Losing the weight you have always wanted to lose feels great. I am fortunate enough to have done that transformation and I am fortunate that helping other people lose weight/fat/inches/gain muscle is what I do for a living! Is it easy even with the best possible plan and guidance? Not always! It is not impossible, though! We are normal human beings with jobs, kids, commutes (especially if you live in areas similar to the DC area), stressors, lack of sleep, the need for a social life and so on. We do not live in a world where you will achieve what people achieve in controlled situations like on Biggest Loser. We see sexy ads like “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days”. We get frustrated when that does not happen. Many of us are too quick to give up. The road is not supposed to be easy. If it were easy, everybody would have a flat stomach.
I always preach about looking at the bigger picture. First, if you are losing 30 lbs in one month, and you weigh, say 200 lbs, that is not healthy and sustainable. Many people end up gaining that weight right back. The scale is just one thing. It is very important to most people as it is a way to show progress. However, there are other measures of success. For instance, if your body fat percentage is lower than it was when you started, you are winning. After I dropped my weight from 195 lbs to 145 lbs, I was really skinny, but I had 13% body fat. Now, I am 158 lbs with 7.1% body fat.
Two other good examples of looking at the bigger picture are if your clothes are getting looser on you and when people who have not seen you in a while seeing a definite difference in your appearance, almost always giving you compliments. Also think about your new found strength, and that nagging back that has been feeling better since you started exercising. The scale might not budge for a week or two. This is a journey. That is when you have to really analyze what you are doing the 165 or 166 hours in each week we are not training together. I however will coach you through what to do. My job does not end at the end of the hour of our session. We are constantly being dragged into unhealthy habits from all around us, so the bigger your support system is, the better chance you will have at success! I am there to help you make the right decisions
I do not believe in diets. They are temporary. You cannot just say I will eat my greens and lean proteins until I drop this weight. This is a permanent lifestyle change that has so many health benefits, you will never want to go back to the fast food lifestyle.
Many roadblocks come in the way. Sometimes, it can be not wanting to sacrifice Happy Hour. I’ve heard that excuse before. Sometimes your friends or colleagues will pressure you into doing something you do not want to really do, but you feel guilty if you do not participate. Sometimes it can be a meal out with friends, they are eating junk and seemingly not gaining weight or if they are, they do not care. I can relate. When I quit eating wings and opted for grilled chicken at wing joints some of my friends and I went to, I got ribbed a little bit for it. I always said, I am doing this for my health. I then joked I would have a crazy six pack and and you guys won’t as a rebuttal. Or, people would be like “Matt’s always gotta get a salad. You know it costs more than the fries.” “I said, but doctors cost way more than salads”. I am sure you have been in similar situations. These are mostly friends I am still friends with to this day and while some adopted a healthier lifestyle, others have not, but we can go out to eat, they can have what they want, and I will eat my chicken and greens! We will be happy. I am not saying give up your social life, but be upfront with your goals even to your friends who may not have that same motivation yet to make the change. Sometimes you have to be that leader in your group of friends.
Other roadblocks get in the way, such as kids! They are a blessing. I do not have any yet, but with being an Uncle and seeing more of my friends have kids, you truly see how much time is dedicated to taking care of them. Exercising can be difficult with kids activities and needs, but it can be done. It takes a little strategy and sometimes even involving them. I did squats holding my niece and then did Push-Ups with her trying mimic them this past Thanksgiving. She saw me in my brother’s basement, and kept saying “Matt” “Matt” “Matt”. I decided to forego the workout I planned, and did a freestyle fun workout that involved play time. Those were moments where I not only got a bit of working out in, but special bonding moments I will treasure forever.
Unexpected injuries sometimes occur outside of training. We then revisit your nutrition habits and adjust based on a reduced level of physical activity. We also plan more exercises around that specific injury that will not cause you further pain. My back injury was the biggest roadblock to my goals. I thankfully recovered, and emerged stronger and much more knowledgeable. I cut calories and I was very strict with my nutrition (foregoing my weekly cheat meal, but I was never much of an eater for comfort, so that was relatively easy for me)
I had a mini roadblock about the gym the summer I lost my weight. My friend I joined the gym with got fired from his job and he was my ride there. I had to make an effort to go to sleep a bit earlier, strap on the Nikes and just run two miles to the gym and two miles back, then go in for a 12 hour workday at Cedar Point. I did whatever it took. I realized quickly also I could not be the party animal I was the first season up there. I could not realistically get hammered then go workout effectively six hours later. Not to mention all the calories in the alcohol are not conducive to weight loss. I sacrificed some of my social life, but that’s what you have to do. How bad do you want it? I sacrificed trips to the pizza buffet right by the dorms that were usually great hang outs with friends. But again, how bad do you want it? I went by myself to the gym four days a week that summer. It was actually a great time to unwind and think about things since I was around people nonstop the other 21-22 hours of the day.
Everybody has roadblocks. Sometimes we are our biggest roadblock. However, we can get through the roadblocks together. Never forget the reward you are going for! I will tell you the healthy lifestyle is 100% worth any small sacrifice you have to go through.