her body weight and 3.3 lbs. Fourth place went to Judy Rush, losing 1.6% and 2.4 lbs, and fifth place went to Bill Lewis, with 1.3% and 2.6 lbs.


Next week we’ll have the final results from Biggest Loser “6.” It’s also time to get signed up for Biggest Loser “7” which starts this Saturday, March 28th at 10:00 am. It’s $50 to participate in the Saturday morning weigh-ins and workouts during the 12 weeks.

You don’t have to be a member at our place, but you really need to be a member somewhere, like the YMCA, Curves or have access to a gym at work. It’s tough for most people to get it done at home, and if you don’t have the right equipment it’s almost impossible. Don’t forget the safety in numbers. Remember the lions?

The deadline to register is this Friday, March 27th. This spring, let’s do this together!

Monday, March 16, 2009


This week, twenty people got to experience some basic Kick Boxing for their Friday night workout. They learned how to jab, cross, and throw a left hook, while bobbing and weaving and hitting targets held by their partner. They also learned how to throw a low-line round kick, also called an angle kick to their opponent’s leg.

A great cardio workout, Kick Boxing can become a strength workout too when throwing in other exercises between rounds, like pushups, pull-ups, or body squats. The resistance felt when hitting targets makes it even better. Plus anytime you get to hit things, it’s great for relieving stress! Finally, training like this where you’re actually dodging things and learning how to move and put power on a target is very real and practical.

The group also learned some new Level 3 exercises to start using in their regular routines: EZ Bar Deadlift-Curl-Press; Dumb-bell Clean & Presses; and Kettle Bell Swings. Each exercise uses the entire body, including Pushing, Pulling, and Lower Body muscles. As a result, a very efficient yet complete workout can be built around them.

Basically, you’d pick one of the exercises and do 4-5 sets, with assorted other core exercises thrown in between. Another great alternative is to do a set of the primary exercise and then run ¼ mile on the treadmill at a brisk pace, and so on. Or, you could do a set, and then a round of Kick Boxing on the heavy bag, and so on.

Two weeks to go, and we’re starting to see people wavering in their staying power. Although they lasted much longer this time then ever before, we’re still looking at a significant drop in the number of people making the weigh-in (41 out of the original 60). And only 20 made the workout. It’s too bad, because everyone seemed to have a great time.

My hat’s off to the group that’s left, including those with other commitments Friday night, but who are still involved. And I know some others have had to quit due to some serious health challenges. It can be tough. It’s also springtime.

It’s one thing to start an exercise program. It’s quite another to commit to 12 weeks, including a Friday night weigh-in and workout, which I’ll admit isn’t the most convenient time for most people.

That’s why we’re making a change for Biggest Loser “7,” and moving to Saturday mornings. The first meeting of Biggest Loser “7” will be Saturday, March 28th at 10:00 am. Hopefully, it will be a good idea.

Like when we changed to a 24 hour gym, it made it more convenient for most people and we saw quite an increase in the number of people that could make it into the gym. I’m guessing we’ll be able to have more activities outside on Saturday mornings too, since it will be daytime as well as warming up!

So come up and get registered for Biggest Loser “7.” The cost is $50 to participate in the weekly weigh-in and workout for 12 weeks. You don’t have to have a membership to get involved, but you should have a membership somewhere, like at the YMCA, Curves, or another gym, or enough equipment at home to get your workouts in.

Next week, I’ll talk about some of the other issues involved in losing weight and getting in shape. Things that go deeper than just eating right and exercising smart. For now, this week’s winner was Bill Lewis, back on top for the fifth time out of ten weeks. Bill lost 3.0% of his body weight and 6.0 lbs and won a $20 Wal-Mart gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance. He also won a massage from Bridgett’s Therapeutic Massage.

Second place went to Janet Tyler who lost 2.4% of her body weight and 3.8 lbs. Third place went to Pam Kelly who lost 1.6% of her body weight and 4.0 lbs. See you in the gym!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


In week one, the participants started on the machines to build some base strength and just get moving. After a month, they progressed to free weight exercises with dumbbells and the exercise balls. Working with dumbbells, they used more stabilizer muscles to do the movements, and also their core muscles more.

Last week, after two months of training, it was time for some new exercises. Called compound exercises, these exercises take two or three familiar exercises, and combine them into one movement.

Compound movements require even more core strength to keep the body stabilized. They also demand much more oxygen since more muscles are working at the same time. This is why you might not be breathing hard after a set of bicep curls, or shoulder presses, or even lunges. But if you combine the three into a walking lunge-curl-press, you’ll find yourself winded right away. Or, do a squat and shoulder-press together, and see how quickly you gas.

Take two dumbbells, and holding one in each hand, do a walking lunge forward until your front leg is bent 90° and your back knee is bent toward the floor with your heel up. Then, keeping your body posture straight, curl the dumbbells up with your biceps, and then turn them around as you shoulder-press them up over head until the sides are touching. Then, slowly lower them, and then un-curl them downward before taking another full walking lunge step. Use your stomach and side muscles to try and keep your upper body completely straight, resisting the side-to-side forces trying to pull you off balance.

Take two dumbbells, and holding one in each hand up on your shoulders, place your feet about shoulder width apart. Squat backward while keeping your knees from moving. (Most people make the mistake of letting their knees come forward during the squat which puts too much pressure on the knee joint.) A good way to practice this is simply sitting backward onto a chair and then getting back up. You also want to keep your upper body from bending forward, by keeping your back arched and looking upward. From the squat, use your hips and legs to get back up. You should feel it just as much in your butt and hamstrings as you do in your quads. On the way up, shoulder press the dumbbells overhead, rotating them until the sides are touching. Then lower them as you go back into the squat position.

Once you have the exercises down, use them as the basis of your workout. That’s what we did Friday night. They did four rounds of Walking Lunge-Curl-Press, combined with a couple exercises on the exercise ball.

We split the group in half, with one group doing the Walking L-C-P up and down the floor one time. Meanwhile, the other half was doing Ab Crunches on the Ball. Then they rotated.

For the second round, group one did another set of Walking L-C-P while group two did Pikes on the ball, where their hands were in a pushup position on the floor and their feet or shins were on the ball. Then, keeping their legs straight, they lifted their buns in the air.

Round three was a third set of Walking L-C-P and a new exercise on the ball where they held a smaller medicine ball and rotated from side to side. By now, things were getting harder.

In round four, both groups did a final set of Walking L-C-P. They also did a fourth exercise on the ball. With their feet or shins on the ball, they pulled their knees in and out while staying in that pushup position.

The whole workout took just under 30 minutes, and everyone was wiped out. They’d used a tremendous amount of energy because so many muscles were working at the same time. Their core was hammered because it had to work hard to maintain their posture.

Even though it was quite a strength workout, it also felt like a cardio workout, and they were all breathing pretty hard at the end of each round. Finally, a lot of calories will be burned long after the workout (called the after-burn effect).

The next workout could be structured a similar way, but using Thrusters and Pull-ups instead. There’s no limit to the amount of variety in workouts this way, and they’ll make you a lean machine, with tremendous endurance and a ripped body if you’re also watching what you eat.

Things slowed down quite a bit weight loss wise this week. Quite a few people broke even or lost just a half a pound or so, but that’s to be expected in week nine. That’s why I like to shake things up and have them do different activities and change up their workouts.

First place went to Judy Rush, who lost 2.2% of her body weight and 3.4 lbs. Judy had to leave, so she’ll get her $20 gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance later, along with a free massage from Bridgett’s Therapeutic Massage.

Second place went to Jessica Fiscus, who lost 2.0% of her body weight and 3.8 lbs which was the most pounds lost this week. Third place went to Melissa Bradley, who lost 1.7% of her body weight and 3.4 lbs, for a clean sweep by the ladies!

Next week, we’ll talk about some of the other problems facing people struggling with weight loss. Right now, I’ve got to get to the gym!

Saturday, March 07, 2009


48 people made this week’s weigh-in. I’m pretty sure another four or five are still active, so that puts us at around 52 or 53 out of the original 60. That’s still pretty good for the eighth week. Typically we’d be down a third or even half by now, so something’s different this time. People are sticking it out longer.

One thing that’s helping is that some have hooked up with a buddy. Their buddy calls to make sure they’re going to go workout and then calls to check in afterward. Sometimes they meet at the gym and workout together.

Making changes like eating right and exercising smart is tough for some people. Old habits are hard to break. New ones are tough to make. If you’re not extremely self-motivated, it helps to have someone who can provide that motivation for you. Most people work harder when working out with a partner. It’s a biblical principle. “Two are better than one” and “a cord of three strands is not easily broken.”

If you’re one of the ones that can do it on your own, you have a special gift. You are self motivated. But this gift isn’t just for you alone. I think we’re supposed to share it. You can motivate others too. Everyone needs to be fit and healthy, right?

Let’s say that 50 people finish Biggest Loser “6” and have made real and lasting changes. They know what to do and how to do it. They also decide to help one other person do it too. What if each of those 50 people took one person and mentored them this year? If someone didn’t stick with it, then they found someone else to help. If all 50 did it, by the end of the year, you’d have 100 people.

Next year the first 50 mentor a new group of 50 and the second group mentors 50 more. By the end of the year, that’s 200 people eating right and exercising smart. Then the following year you did it again, and then again. By the 9th year, we’d exceed the population of Paris. By the 12th or 13th year, we’d be reaching the equivalent of bigger cities. By the 22nd year, we’d be reaching billions. Obesity as we know it would be extinct!

I guess that might be a little ambitious, but I’m seeing it every day. People are bringing friends and family members and teaching them what to do and how to do it. It helps them keep coming and gets another group of people started at the same time. What could we really do if more got on board? How about you?

Two people tied for first place this week, both losing 3.1% of their body weight. Heidi Walls lost 4.2 lbs and Randy Weir lost 6.4 lbs. Heidi had to leave, so Randy won the $20 Wal-Mart gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance and the 30 minute massage from Bridgett’s Therapeutic Massage.

3rd Place went to Gary Goodman, who lost 2.8% of his body weight and 5.4 lbs. They were followed by Katy Kennedy, Bill Lewis, and Brian Bradley, all losing 4.6 lbs, and Jennifer Bowers, who lost 4.0 lbs.

Here are the results for the first 8 weeks so far. We’d like to see an average of a pound a week. But there are a lot of things that you have to factor in, like fitness levels, medications and medical conditions, injuries and forced time off. Even half a pound a week can be good in those circumstances and sometimes, just staying even is a good thing.

% lbs
1. Bill Lewis 19.5 50.2
2. Gary Goodman 12.6 27.6
3. Randy Weir 11.9 28.2
4. John Sanchez 10.4 25.7
5. Dawn Hopper 10.2 21.8
6. Brian Bradley 9.9 23.8
7. Chad Cline 9.5 21.8
8. Brenda Lilley 7.7 14.2
9. Erika Hollis 7.7 13.4
10. Erin Hutchison 7.6 15.4
11. Michele Everetts 7.3 17.4
12. Katy Kennedy 6.9 14.6
13. Shawn Bowers 6.6 19.4
14. Tony Peel 5.7 16.8
15. Ken McConkey 5.6 20.0
16. Chris Redman 4.9 12.8
17. Carol Cline 4.8 9.8
18. Janet Tyler 4.8 7.8
19. Heidi Walls 4.8 6.8
20. Kim Arbuckle 4.7 7.6
21. Penny Duzan 4.4 8.0
22. Jessica Fiscus 4.3 8.6
23. Haley Sanders 4.3 10.6
24. Angela Griffin 4.2 8.8
25. Echo Johnson 4.2 7.8
26. Kathy Kennedy 4.2 5.4
27. Sue Sheerhan 4.1 8.7
28. Shirley Fiscus 4.0 8.0
29. Bridgett Trover 3.9 7.2
30. Dale Anderson 3.9 9.6
31. Margo Yeargin 3.8 6.4
32. Beth Robertson 3.3 5.6
33. Tracy Rush 3.2 7.4
34. George Griffin 2.7 5.8
35. Jean McConkey 2.7 5.0
36. Teri Dennis 2.6 5.2
37. Tim Meyers 2.2 5.7
38. Chad Robertson 2.1 5.0
39. Cheryl Redman 2.1 4.0
40. Pam Kelly 2.0 5.0
41. Melissa Bradley 1.9 4.0
42. Renee Colvin 1.8 3.4
43. DeeAnn Green 1.6 2.2
44. Pam Waller 1.1 3.0
45. Judy Rush .009 1.4
46. Jennifer Bowers .004 0.8
47. Casey Redman .0 0
48. Mike Givens .0 0