Monday, August 31, 2009


Over the years, I’ve seen lots of people come and go in my classes and at the gym. If you look at who’s lasted a year, the number is easily cut in half. Go back two years and it’s probably cut in half again. Go back three or more years, and it’s probably down to 5%.

Even in our Biggest Loser classes, the attrition rate is always around 50% and that’s just in 12 weeks! So it’s pretty rare to see someone working out on a regular basis for more than a year or so.

Things always seem to come up and get in the way. Life intrudes. When that happens, if fitness isn’t a priority and really, really important to them, it’s usually the first thing to go.

But when people come back, if they do, they often say they just kind of quit working out. Many that lost weight have gained much of it back. It’s so common it’s called the yo-yo syndrome.
People really go after it for a few weeks or months, lose a little weight, and then get tired and stop the process. Then they put the weight back on, perhaps even more than before.

This is because your body really wants to get back to that comfortable state of having all that extra fuel. When you lose weight, you’ve used the fat from the fat cell for energy (fuel), but the fat cell is still there, empty, waiting for you to screw up.

Eat more than you burn one day, and you’ll fill that fat cell right back up. If you do it on a regular basis, pretty soon you’ll be right back where you were. This is why eating right and exercising smart needs to become a lifestyle—something you do the rest of your life.

It takes commitment. It takes staying power. These are the things that ultimately determine how successful you’ll be. If you really want to know the steps to success in weight loss, firming up, getting out of debt, building a business, or really anything, here they are:

1. Know what you want to do.
2. Know that you need to do it.
3. Make a decision to do it.
4. Want it badly enough to be willing to make changes.
5. Copy someone else’s success.
6. Just get started.
7. Don’t stop doing it until you get what you want.

A lot of people can get through the first few steps, and some even give it a try. Unfortunately, few follow through all the way to the end, but that’s where their dreams can come true.

Here’s an example of some guys and gals that have stuck with something for a year or more. You can see it in their performance in our “boot camp” workouts. Most guys struggle with one pull-up at the start and some of these gals are doing 5-10 of them—in a row! They’re doing real pushups, often 50 or 100 of them!

They’ve burned fat, toned up and gotten very strong. They look good and feel great. Everything they do is easier now. They used to slug through the workout, just trying to survive. Now they charge through it, to see how well they can do. They believe in themselves and look forward to new challenges.

It’s the same thing with running. When you get started, you plod along, trying to get through it. But later, you can do more. You’re running form has improved and you’re stronger. You can run faster and farther. It becomes fun.

It’s also why if you’re pretty active, you can kind of eat what you want, if it’s in moderation. You’ll simply burn it. No storage. It’s just fuel. I like that, especially on cookie days.

On days where I have a long run, I eat Chinese after. A milk shake (real ice cream and milk) goes down just right, too. I’ll just burn it. It’s free food. Of course this only works if you’re really active and also at your “ideal” weight—that is, the weight you want to stay at.

If you’re not quite there, you have to be a little more disciplined about it. You have to be more meticulous about getting all your workouts, too. It’s much easier to maintain your weight than it is to lose weight.

When you’re trying to take it off, you’re actually fighting your body. It wants to stay the same. You have to impose your will over it and say, “No, we’re doing this.” It doesn’t want to work out. You have to say, “Yes, we’re doing this.” It takes staying power.

The winner of Week Nine for Biggest Loser “8” was Tammy Hewitt, who lost 2.2% of her body weight and 3.2 lbs, but couldn’t be present at the weigh-in. Tammy’s lost a total of 25.4 lbs in nine weeks.

Shawn Bowers lost 1.9% of his body weight and 5.0 lbs for second place, and won a $20 gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance. He said he has less than 20 lbs to go to reach his overall goal of 100 lbs. Now that’s staying power. Heather Brown lost 1.5% of her body weight and 3.4 lbs for third place.

Last fall, we had over 60 people in Biggest Loser “4.” Our next community Biggest Loser “9” will start with a bang on Saturday, September 26th at 10:00 am, back at the center, right after the Honeybee run.

You’ll need to be registered before then to save your place. It’s still just $50 and you don’t have to be a member to participate, but you probably should be a member somewhere. That way you can get the help you need plus have all the stuff you need to do it. What kind of staying power do you think you can come up with?

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