I have recently been involved with a Weight Watchers class. It has been, overall, a great experience. However, I don’t think that anyone is really interested in working out. Well, I am not going to lie… I think that you can lose weight if you just go on a Weight Watchers. But I also think that the ONLY reason that I have been able to maintain my weight loss over this past year has been because I work out. I mean, really, I like to eat WAY too much to be on just 35 “points” a day!!! That is RIDICULOUS!!! ONE PIECE OF CAKE IS LIKE 12 POINTS!!!! CRAZY!!!
I want to make a point here also about how to work out. You HAVE to do both!! Now, lots of people think that the only way to lose weight is to do cardiovascular (aerobic exercise). So they run a lot- like I do- And that is a great way to loose some weight. Eventually, though, they notice that while their bodies are a little smaller, there are still a lot of flabby parts. Aerobic exercise is important for good health, but it’s only half of the equation. I don’t want to downplay the roll of running in my overall success- I think it had a big part in it. But I think that an overall fitness program is very important- meaning running (cardio) plus lifting weights or resistance.
For optimal fitness, weight training is a must. If you avoid lifting weights because you’re afraid of getting “bulky,” – or you just don’t really like it… then you’re missing out on one of the best fat-burning methods around.
When you’re weight training, don’t rely exclusively on the scale to gauge your progress. (When I did the People Magazine Weight Loss Challenge– I lost 12 inches in my waist- This might be better than the scale). You can use a body fat tester or a tape measure to track how many inches you’re losing. The size of your body will shrink as you shed fat and build muscle, but your weight may not change as dramatically as you expect. After all, the muscle will weigh more than the fat. And lets keep our heads in the game here… what is really more important? Your weight or your shape?
If you’re still not convinced that you need to lift weights and do cardiovascular exercise, here are some reasons why you should reconsider.
Burn more fat. Researchers at Tufts University found that when overweight women lifted heavy weights twice a week, they lost an average of 14.6 pounds of fat and gained 1.4 pounds of muscle. The control group, women who dieted but didn’t lift weights, lost only 9.2 pounds of fat and gained no muscle. When you do weight-training- your metabolism stays elevated and you continue to burn fat for several hours afterward. During regular cardio exercise, you stop burning fat shortly after the workout.
Change your body shape. You may think your genes determine how you look. That’s true to an extent, but weight training can slim you down and change the way you look. Dropping only 3 percent of your body fat could translate into a total loss of 3 inches off your body. If you keep to your Weight Watchers diet (or just eat sensibly), you’ll burn more fat.
Boost your metabolism. The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism will be. When you diet without doing resistance training, up to 25 percent of the weight loss may be muscle loss. Weight training AND dieting can help you preserve and even rebuild muscle fibers. The more lean mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you’ll burn all day long.
Get stronger and more confident. Lifting weights increases functional fitness, which makes everyday tasks such as carrying children, lifting grocery bags, and picking up heavy suitcases much easier. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular weight training can make you 50 percent stronger in 6 months. Being strong is also empowering. Not only does it improve your physical activities, it builds emotional strength by boosting self-esteem and confidence.
Fight depression. (THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE SUBJECTS!!!) You’ve probably heard that cardio exercise can help alleviate depression, well, weight lifting has the same effect. So do both. The endorphins that are released during aerobic activities are also present during resistance training. Many people find that regular strength training, in conjunction with psychological treatment, helps lessen their depression symptoms substantially.
I have gotten to where I can tell if it has been a couple of days since I worked out- simply by the way I “feel”.
Reduce injuries and arthritis. Weight lifting improves joint stability and builds stronger ligaments and tendons. Training safely and with proper form can help decrease the likelihood of injuries in your daily life. It can also improve physical function in people with arthritis.
Heart health. More than 480,000 people die from cardiovascular disease each year, making it the number-one killer of people over the age of 25. Most people don’t realize that exercise with weights can also keep your heart pumping. Lifting weights increases your “good” (HDL) cholesterol and decreases your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. It also lowers your blood pressure.
Defend against diabetes. In addition to keeping your heart strong, weight training can improve glucose utilization (the way your body processes sugar) by as much as 23 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 weeks of strength training can improve glucose metabolism in a way that is comparable to taking diabetes medication. The more lean mass you have, the more efficient your body is at removing glucose from the blood, which can reduce complications from diabetes or even help prevent type 2 diabetes in the first place.
So, I know I have kind of hit you with a bunch of stuff about weight training… but really any exercise will help with your overall physical and mental well-being. Do these things to keep in shape- or get in shape and you can help yourself in more ways than one.
I have a punishing work-out regimen. Every day I do three minutes on a treadmill, then I lie down, drink a glass of vodka and smoke a cigarette. -Anthony Hopkins
You know you should exercise more, right? You know that you should eat better, right? You know you know this… but sometimes, o.k., most of the time it is hard to change. Why do we resist change so much.
Well, for me, it is as simple as one thing… my comfort zone. I don’t want to change because it HURTS!!!! Physically and mentally.
According to Amy Brooks, L.P.T.A., A.T.R.-B.C., Licensed Behaviorist at the Baptist Nutrition Center, “Making healthy changes is hard work, and many people struggle with turning their good intentions into actions.” (Quoted from the Baptist Health Systems Healthsourse newsletter)
So, here are my tips to making healthy changes happen: (BTW- you can apply these to LOTS of different goals)
1. Get educated- the more you know… the easier it will be. Follow this blog for healthy tips, tricks and maybe something funny about weight loss and change.. Cut through all the clutter that is out there. Even if you don’t regularly read this, there is a lot of good info available right at your fingertips.
2. Join a team- By this, I don’t mean that you have to play flag football. I mean, get some folks around you that have similar goals—- or at the very least want to stay healthy. These may be people you already know or they may be new friends… just start working on it WITH someone else.
3. Keep a journal- especially a food journal. I talk to people time and time again that say… “I NEVER knew how much I was eating”… and this is true.
4. Take baby steps- it is impossible to run a marathon the first day out there training… but if you work hard… walk– then run… you can train for it in less than a year. Break your goals into small bite-size pieces!!
“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”- Jim Rohn
I was talking the other day about taking things one day at a time. It seems to me, and this is defiantly one of my big downfalls- I know that sometimes I live WAY too much in the future. I sit around and worry about what is going to happen tomorrow. And I think to myself that this is too big, I can’t do it (whatever that may be).
Well, there is this article in Time Magazine a while back that made me think of this. Now, I am not comparing myself or my accomplishments by any means, but this article made me think of this exact thing. The article is about the moon landings in the 60’s. We are coming up on the 45th anniversary of the landing of Apollo 11. Well, they are talking about the astronauts and how they were chosen to go…. how they were recruited. The article states that they were chosen for their “coolness under pressure”. It says that when these guys were talking about or thinking about the enormity of what they were doing…. it served them best to not think about it. If they thought about it too much, then it would keep them from getting it done. I have heard this called, “getting up in your head.” Ya don’t want to do it… you don’t want to choke.
Now, this is a little bit different situation, but the result can be the same… don’t think about the task at hand too much. Don’t get up in your head about whatever you are trying to do. If you think too much about your goal- You will think “OMG– I have to loose 100lbs, or I want to run a marathon, or I want to write a book…. then that is too much. You may not do anything if you get that mentality. Just take it one day at a time!!
If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in?- Unknown
Here it is… February 25. The gym is all cleared out. Nobody’s there.
Why do you think that so many people fail when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions? Well, as it turns out, I have a theory.
It’s because they set a goal. WAIT!!! WHAT?!?! They set a goal. Yep, that’s what I said.
See, what happens is that they say, “I want to lose 30 lbs by April 1st.” Nice goal. It’s just how “they” teach you to do it. It’s QUANTIFIABLE. It’s got a date attached. The goal setter may have even written it down and put it on the mirror in the bathroom. (And BTW- realistically, this may be EXACTLY what some people need to “Lose 30 lbs by April 1st”). But, here comes the problem… it has an END date.
SO, what happens after April Fool’s Day? Well, you can relax… after all, the goal was reached. Now we can go back to living like we were living before the goal was set.
I propose that we put SYSTEMS in place instead of goals. Successful people don’t “go on a diet”. Successful people CHANGE. They change permanently. They decide that they are going to only eat steak once a month. They decide that they are going to go to the gym for a one hour work-out 4 days a week. They start getting up early so they can get a head start on the day. They make these small changes… changes in their SYSTEM of life, and that is how they reach their goals.
Now, you may say at this point… I know I did… “Wait a second!! I can’t change my whole life all at once and do it FOREVER!” You would be right. That is why you make your systematic change- ONE DAY AT A TIME.
My friend (not really my friend, but I feel like I know him ’cause I read his stuff so much) Rory Vaden says that “Success is never owned, it is only rented, and the rent is due every day.” True. The point is that in order to get what you want (anything you want), you have to do the little things each day to make it happen. You don’t have to commit for the rest of your life to not eat pepperoni pizza. Man… if I had to promise that for the rest of my life, well- it wouldn’t be good. I wouldn’t make it because I would feel so overwhelmed. (Just so you know… I reserve the right to eat a large peperoni pizza and a pitcher of beer at anytime).
I think that the best way to think of it is how they think about it in AA- Just today, I can do this. Just today, I can eat a salad for lunch. Just today, I can prospect in my business for two hours. Just today, I can make a deposit of success in my marriage.
If you put together enough JUST TODAYS- then the system will be in place and the change can be made.
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.