As the new year approaches, gyms start gearing up for the onslaught of seasonal exercisers, while diet programs click their heels in glee, the money season is upon them, CHA-CHING! They are grateful for the over-imbibing, procrastinating, excuse-making, will-powerless customer.
Magazines hope for record breaking sales as the latest fad diet or successful weight loss story graces their cover. But at the end of it all, what will people get out of the money and energy they put in to their weight loss efforts? Unfortunately, all but 1-2% of those desperately seeking miracles will realize there are no miracles and the only thing left is hard work and dedication. But for some, that’s not what they bought. So, come February they walk away, back to the lifestyle that hasn’t served them well, but seems significantly easier. By March, they’re regretting they gave up and by May, the cycle starts all over again.
I’ve seen this yo-yo pattern for years, so I decided to create my 2012 Wish List.
1. I wish diet companies would add to all of their commercials, brochures, and any other advertising the following: “Look, this takes a lot of hard work. Sure, you see the success stories in our ads that makes it look easy, but the truth is that our program only works if you’re willing to work- hard. You in?” That’s just honest sales.
2. I wish gyms would offer an incentive program at the beginning of the year as their way of increasing retention vs. making their money and running. I wish those “regular” exercisers and members would be more welcoming of newbies rather than rolling their eyes and saying, “God, I can’t wait til January is over so I can get my gym back.” I wish gyms would offer a mandatory program in January that would serve as inspiration to keep people coming to the gym long after their resolutions have passed.
3. I wish magazines would stop putting on the front of their magazines – “6 Ways to flatten your belly, NOW!” “How you can whittle your waist by the weekend!” “How you can lose 5 pounds in just one week!” None of these do anything to focus on ways to build esteem, self-acceptance or reality. I can flatten my abs right now by laying on my back on the floor, BINGO, flat! I can whittle my waist by wearing spanks and I can lose 5 pounds in a week by taking up a liquid diet for a day or two. But where is the long-term benefit? I wish for more education, REAL education that promotes women’s self-worth, talent, and beauty for REAL people not just the 20 something models that those of us over 40 will never look like (I’m speaking for myself of course).
4. I wish for women and men to rethink weight loss. In that I mean, don’t lose weight because of societal pressure, lose it because your health is at risk. Lose it because your quality of life is being limited by the things you can’t or don’t want to do because you’re carrying around extra weight. Believe that your health is the most important thing in the world and something as basic as walking most days of the week and focusing on whole foods more often can make a radical difference in your life. I so want that for you.
5. I wish health and fitness professionals would come together and STOP making claims that they can melt away fat, or shrink someone’s body. My job as a trainer is not to melt anyone or shrink anyone. My job is to educate. And the more that trainers perpetuate weight loss myths, the more our clients will expect unrealistic results. Speak the truth, healthy weight is a choice (I know, there are some medical issues, but work with me here), and they’re either in or out. I’ve seen too many trainers put people on ridiculous programs where they lose a ton of weight quickly, only to put it back on within the year, or worse yet get injured. My job as a trainer is to motivate and educate, not to perform miracles.
These are just a few of my favorite wishes.
Here’s to your good health in 2012!
By Nicki On December 26, 2011 No Comments
I’ve been involved with the health and fitness industry since 1979. For some that was a hundred years ago, for others, it seems like yesterday! I got involved with the industry after losing 50 pounds that found its way on to my unsuspecting body. I had always been a “toothpick”. My sister used to say to me, “Some day all of that ice cream you eat will catch up with you.” She was right, it did.
When I lost weight, I did it the old fashioned way. I went from a completely sedentary lifestyle to riding a bike most days of the week. I gave up my penchant for fast food and started cooking at home. I was only 17, but knew that if I didn’t make a change, it was going to get ugly. I made the change.
Over the last 20 years (I got back in to the business after my kids were older), I have committed myself to inspiring others to get healthy, to change their life and experience the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Little did I know how hard it would be, and how many snake oil sales men/women out there would tempt, cajole and lie their way into those lives of people desperately seeking a weight loss miracle.
My first book came out in 2000, and the message in that book is no different than my message of today, “If you want to lose weight, focus on lifestyle change as weight loss is a byproduct of healthy changes.” If weight loss was truly a motivating factor, obesity would be a non-issue.
So here is my promise to you as we enter 2012:
1. I promise never to tell you that I can help you “melt” away fat.
2. I promise never to tell you that you can lose 20 pounds in 20 days.
3. I promise never to tell you that weight loss is fast and easy.
4. I promise never to tell you that without changing a thing, you can lose weight.
5. I promise never to tell you that fad diets work.
6. I promise to educate you on the steps necessary to make change.
7. I promise to assess your readiness and be honest if I feel you’re just not ready to commit to change. I can’t force anyone to make changes, it has be of their own volition.
8. I promise to support and encourage you to make healthy changes, but I cannot make the changes for you.
9. I promise to always give you the latest in health and fitness education, and if I don’t know the answer to something, I will find it for you.
10. I promise to never give up on you, even when you do. Changing your lifestyle isn’t easy, it takes time, patience, desire and hard work. I promise to take the time, have the patience and desire to support your hard work!
As a health and fitness professional, it’s my job to steer you away from the dangerous, short-term programs out there. And this time of year, the diet predators are out in full force. The ONLY way, and I mean the ONLY way to recover your good health and a healthy body is dedication to regular exercise and a whole food diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. There is no secret, there is no magic, never has been, only the truth, and that is what I promise to tell you each and every day!
Here’s to a healthy you in 2012!
By Nicki On December 18, 2011 No Comments
With the proliferation of weight loss programs, you have been “trained” to focus on results more than anything else. Think about it, when you start a diet, the motivation comes from the visual you have in your mind of being thinner, stronger and feeling like a new man or woman, right? But the natural course of this kind of focus, (solely on results) eventually leads to failure. Let me explain.
When you think about exercising or eating right, you do it because you have this picture in your head of what you want to look like. The visual you create in your head is inspired by what you’ve seen on TV or in magazines highlighting people who have lost a bunch of weight and well, it inspires you to lose want to lose weight, right? Unfortunately, these stories are unrealistic and unsustainable.
The problem is when you focus on the end result, you don’t take in to consideration the actual “journey”. Then, once you realize the work involved, it becomes too overwhelming. That thinking comes from the “fast-n-easy” promises we see in ads and magazines. It looks so easy, right? I think we can all agree that lean and fit does not happen just by wishing or visualizing, it comes from dedication, desire and determination.
Following are some ways that you can think differently about making positive, healthy changes come January.
Value is what you should receive from any fitness center you choose. In other words, you should feel an immediate connection with the facility or fitness professional you choose. There should be value in that facility which makes the time you spend and the dollars you spend all worthwhile. It might be the location, the staff, the “feel” of the place, etc. Whatever it is, there needs to a perceived value which will keep you coming back.
Next, benefits. Here’s where you need to change your thinking. Instead of focusing on the results (which are often unrealistic) focus on the immediate benefits you’ll garner from eating better and exercising more. Benefits are immediate, such as sleeping better, having more energy, being more connected with your body. Unfortunately, we’ve been programmed to believe that weight loss is the only valuable part of being active and eating well. It is this type of thinking that keeps your efforts short lived, why? Because weight loss (fast and easy) is not necessarily the first benefit that is derived from eating better and exercising. Unfortunately, if weight loss isn’t experienced right away, all hope is lost and it’s back to inactivity and poor nutrition.
So here’s what I’d like you think about, if you’re only going to exercise and eat well to lose weight, for your resolution, think differently. Think of 5 benefits (other than weight loss) that you will receive from changing bad nutrition habits and moving your body more. Those benefits should then become your focus. Those benefits are unique to you and matter to you, it’s not the generic “weight loss” reason which clearly doesn’t work.
Take time this week to focus on the sustainable reasons you want to become healthy. Remember, weight loss is a byproduct of being active and eating well, it’s not the other way around. Start today to make small changes and trust me, it will just grow from there. Not a single worthwhile thing in life is achieved simply by wanting it, you’ve got to take action!
Here’s to your health,
By Nicki On November 27, 2011 3 Comments
A bit of some pie, a slice of the cake, Januarys coming, resolutions I’ll then make. I won’t worry now, what time I would waste, I won’t eat that much, simply a taste.
I promised myself, I’d diet next year, I promise I will, you’re reading it here. In the scheme of things, what’s a pound or two? I’ve lost it before, I’m sure you have too!
The holidays bring out the child in all, naughty or nice, you make the call. Doesn’t really matter, I’ll do what I like, because after December, I’ll bond with my bike.
I’m not going to worry, I’m not going to cry, it’s easy to choose …one more slice of pie! I won’t get caught up in this weight loss game, I’ll let the holidays shoulder the blame.
Spending my time obsessing with food, just brings out my diet ugly mood. So I’ll give up the worry, I’ll give up the fight, and after December I’ll make all this right.
Wait just a minute, let me think here, is this the way to start a new year? To indulge and indulge until I just pop, then January 1st it all comes to a stop?
If I have a small taste here and there, no need to abstain come the first of the year. Surely if I practice at a moderate pace, my January weight won’t be such disgrace.
I remember past January’s, that first step on the scale, all I could think was, human or whale? The numbers reflected my imbibing mistakes, I knew I should’ve passed on the goodies I baked. What was I thinking, why didn’t I stop? Dial 911, call the weight loss cop!
Yeah, the thought isn’t pretty, not something I need, so maybe the following words I should heed:
Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night. Do yourself a favor and simply eat right. Once in awhile a treat is just fine, yes, even the occasional glass of wine.
Just keep yourself active and keep yourself fit, I know you can do it, no magic to it.
The holidays are great as long as you know, it’s a temporary season that comes and goes. It leaves behind messes and food galore, yet without even a thought you keep eating more.
So before you get tricked into holiday fun, don’t turn from healthy eating, that’s number one. Get plenty of water, that’s number two and plenty of rest, it helps all that you do. Plenty of fruits and veggies are number four, otherwise healthy eating just goes out the door.
Going through the holidays eating just right, won’t take the fun out of parties at night. Cause on January first when you’re feeling great, you’ll smile as you think about the over-eaters fate!
Here’s to Healthy Holidays!
By Nicki On November 3, 2011 No Comments
As we shift in to the frenzied holiday season, healthy intentions are left behind. Once the chaos of the holidays takes control of our lives, January 1st is the day of salvation. But you know, and I know, New Year’s resolutions rarely have lasting power.
Granted, we’re far away from January 1st, however many people I work with start losing their focus because January 1st is right around the corner. I wish there never was a January 1st, simply because people give up any healthy intentions in exchange for the belief that the New Year will undo all the November/December indiscretions. Quite frankly, it’s not the way it works. If I had a dollar for every person that used January 1st as their day of redemption, I’d be a very wealthy woman. In fact, if I had a dollar for every person that crashed and burned after 4 weeks of restriction and over exercising, I too would be wealthy. But I have no desire to make a penny off of people that are getting bad information.
I recently read an article discussing the fact that fad diets, or any kind of quick-fix doesn’t work. It’s the education and application of healthy living that gets lasting results, period, end of sentence. As you make your way in to the season of temptation and over-indulgence, check out some of my tips that offer solutions vs. resolutions designed to help you put your focus where it needs to be, on your health!
1. Do not attempt to lose weight over the holidays, rather focus on making the best choices you can, as often as you can. There will certainly be some things you are going to want, so do it, just do it moderately. After I lost my 50 pounds, my approach was 5 days on, 2 days off. In other words, 5 days a week I was very focused on getting the best nutrition possible. But allowing a couple of days to go out to dinner or for a party. It’s realistic and takes the pressure off to be perfect 24/7. Over time, you’ll find it not only gets easier but it will be more like 10 days strong, 1 day not so much!
2. Plan, plan, plan. Everyone should have their healthy food options ready. If you’re going to a party, bring your own dish. More now than ever, you should be planning your meals for the week. On Sunday, I sit down and figure out my week, when I’ll be home to eat and when I won’t. I then create my weekly menu and go shopping. I know that I’ve got meals covered and healthy snacks for the week. Planning is key to long-term success.
3. Water, Water, Water. Between alcohol consumption, too much sodium and heating, the winter is full of dehydration pitfalls. Be mindful of keeping yourself hydrated with water intake throughout the day. Further, being hydrated is noted for reducing hunger. H20 is a win-win!!
3. Don’t lose sight of exercise. I often tell my clients, “I don’t exercise for vanity, I exercise for sanity.” During the holidays, even more so. There is a lot of stress that comes with the holidays. Everything from pressure to shop, entertaining, family gatherings, etc. Exercise is the secret to maintaining a healthy energy level and creating a positive attitude that is often challenged during the season of good cheer.
4. You’re not perfect. One of the more common reasons people drop their exercise and/or nutrition efforts is unrealistic expectations. People believe that if they don’t get perfect results from their efforts, it’s pointless. If you continue to focus solely on weight, that may be right. But if you focus on lifestyle and ongoing efforts to make good choices most of the time, you can’t fail. Perfect is non-existent in the world of diet and exercise. In fact, that word is what I believe to be the demise of women’s best intentions. So take the pressure off yourself to be perfect. Simply be the best you can be most of the time and that is better than perfect, it’s realistic.
Here’s to a healthy holiday season!
By Nicki On October 23, 2011 2 Comments
I’m grateful for the choices I’ve been given with regard to healthy living. The fact that I have choices, makes opting for good health a natural one.
This past weekend, my daughter came home from college to celebrate her older brother’s 26th birthday. It’s amazing how quickly time flies. Kids go from needing you desperately, to managing their own life. I suppose that’s the role of a parent, to raise them to be independent and a productive member of society.
I digress. Anyway, when she was home, we were out for lunch and commented that her friends thought we looked a lot alike, and I didn’t look my age. I’m sharing this because I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life choosing to take care of myself with diet, exercise and work/life balance. My other motivation to stay healthy is my family health history. My maternal Grandfather had a massive stroke at 38 which left him bedridden for 8 years until his death at 46. My paternal Grandfather was taken by a long, painful bout of cancer that took over his body and left him at 83 pounds and 62 years old when he died.
Because you cannot ignore the fact that genetics play a role in your health, it’s important to do what we can to preserve it. I know that’s been the case for me. Knowing that I needed to take good care of myself in order to have a better quality of life than my ancestors did, I ultimately chose my profession as a way to stay on top of my health as well as educate and inspire others to do the same.
My job has been tough as the diet industry continues to override my efforts to teach people to be more mindful of health versus size. The truth is people jeopardize their health every day all in an effort to be thin. Remember, thin and healthy are about as similar as cheese and chalk. So, what I teach and what I encourage is to let go of the “thin” phenomenon and look towards a lifestyle that offers good health and opens the doors to a better quality of life.
I can’t tell you what it will take to finally “get” that diets don’t work and weight doesn’t dissappear with simply a wave of a wand. I don’t know what it will take to embrace healthy living and let the whole weight focus go. Don’t get me wrong, 60% of the people I work with need to lose some weight, SOME weight. The reality is this, if you focus on living a healthier lifestyle, the weight will be where it needs to be. In fact, my clients that focus on changing their lifestyle, are the most successful at achieving a healthy weight that is lasting. Of course it’s important to take baby steps and make gradual changes. Trust me, gradual is key here. For every overzealous client I’ve had succeed, five have failed. Too much to soon is a sure ticket to injury or burn out.
So, I ask you to take a look at where your health is today. Is it where you want it to be? Are you able to make choices to change? We all have the choice to be active, and choose more nutritious foods and I consider that a privilege! Some don’t have a choice due to physical impairments or health issues. I am hopeful, that as you stand back and look at your current lifestyle, you can begin taking the necessary steps to encourage good health. Life does move forward at an amazing pace, and the older we get, the quicker it seems to go! So why not take the opportunity to choose good health to better enjoy your life, at any pace.
Here’s to your good health!
By Nicki On July 11, 2011 No Comments
There is a great article written by Craig Harper, “How to Become a Conscious Eater.” In the article he says, “Many people eat unconsciously. They eat on autopilot. They eat what they don’t need. Every day. And then they (strangely) wonder why they’re fat. And unhealthy. They eat processed crap. They eat socially. They eat because it’s expected. Because it’s there. Because it’s free (wouldn’t want to waste anything). They eat emotionally. Re-actively. They reward themselves with food. And their children too. Sometimes they bribe (motivate, manipulate, control) their kids with food. ‘If you do… (insert task)… I’ll take you to McDonalds for dinner’. Awesome parenting. They fantasize about food. Lie about it. They eat to ease the pain. To give themselves instant physical pleasure. To numb out. To escape. To fit in. To forget.”
When I read this article the first time, I could relate to so much of what he wrote. There were some things that hit me hard as at one point in my life, I did bribe and cajole my kids….. I used M&M’s for potty training. O.K., I admit it, but my kids are no worse for the wear, but I get the point that he is making. We use food for all of the wrong reasons, and if I’m using food as a tool to bribe, it’s lost its true value.
What I love most about his article is that he hits the nail on the head when he says, “We eat on autopilot.” He’s right, I see it in my clients every day and during my dieting days, I too was guilty. I just put food in my mouth and ate it without even questioning it’s benefits. Sure, I counted calories here and there (when I was trying to lose weight) but quality of the food? Who cares? It was low in calories and I was taught that was all that mattered. So sad.
Fortunately, since that time, I have learned and read so much more. I have had the good fortune of knowing people who are every bit a conscious eater. I have also encountered those that are completely disconnected from the food they’re putting in their body. I have observed and learned from watching both practices and find 30 years after losing 50 pounds, being a conscious eater is vital. When I can “feel” how the foods I eat allow me to be stronger and more focused, I’m grateful. When I used to snarf down a candy bar, I never gave a second thought as to how it made me feel.
Let me give you an example. When I struggled with weight, every day I counted my calories. Sure, I knew that vegetables and fruit were good for me but I was more interested in what was good for the scale, so I rarely paid attention to quality only quantity. I was sucked in to the “diet food” that promised to help whittle my waist down. So, I lived on diet food and I continued to feel lousy and deprived. During that time, nothing ever really tasted good, but that was the price to pay for a svelte figure. Or so I thought. Even as a young Mom, I would live on Rice Cakes (because they were low in fat) and skip meals in order to pig out at a big event. Ugh! It was what I knew and at the time what magazines told me, so I believed it!
Fast forward 30 years. Whenever I prepare a meal, I never put anything in my mouth (O.K., almost never) without thinking about the benefits derived from my food choices. I have come to understand that the more I eat whole, nutrient dense foods, the better I feel, without question. I love learning about the benefits of fresh herbs and green leafy veggies. I love playing with new recipes and feeding it to my family and watching them enjoy every last bite. I love pulling that first leaf of lettuce out of my garden and tasting it completely. I love the first raspberries of summer, and popping them in my mouth right from the bush. Nothing tastes better.
I haven’t counted calories in 20 years. I haven’t counted calories because I realized I wasn’t learning anything about food other than which had the least amount of calories. Once I started learning about the quality of foods, and the benefits of eating “real” food, I was no longer worried about calories. You’ll find it’s very hard to overeat “real” food because it’s typically high in fiber and satiety.When’s the last time you ate 5 oranges in one sitting? But, I bet you’ve knocked off a whole bag of chips. Get my point?
Craig Harper defines conscious eating as follows,“Conscious eating is giving our body the nutrition it needs for optimal health, function and energy. Nothing more or less.”
I couldn’t agree more. Eating is about giving your body what is needs to operate optimally. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, good-for-you foods were given a bad rap in that many believe healthy foods are typically bland. The truth is there is no better tasting food than that food that is fresh and nutrient rich. It’s just that so many people are used to the crazy amount of salt and fat often found in fast food. As a side note, you can season food with some unbelievable herbs and create far tastier meals than any fast food restaurant can offer.
If we continue to ignore the foods our bodies so desperately need and continue to buy packaged, processed foods, or jump onto the next crazy diet, we may never realize the benefits of eating really great foods. Once you are able to make the distinction between “diet” foods and really good-for-you foods, you will never diet again, yet you’ll be healthier than you’ve ever been. That’s my hope anyway.
By Nicki On May 28, 2011 2 Comments
This past week, USA Today came out with a story that polled about 1000 people asking if they would rather have a million dollars or a great body. 1 out of 4 would rather have a perfect body than a million dollars. I don’t know about you, but I was wondering about health. Why wasn’t there an option that asked if people would like to be in great health? In my humble estimation, that’s a two-fer. If you’ve got your health, you’ve likely got a healthy body. Would it be perfect? There is no perfect, whereas health offers a number of benefits!
There is no doubt that we live in a time when validation is often based on the external, what you have, what you look like, etc. Have you seen the new show, The Voice? It goes against the norm of judging based on looks, etc. The premise of the show is that singers seeking stardom audition for judges that can’t see them, they only hear them. The idea is if they are less than attractive or super hot, it might skew the judges vote. So, they are initially judged on talent alone, (what a concept). This is a great illustration of not judging a book by it’s cover, because we may think we know what we’re going to get, but that is not always the case.
I know for me, when I lost all my weight, people were nicer to me. The same thing happens with someone with new found fame or money, suddenly it’s cool to be associated with you. What’s wrong with that shallow picture? I’m convinced that’s why the diet industry is so incredibly successful. Each and every day people are striving to be accepted and that often comes with a visual perception. “If you’re pretty or thin or rich, you’ll have it all.”
Remember the show, The Swan ? A select group of women, down on their luck, worked with a group of experts including, a therapist, dentist and plastic surgeon to overcome their issues. Not sure how the plastic surgeon factors in, well I do, but it’s just so ridiculous. Then there’s the show, Bridalplasty in which girls compete before their wedding day for plastic surgery. Huh? Wha? I wonder how long the marriage lasts after so much plastic surgery? Something tells me those men wanted to marry the girl they met, not the girl that was created. Likely, they think that perfection equates to happiness or success. I know some beautiful people and they have just as many troubles as those not viewed as “beautiful” (beautiful is relative, don’t you think?). The best advice I ever got was from my Grandmother, she always used to tell me, “It may be shiny and new on the outside, but you need to dig a little deeper to find out what condition it’s really in.”
The sad thing is many of these folks on these shows as well as people that watch them believe that, “If I only looked like that I’d be so much more successful! If I could lose weight like the people on that show, I’d finally get that job or get that guy or girl, etc.” The Biggest Loser is a good example. Sure, they lose weight, a lot of weight, however, once they’re off the show, they go back home to the same stresses, the same issues sans the chef, trainer and therapist. The only thing that’s changed is what’s on the outside. (Yes, I know, their vitals have changed) But, if it’s not permanent, and they’re not maintaining healthy patterns, then what really changed? Only the outside.
I tell my clients all the time, change has GOT to start from the inside out, period. The truth is that if you want to change your life, there has to be a major mental shift. Just because you look great, how is that going to translate to the ideal job? Get you out of financial trouble? One needs to shift the way they think and feel internally and start conveying that externally. If you wake up tomorrow and you’re an ideal size, the “upkeep” will likely throw you and you’ll be back where you started. If you win a million dollars tomorrow, it might help you pay off some bills and buy some things you’ve always wanted, but does it change the core of who you are, bring about bliss and utopia in your life? Probably not. If you didn’t have it before, you’re not likely to have it when circumstances change, unless you realize change is an inside out process. You can’t project what isn’t there.
No matter how great someone’s body is, you really have to come back to self, i.e., values, character, integrity and the things that really, really matter. To me, my health is what matters because having my health allows me to do all the things I really want to do. Having my health allows me to feel great and project that energy. Focusing on my health every day gets me a lot further than focusing on my 6-pack. So, I ask you, if you had to choose between a million dollars, a “great” body or excellent health, which would you choose?
Here’s to your health!
By Nicki On April 10, 2011 No Comments
This past week I hosted my 6th orientation at my studio for my 6-week Weight Loss Challenge. For the orientation, I had yet another speaker that has successfully met “the challenge” to tell her story. (Check out our other success stories). This week, Reality Fitness welcomed Marty Hammond and she shared how she has managed to lose 5 dress sizes and 30 pounds in 5 months.
” When I started this program 5 months ago, I only came to the orientation because my husband Mike wanted to support Nicki’s program. But as I sat and listened to Nicki’s emphasis on losing weight for better health and quality of life I thought, ‘Hmmm, maybe this is something I should try. I’ll call next month when I’m not so busy.” Normally that call would have never happened, but having a 2 pot-a-day coffee habit and struggling with extra weight, I figured maybe it’s time to make some changes. When I started the program there were 4 things Reality Fitness gave me.
The first tool they gave me was a compass, or what I like to refer to as a GPT, Great Personal Trainer. I could not have made the progress I’ve made without Jon. Next, they gave me a map, which was my food plans. Nothing crazy, just focused on getting rid of garbage as I knew I needed some structure. I gave up a 2 pot-a-day coffee habit and drink only tea now. I would often eat in my car, typically fast food. I was on my way with my compass and my nutrition. With those two components in place, I was then given keys, which was my journal. I liken it to AAA roadside assistance. The journal held me accountable and made me aware of what I’m putting in my mouth. Nicki said at the orientation, ‘If you’re not willing to journal, you are not willing to be successful.’ I know how true that statement is now that I’ve been doing it for 5 months. Then, I had to have fuel, and that fuel was the Happy Monday letters Nicki sends out to those of us participating in the challenge as well as the motivation I received from my trainer.
After all of these wonderful tools for success I received from Reality Fitness there was one thing missing, the driver. No one would take the wheel for me and drive to my destination, it was up to me to grab the wheel and take control. The biggest benefit of grabbing the wheel and taking control was knowing that I was in charge of my destiny. ”
Marty is now training for 5K’s and enjoying an improved quality of life. Her husband came to support her and told me, “She’s now outrunning me!” No doubt, a couple that exercises together, stays together!
I have been in this business a very long time, I have seen fads come and go. I have seen people go to ridiculous lengths to lose weight, rarely if ever keeping the weight off. Every time they would gain the weight back, the weight of failure became heavier than the weight on the scale. The difference with our clients success is not only their determination to once and for all make positive changes, but the support they receive long after the 6 weeks is past. Big changes require a lot of support and our clients get that from us. I think that if we’re able to develop programming on a national scale (no pun intended) that helps put people in the drivers seat, but gives them support during, before and after, that will be the key to long-term success. I’m see it in my studio every day. There is nothing that inspires me more than seeing people that are ready to change, make the change, and finally realize change can be a very positive thing.
By Nicki On March 13, 2011 1 Comment
As many of you know, I have been implementing a weight loss challenge at my studio that has turned out to be, well, amazing. Because of the incredible results our clients are experiencing, I am asking them to come back at the orientations we hold each month and share their stories. Let me just say, they are pretty incredible stories.
This past week at our March orientation, Patricia Buckley was our speaker. Patricia has been a client of ours for a number of years, but the weight loss part seemed elusive for her. She was dedicated to her exercise, but for years the weight never changed. When I launched our 6-Week Weight Loss Challenge, Patricia decided that it might be worth checking out. She started the program at the end of the orientation back in November, she hasn’t looked back. Patricia has lost about 37 pounds which is fantastic. But beyond the weight loss, she has changed her lifestyle. I have always said, weight loss is incomplete without the lifestyle change. And that is what Patricia has discovered.
Here’s a bit from her story, “I’m a school teacher and I’m very busy. My husband and I used to eat out, a lot. I liked to eat a lot. Because of that, I have been on many diets and therefore, I wasn’t quite sure what would make this program different. To start with, it wasn’t a diet. Before starting the challenge, I figured because I was exercising that was all I needed to do. But once I came to listen to Nicki speak about her weight-loss challenge, and she kept using the word ‘sustainability’ something clicked, and I knew I needed to do something more. Since starting the program I have lost 37 pounds, dropped 4 pant sizes, many dress sizes and I’m learning to cook. I was a pot-a-day coffee drinker and now I only drink tea. My energy, outlook and quality of life are all greatly improved. I have learned so many things on my journey, but 3 words that have become my mantra are, CAN, CONSCIOUS and CHOICE. The focus for me is no longer on the four letter words diet and can’t, rather the fact that I CAN make good CHOICES based on the CONSCIOUS awareness of what is good for me physically and emotionally.” Wow, well said.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, nothing can change without your willingness to change. The hardest part for people that believe they want to lose weight is taking responsibility for long-term change. For some long-term is just too overwhelming.
So, just for today think about Patricia’s 3 words, can, conscious and choice. Can you make conscious choices that will serve to create a healthier you? Start by looking at the changes you’re willing to make and implement them in to your long-term plan. Patricia is making changes that will be major contributors to long-term change. Diets are temporary and teach nothing. When you change your lifestyle in order to lose weight, you are creating a success story that will have staying power and that is definitely a story with a happy ending.