Friday, August 30, 2013


“Just what exactly do I have to do to lose weight?” I got this question yesterday from someone that I’ve been working with once a week for over a year. She went on to say, “I’m working out a lot, so what do I have to do?”

Now this is someone who works out hard whenever I see her, and she also has some nice equipment at home. She already had an elliptical and treadmill, and after she started training with me, she added dumbbells, an exercise ball, a rower, and a Schwinn AirDyne bike.

I told her I was afraid she wasn’t going to like the answers, and that she probably already knew them! First, she was simply going to have to do more. While her workouts were great, her body was used to them, and she’d have to add some activity to burn more calories.

She was also going to have to pay much closer attention to what she was eating. She sighed as she began her next round of exercises and said, “I know.”

I probably have a similar conversation at least every other day. We always tend to underestimate how much exercise we need to take off extra weight, and how quickly we can put the weight back on, if we get our eating out of whack.

Most people know what they need to do; they just need a little extra push to get there. People have been asking me for awhile now, so I think it’s time to bring back Biggest Loser “18.”

Over the past few years, we’ve done 17 other community-wide Biggest Losers. Some were small, with just twenty people, and others were huge, the largest one starting with 68 people. Now that one was interesting!

This time around we’re starting Monday, September 16th at 6:00 pm. The first meeting will consist of a fitness assessment, weigh-in and other measurements, and an overview of how the 12 weeks will work. Participants will also get information that outlines the different things they’ll be doing, some examples of good food choices, workouts, and so on.

The goal is always to get as many people involved as possible, especially couples, or friends. We’ve found that people tend to do better if they have someone else to suffer with! It also helps keep them both motivated and accountable.

The cost is $100 for the 12 weeks (13 sessions) and you don’t need to be a member to participate. In fact, many of the participants will have memberships at other facilities like the YMCA, elsewhere, or even do their workouts at home. It’s pretty important that you have access to equipment, though, because we’re going to be using it!

If you’d like to participate, or need more information, contact me as soon as possible, because with or without you, we’re getting this party started! Might as well make it with you! You can reach me at the gym, via email at, or through Facebook at www.facebook/tomdolanfitness!

Thursday, August 22, 2013


By the time you read this, most of the kids will have started back to school here in town. They’ll have had the big open house for the parents to check things out and meet the teachers, and then a half a day on Friday.

A common joke I hear is when you ask the kids if they’re glad summer’s over and they have to go back to school, they say “no.” If you ask the parents, they say “absolutely! They’ve been in the house long enough.” But almost every kid I ask is actually pretty glad to get started back in school.

I think part of it has to do with going back and seeing their friends, and part of it has to do with getting to learn something new. Think about it. There’s great status in being a grade higher. It’s something to take pride in. As one of my grand-daughters put it, “I’m a third grader now!”

For those kids that are actually switching schools, like from Memorial to Wentz, or Mayo to the high school, it’s an even bigger deal. While they might be a little nervous about things, it’s an exciting time in their lives. Sure, after a couple months, the newness wears off, and it becomes routine. After a couple years, it might even become a little ho-hum.

But there’s always the next year to get their adrenaline pumping again. Some kids actually love the learning, and just want to know more. Others look forward to the chance to play their favorite sport. Some kids just like the social part of things, although not everyone’s going to “fit in.”

Those few that don’t will have a harder time of it, but hopefully, will come out alright too. I happened to be in that particular group, but things worked out over time. The things I seem to remember most, though, are the excitement of starting something new and different.

The anticipation of having another chance to jump in and get it right. And the hope that we can be part of something big; something important. We all did it back then, year after year, as far as we could take it. But somehow, we’ve moved past it into a life that’s more, well, routine.

We don’t often challenge ourselves with anything new, and it’s often tough to get excited about anything. But what if we could figure out how to recapture that spirit.

What if we could get excited about something again. How would that revitalize our lives, our jobs, our relationships? To live each day like it was our first day back in school? Wouldn’t that be something?

If you’d like more information about health and fitness, or to comment on this or other articles, please feel free to contact me through Facebook at www.facebook/tomdolanfitness!