Stop focusing on weight loss. Focus more on improving your OVERALL HEALTH!! Oh and guess what??? Health and hunger do NOT go hand in hand!!!
If you need to use baby steps, DO IT.....just start somewhere. And for goodness sake, stop dieting!!!
Seriously. Don't be afraid to eat. Just start eating real food...actually eating more vegetables than you do processed carbs and sweets. Four+ servings a day is my goal...along with 4+ servings of protein and I weave in good carbs 3-4x a day. Get rid of the 100 calorie packs....the packaged foods that seem healthy but they're simply marketing ploys. Look at LABELS and don’t consume things with tons of sugar all the time. A couple times a week maybe, but those things are TREATS.
Drink more water. MOVE your body daily. Think positive thoughts and just focus more on LOVING YOURSELF!
There's nothing more painful than seeing someone starving and hangry...killing themselves with exercise they don't enjoy....thinking they can't have treats or the things they love....and giving up after a week or two.
There's a better way. I promise.
Weight loss and getting healthy is just like driving....if you ever get lost or veer off the road, just make a U-turn and head back in the right direction!!
Makes sense right?? Or would you just light the car on fire and say screw it?
The funny thing is, that’s what most people do!!! They “mess up”...and then just throw their hands up in defeat.
Don’t be most people.
If you ate too much junk yesterday....or drank too much this weekend or skipped your workout...or whatever....just make a U-turn or a course correct today!
Here are a few tips!
If you didn't read our bios, in a previous occupation I actually used to work as a golf professional. No, I didn't play on the PGA Tour. I worked at a club, ran golf tournaments, sold merchandise, gave golf lessons and every once in awhile I got to play! People always would tell me how jealous they were of my job, to which I would usually just agree because that was easier. Easier than saying I work ridiculously long hours, never get a weekend off, get paid a shade above minimum wage, and had 300+ "bosses" called members that all wanted something different. But I digress...
This post isn't about my life as a golf pro so much. I got to thinking the other day after listening to someone else talk about selling nutritional products. They made the comment that nutritional products and health products are much easier to sell to the healthy! People that are familiar with things like probiotics, gut health, adaptogens, etc. That kind of sucks if you think about it. The healthy people already do a pretty good job of taking care of themselves so why should they invest more into their health.
That got me thinking about my days as a golf pro and how a similar analogy also rang true. It was much easier to sell golf lessons and golf equipment to the more advanced golfers. Four hundred dollars for a new driver, no problem. Five hundred dollars for golf lessons, sure!
You can pretty much change this analogy into anything else.
I also used to be a craft beer nerd too. Your average Joe wouldn't likely spend $10-20 for a bottle of beer but I didn't blink an eye at that. Why??? I saw the value in the beer!
The golfer sees the value in the lessons. The healthy person sees the value in nutritional products.
It all comes down to value... whatever you value that is where you will spend your resources! Since we live in the health world this is a tough predicament to be in and actually quite frustrating. There is nothing more that I would want to do then help people that are morbidly obese lose 100+ pounds. To actually save their lives of people that are in a downward spiral.
What does it take to help a person like that though? It takes that person seeing value in investing in his/her health! Unfortunately it usually takes a rock bottom moment for a person like that make a change. Maybe it is a diabetes diagnosis or a heart attack. When you take away health, it becomes a lot more valuable and you will be more apt work pretty hard to get it back.
I know we help a lot of people begin to believe in themselves again and reach a lot of their goals, which is amazing! We won't stop doing that! My hope and prayer is is that just one person will read this and think that their health needs to be valued more! That they are willing to make the investment with their time and money to turn their life around. That obesity and disease doesn't have to be the trajectory that their life is on.
If that's you, we would love to hear from you. I know that first step and asking for help can be one of the hardest. Know that we will meet you where you are at and will be by your side through the whole process.
Exercise can be a lot like dating.
You try a few different versions out. Some are pretty good and you and stick with them for a while but you maybe get bored or you just stop clicking. Others are just ok but don't get you too excited. A few are just terrible and you would be ok if you never tried them again.
Then... then you find that perfect match. You are committed! You enjoy your time when you are doing that exercise or with that special person. Yeah it is still work and you have to put effort into it daily but it is something you usually look forward to coming back to the next day. Not always. Let's be honest, we all have days don't want to workout or you don't want to put effort into your relationship. When you are with the right person, or doing your soulmate workout those periods pass quickly.
We just celebrated our 9 year anniversary this week. What a blessing the past 9 years have been for both of us. It was almost 11 years ago that we found each other and haven't looked back!
All of those 11 years we've been active, playing volleyball, running, going to the gym. It's was about 6 years ago though that Laura found her soulmate workout, Insanity! For me it was Focus T25 and later P90X3. Pretty much the perfect workout for us was one that we could do in the comfort of our own home or just outside our RV! We have been able to stay consistent and show up nearly everyday for our workouts.
That just didn't happen for us elsewhere...
For us the gym was like that person that you are attracted to physically but just don't connect with emotionally or mentally. We tried going and had gym memberships for years but never really accomplished anything.
We also both dabbled with running! I was a former cross country runner and Laura ran track. After we graduated from college running became like that blind date that your friend set you up on. You know it's going to be awkward and painful. No thank you!!!
We never did try Crossfit but I could imagine that would be like taking your date out to the most expensive restaurant in town. Then after dinner your date takes you to a big orgy where limbs and sweat are flying everywhere. People are comparing themselves to others and walking around slapping each other on the butt! Sorry crossfitters it's the best comparison I could come up with, I think I would actually join a crossfit gym if it was right next to my house and I had some more cash!
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with those kinds of workouts. We know a lot of people that have had a lot of success at the gym or running! They have stayed consistent and continue to put the work in and show up everyday. They've seen results and that's what it is all about.
Fitness for us looked a little different and that has worked incredibly well for us. I believe there is a soulmate workout and form of exercise out there for everyone. Maybe it's dancing, maybe it's powerlifting, or maybe it's running. If you've tried a bunch of workouts that just don't click, don't give up, just keep trying!
I will say one other thing though that the environment (people and place) plays a big role.
Curious what the process of tracking your macronutrients entails. We would like to give you an idea of the process along with the benefits and pitfalls.
Counting macros: What is is all about? 0:07
How to you calculate your macro and calorie needs? 1:13
Who is counting macros good for? 5:17
Who isn't it good for? 7:00
Two camps to losing weight... 9:14
Incorporating treats 13:38
Hope that helped you understand tracking macros a little better. There is so much with tracking macros that you just learn through doing. If you feel like you want to start tracking your macros. Head over to our Calorie Calculator, input some personal information then submit the form at the bottom of the page and I will respond with a personalized macro plan for you.
I've been smacked in the face with this concept a few times in the past month so I took it as a sign that I needed to write and share my thoughts.
Is Obesity Contagious?
We think of a lot of diseases to be contagious, the flu, a cold, but what about obesity? The American Medical Association back in 2013 actually changed it's stance on obesity and it is now classified as a disease. If you go to the CDC website it actually states that 36.5% of Americans "have" obesity. That word "have" struck me when I read it.
Philosophically that is a whole new ball game. Now a person isn't defined by being obese, they "aren't" obese they just "have" it. If you have something you can get rid of it, right??? That's good news! If you have it, does that also mean that you can give it to someone?
In 2007 researchers from Harvard published an article in The New England Journal for Medicine, The spread of obesity in a large social network over 32 years, that explains these concepts. Some things that stood out were, if you have a friend that is obese that you would be 57% more likely to obese yourself. The study didn't show that obesity was connected to geographical location. For example if you have a neighbor or coworker that is obese they won't rub off on you as much as someone which you actually have a close relationship.
"Obesity is a social disease. And it needs a social cure." - Dr. Mark Hyman
I love this line from Mark Hyman, "Obesity is a social disease and it needs a social cure." Unfortunately the population of the United States is heading in the wrong direction.
As of 2015 70.7% of Americans over the age of 20 are considered overweight or obese. If 71% of the population had a virus that was slowly killing you every government agency and medical professional would be hysterical in finding a cure. What gives? Why are people complacent about the disease of obesity?
I think it comes back to this being a social disease. If you walk down the street or through your office building and 7 in 10 people you walk past are overweight, doesn't that skew your perception of what is normal? Now instead of comparing yourself to the cover model on the magazine, I think people are comparing themselves to the people that are overweight or obese. The thought likely goes through their head either consciously or subconsciously, "Well at least I'm not as fat as that person, so I must not be that bad."
Then you have the people that use the genetic excuse as a crutch. The same study mentioned above found out that if a sibling became obese it raised your chances of becoming obese by 40%. So if your friend, that you have no similar genetic information as becomes obese it increases your chances by 57% but a family member only 40%. Wouldn't that suggest that obesity is more of a nurture disease rather than a nature disease?
Why does this matter?
Being overweight and obese can have serious health consequences. It can lead to things like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, gallstones, cancer and increased joint pain. Not all overweight people will develop these diseases or will report negative biomarkers but it does raise your risk.
There is also a direct correlation to how overweight a person is and their activity level. So once you get trapped in the cycle of being overweight it becomes more and more difficult to lose weight. Your activity goes down, you burn fewer calories, you pack on more weight.
What do we do?
First thing I think we need to start treating being overweight or obese as a disease that needs treatment. It can't just be the way a person is... It can't be something we ignore thinking it is just a benign condition without consequences.
What actions do we need to take?
I believe as individuals we need to support people where they are at! Whether they are fit and lean or morbidly obese, we need to be there for a friends, family, and neighbors. We need to be encouragers! We can't wait for someone else to take action, you need to be the one! The one that gets moving! The one that cuts out a lot of the junk food! The one that eats more veggies! Do it with joy! Be contagious with your healthy behaviors!
That's why I love so much what we do! We get to be those influencers! More importantly we try to encourage others to pay it forward, to pass along what they learn and share with the people they care about.
We need to be interjectors of positivity and health into the cycle that people get stuck in. If you feel like you are stuck, find people that are going to lift you up and believe in you. Find someone that won't let you fail, aka stop!
Lastly, as a society we have become overweight and obese! It will only be as a society that we can solve this problem. We need to reset that trajectory that our country's health is on currently. Health can and needs to become more contagious than obesity! If you are ready to help be part of the change, share this post, reach out to a friend in need, or reach out to a friend that can help you!
Don’t think you’re qualified to help other people get healthy?
Do you think you have to be a personal trainer or have some degree to do what we do?
Think you have to be in perfect shape or have all the answers?
Do you have a HEART that breaks when you see people hurting? Do you have EARS to listen? Do you have PASSION and FIRE to help others? Do you want to SERVE others greatly and help them change their life? Do you want to make a little extra $$? I put the financial benefits last, but they’re certainly not least. There are so many companies out there now that can make you a little extra money (Thirty-One, Pampered Chef, Jamberry, Younique, DoTerra, Rodan & Fields)…the key is finding one that fits YOUR passions and the things you’re excited about…while fulfilling someone else’s need.
I have to pinch myself day in and day out because I truly can’t believe this opportunity and how it’s changed our lives and changed me from the inside. I’m not going to lie…I didn’t have a lot of weight to lose when I first started, so I don’t have an incredible physical transformation like some people. My transformation has been mainly from the inside. Since becoming a Beachbody coach I have become more confident in my own skin AND in my abilities. I’ve become stronger and able to get past my struggles and insecurities. My focus and time management has gotten better because heck, life is busy but if you have a DREAM you find ways to make things happen. Do I still struggle with these every once in a while? Heck yes. BUT the emphasis that Beachbody puts on personal development and growth definitely makes those struggles easier to get through.
The blessing that coaching has been in my life is just incredible. I share this not to somehow help myself but to help you! Beachbody can be that community you are looking for. It can be the thing that keeps you committed to working out and taking care of your health. If you want to know more about what this coaching community and business opportunity is all about we would love to share it with you.
This might sound like a strange question to ask. One would think if you do healthy things you would be a healthy person. If you eat a lot of veggies, workout regularly and drink your water, all healthy things, chances are you will be healthy physically.
We want to dive deeper into this question though and talk about the mental side of being a healthy person. We believe the ball game really changes when a person get's healthy mentally and begins to identify themselves as being a healthy person.
Let's start with talking about why the person doing healthy things is different that a healthy person.
Do Healthy Things Person - This person likely has some goals to lose weight, change their body composition, get off medications, etc. All great goals! They also likely have been given a prescription to achieve those goals from a doctor, personal trainer, or nutritionist. They are told things like eat less processed foods, eat more fruits and veggies, follow an exercise routine or drink more water.
All of those things will likely make a person healthier! So why are we making this distinction between doing healthy things and being a healthy person? This person has a measurable and attainable goal. What happens when they reach their goal? Game over... now what? Their motivation was in achieving their goal, what is going to keep them motivated? They were committed to those healthy things to achieve a goal. No goal, No commitment.
Do you see where I'm going with this? Doing healthy things can help you make progress and even reach some pretty amazing goals but I believe to sustain that change there has to be a mental shift. So let's take a look at the healthy person.
Healthy Person - This person's identity revolves around improving his health. They are a student of health, always learning and striving to better themselves. The healthy person's goals are constantly changing and evolving.
A healthy person can still indulge from time to time but there is no guilt in it. There aren't rules laid out for a healthy person that they HAVE TO do certain things to be healthy. Their decisions come naturally, there isn't stress in decision making. Exercise isn't a thing to burn calories. It is something that they do to feel better or to be social.
One thing that has helped us stay in the "Healthy Person" category has been our commitment to become health coaches ourselves. As health coaches we are looked upon to be examples and leaders. It doesn't mean we have it all figured it out. It just means that we consistently do all those healthy things as a way to inspire others to switch from doing healthy things to becoming a healthy person. Part of my identity is being a healthy person. Yeah I get ridiculed at times but seriously like making fun of someone because they are ridiculously good looking. I take it as a compliment!
How would you identify yourself? Have you not stepped into the world of doing healthy things yet? Are you doing healthy things? Or are you a healthy person?
A couple weeks ago I set some goals for our business....did a vision board and everything. I realized this morning I failed to put the MOST important goal of my life.
To please Him. To seek him daily. To love Him regardless of what He gives me or takes away....
I want to be a woman who is strengthened by His power. Not mine. To become a prayer warrior. To show grace to others no matter what. To love fully, be present in every moment, have intentionality and give thanks for everything! I want to be a woman who surrenders and doesn't try to control anything.
The goal of my life isn't to make a lot of money (even though there's nothing wrong with asking Him to bless you)......It's to make a life that means something and I can't do that without first seeking Him ❤️
We've worked with hundreds of people in an effort to improve their health and lose weight. I think most people strive to be healthy and live life at a reasonable weight. I will say though a lot of people put an emphasis on weight. They think that is the driving force to better health.
When I lost most of my weight I was doing a program called The Ultimate Reset. This program is a 21 day whole food cleanse/reset. The great thing about this and getting started was it laid everything out for me. I didn't have to think. The process was laid out in black and white. Eat this, take these supplements and you'll see results. I wasn't thinking about whether or not I was losing weight, I just knew what my next meal or snack was supposed to be. For more on my journey check out this post, Change Your Mind, Change Your Body.
We have made the comments before that it is more about progress and not perfection. I would take that one step further back and say that it is more about committing to the process first. You control the process! You don't necessarily control the progress. I think that is why I saw results with the program I did. I committed to actions and those actions led to weight loss and health.
If you you are looking to lose weight and get healthy, what process are you going to commit too? Some things that I believe are vital both losing weight and getting healthy would be:
We've put together a simple tracker that you can use to track your progress with these simple steps. Just click the button below and follow the directions.
✔️ What does success look like to you right now?
✔ What numbers are you trying increase?
✔️ Why are you trying to increase them?
✔️ How is all of this making you FEEL?
God designed good work coupled with good rest. But we take it to extremes....being busy stems from the fear of never being enough. Busy covers our emptiness and says I am in control.
If we stay busy, how can our lives feel meaningless, RIGHT?
Don't edge out INTENTIONAL LIVING with your striving and "busy". Life is too short to spend an entire season working hard, thinking you'll live later!! God wants us to live NOW.
(Honesty moment: I'm a work in progress and struggle with this as much as the next person!!)
If you started reading this post you either figured out that I was talking about metaphorical cigarettes or you are an actual cigarette smoker. If you are a smoker, my advice would be to stop. But this post isn't for you, so let's talk about that metaphor I'm referring to in the title.
Shorter cigarettes in the health world basically means eating less bad things. I wish I could take credit for thinking of this comparison but I heard this idea from Jonathon Bailor. He's Mr. Analogy/Metaphor when it comes to taking complicated health stuff and comparing it so the average Joe can relate. Instead of eating a cheap hot dog on a white bun you opt for the nitrate free hot dog on the whole wheat bun. Instead of the Hidden Valley ranch dressing you choose Newman's low fat something. Instead of white rice with your stir fry, you use brown. Instead of old school mayo, you use a paleo mayo you find on Pinterest.
Personally we see so many take this approach to upgrading their food in our online groups. Here's the thing, making swaps for less "bad" things will only make you sick and fat...slower. In order to truly get healthy, the food you eat needs to heal your body. I often talk about 3 categories of food:
The million dollar question is: What foods fall into the 3 category and how much of them do I need to eat? This category is mainly non-starchy veggies. A few other things that I would throw in there would be anti-inflammatory fats like olive oil and coconut oil. Also foods that are rich in Omega 3 fats like chia seeds, flax seeds, fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel that come from quality sources. I've held off mentioning fruit because a lot of times people can overdo the fruit thing. It's not unhealthy and if you eat a variety in the right amounts, it can be really good for you. Eating 5 bananas a day isn't going to help your health. Eating a banana, some blueberries and an apple will help most people. For more on my thoughts on Fruits and Veggies check out this post, "Eat Your Fruits and Veggies," Why That's Bad Advice.
Quantity... If you've followed us for any length of time you know that we aren't calorie counters. Our general rule of thumb is to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. This philosophy works incredibly well if you are eating a majority of your foods from Category 3 and some foods from Category 2 and minimal from Category 1. Basically what that would look like would be a plate that is comprised of 1/2-2/3 of things from Category 3, then the rest of your plate could be a protein source, chicken, steak or a vegetarian carb/protein source like beans or quinoa. Your veggies could be cooked in or topped with a healthy fat. It could be a salad with TONS of greens, topped with more veggies, then some nuts or seeds and some sort of protein source and a dressing made from healthy fats and vinegars or citrus.
It's really that simple, do that over and over and you will get healthier and lose weight. There isn't some magic pill or powder you need. It's whole food nutrition! It's not about eating less bad stuff, it's about eating more good stuff.
p.s. I realize that last line could be contradictory with our belief in Shakeology....please note that Shakeology IS whole food nutrition!! Shoot us an email if you want to know more about it!
I've been thinking about this saying quite a bit as of late. It comes up in conversations that we have with friends. We hear things like, "That's so great that you get to do something that you love." This isn't new to me, having been a golf professional as a previous profession. For some reason, people just thought I played golf all day. That was definitely not the the case! The same goes for our current jobs as fitness and nutrition coaches. Yeah, we love our job... but it is still work!
That brings me to this saying that floats all over social media or at least the people that I follow. It sounds great but the reality is, it's pretty much a lie!
I don't say that to be a Debbie Downer so let me explain. First off, I'm kind of a literal guy so right off the bat the statement disqualifies itself from being remotely true, unless you "literally" don't work. Secondly, I don't care how much you love your job, it's not always going to be rainbows, unicorns and butterflies. There are going to be times that suck the life out of you. I know I'm not supposed to say that, but it's the truth.
Now that I've deflated your sense of hope you had in thinking that there's a dream career path out there for you let me add the "but", because there is always a but.
Hopefully you agree that you will have to work, we all need to work. It's hard to exist in this world without financial resources. It's even harder to have an impact and serve others without resources; time, money, or talents to name a few. So there is this balance where we need to work to afford ourselves those things while still maintaining our sanity and our relationships.
For us figuring out this balance started when we did an online seminar called Smart Success that was hosted by Chalene Johnson. It was all about working smarter so that you can enjoy some other things in your life. One of the big things she talked about was establishing a list of goals in different areas of your life. She also has you establish a key priority statement which governs all of your decisions. For us that revolved around spending time with our family. We looked at every decision through the lens of, "Does this honor our key priority?"
Man, your world changes when you start thinking like that. Everything from what groceries you buy, to vacations you take, to the work you do are analyzed through that lens. You start cutting out a lot of waste and focusing on things that really help you grow in a direction that you want. You don't let every invitation or opportunity to pull you off your course and onto someone else's.
This is where both Laura and saw the potential in our Beachbody business. Through smart concentrated efforts sustained over a period of time we would be able to have more freedom. We could spend more time together as a family. We could travel more. We wouldn't have to conform to other people's schedules. Along with that we've cut out a lot of the fluff in our life and kept those things that honor our key priority. This frees up resources so that we don't have to make a lot of money and we can live simply.
We are right in a transition point in our life right now where we are leaving the corporate world behind and about to set out on our cross country RV travels. Laura just put in her resignation letter yesterday and we now get to work on OUR business and explore what we are passionate about. Yeah we will still be working from the road.
We love that we found something that we enjoy showing up to do daily. We love that we can do this from wherever. We love that it provides us the resources to live the kind of life we want. We love that that we can still give financially to people and organizations that we want to support. We love that we get to help people get healthy. We love that we get to help others build a business of their own. It's because we love all of that, that we work!
If you would like to know more about what we do as Beachbody coaches feel free to head over to our FAQ page. We are also hosting a live 1 hour event next week in a private event page setup on Facebook. Click on the button below to learn more about this event.
We have some pretty exciting plans for 2016. We've been telling some close friends and family about these plans and been getting some common questions, so we wanted to share this video with you to share our plans and the answers to those questions.
I believe this is the most important question a person can ask themselves if they are trying to get healthy or lose weight.
"Is it Working?"
I think people can get very dogmatic in their approach to nutrition and it can lead them down an unhealthy path or maybe just a frustrating one. I think this is more prevalent today with the creation of so many "diets" or "lifestyles" out there. You have the Standard American Diet which I find funny that the acronym for that is S.A.D. Then you get into Paleo, Vegan, Zone, Vegetarian, Atkins, Pescetarian, Raw Food, Mediterranean, South Beach, Ketogenic, and Alkaline to name a few. Then you have the balance of macronutrients, low fat/high carb, high fat/low carb, low protein or high protein. Yeah, is your head spinning yet???
The truth is all of these "diets" could work. The opposite is also true, all of them could be totally wrong for you as an individual. If you ever hear someone say that this way of eating or that way of eating is the best way, my advice is run the other way!
Humans and the environments that they live in vary so much that there is no one size fits all diet. There are some common themes that science is showing gives people the best chance to be healthy and lose weight. Eat more vegetables and eat fewer processed grains and sugars. After that everything else is pretty much up in the air.
This is where that question, "Is it working?", comes into play. In order to get results I think you need to ask this of your current diet and fitness regime at a minimum of every 3 months and a maximum of every 1 month.
Why that time frame?
It is possible to over manage your choices...that's why I like 1 month minimum. You need to give things a chance to take hold and your body needs to adapt to the changes you are making. The concept of 1 step backwards to take 2 steps forward totally applies. Our bodies may have some perceived negative results before the good stuff starts happening. For example, if you start weight training, you are going to be causing inflammation in your muscle tissue which leads to extra retained water and therefore added weight and size. Also going from S.A.D. to a more plant based diet may cause some digestive distress initially due to the added fiber, but that will regulate after a couple weeks most likely. Point being, give it some time!
On the other side, if you aren't asking the question at least every 3 months then you might be wasting effort and resources. Which will eventually cause a person to go crazy and throw in the towel. If your goal is to lose fat or change your body composition, this makes it super important to track your weight, measurements and take photos. Without proper tracking you won't know if what you are doing is working. Three months should be enough time to make progress on a given plan unless a person has major medical issues. If you haven't seen progress I would recommend making fairly minor changes to begin. Some things that could mean would be; eating more or less food, recalibrating the %'s of calories you get from different macronutrients, or increasing your compliance (fewer treats), or switching up the intensity/duration of your workouts. Or as simple as adding a multivitamin or fish oil supplement. You don't need to go from a straight Paleo diet to Vegan if you haven't seen the scale budge after 3 months. Start small, but make adjustments.
If you have a decent knowledge of fitness and nutrition you can probably make these small tweaks yourself. You can use an app like My Fitness Pal to track calories and macronutrient %'s. If you aren't keeping a food journal, START!!! That will help you understand if you are actually eating the foods that you think you are. In the journal you can also track how foods are making you feel and maybe identify foods that cause distress in your body and eliminate those.
If you are novice or beginner, i.e. you had to google macronutrient, then I would recommend reaching out to someone that is trained. Chances are you want results sooner rather than later. Working with somone that is trained will help you get you going in the right direction faster and be able to make more educated tweaks to your plan. Your time is valuable and your health is important, make the investment!
I'll close with this, when you are analyzing your progress, don't just focus on weight or measurements. Your exercise and diet should maximize your health and performance too. Make sure you factor in those things when figuring out if you are making progress. It's really easy to lose weight if you just stop eating...but you will lose weight really fast and your health will deteriorate. If you lead with HEALTH, the performance and body composition will usually fall into place.
So... Is your current plan/program working for you? Share in the comments your results and what has worked or what hasn't.
We heard about the launch of this program when we were down in Nashville this past summer. My first impression was, wow, what a terrible name. We are going to tell people to go get "Hammered" and then I guess chiseled too. It kind of made me laugh. It doesn't quite roll off the tongue like P90X, Insanity, or 21 Day Fix.
Watching the promo video (posted below) though I got super excited for the style of this workout. I also thought it was a great way to get more women away from the treadmills and go pick up some weights. There is so much science out there that points out the metabolism boosting and health benefits of resistance training for both men and women. Here is Laura's take on lifting weights, Ladies, Don't Skip the Heavy Weights. I
I have no idea how the idea of women getting bulky actually started. I'm guessing it either stems from cover models of the 1980's and 90's that were rail thin so any visible sign of muscle would seem "bulky" in comparison. I think that image is/was more prevalent than the hulk like woman that may or may not have been taking steroids to gain ridiculous amounts of muscle. Either way I think we can all agree that both those extremes are not healthy, and from a guy's perspective not attractive. Women, unless you have an extraordinary amount of testosterone, combined with ridiculous amounts of food, combined with super intense workouts you will not get bulky. Yes you need all three for that to happen.
To the guys now, I can't begin to tell you how awesome this program is for us. It is a perfect combination of heavy lifting and high intense plyometric style workouts to help us shed fat and get ripped. This program also comes along with portion control containers that will help you either lose, maintain or gain weight. Personally my plan is to gain weight with this program, so the containers will help me get the right amount of food from the right areas to really maximize my results. Plus I'm looking forward to getting some seriously shredded abs!
Let's talk about what this program is all about and why both Laura and I are super excited for it. First off, we love that this program combines workouts from two different trainers. We love the style of workout that both of these trainers have done previously, so if it is even close to those we know we will love it. Having two trainers will also help keep things fresh too. You won't have to listen to the same trainer for 60 days straight! So here are the details...
PROGRAM DEATILS: It is a 60 day program, done 6 days a week. Workout lengths range from 24-41 minutes.
REQUIRED EQUIPMENT: Dumbbells (3 sets preferably, light, medium, heavy), workout bench OR stability ball, chin-up bar OR resistance band with door attachment (not included in base kit).
RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: Yoga Mat or Beachbody Core Comfort Mat are helpful but not required. Medicine Ball.
There are 4 different types of kits. Here’s what is included in each one:
Base Kit: 14 workouts on 6 DVD's plus 1 additional workout when you order through a Beachbody Coach, seven color coded portion control containers, Shakeology shaker cup, Workout Calendar, Quick Start Guide, Fitness and Nutrition Guide.
Deluxe Kit: Everything from the Base Kit plus 4 additional workouts, an extra set of portion control containers, 8 lb medicine ball.
Base Kit Shakeology Challenge Pack: Everything from the Base Kit plus a 30 Day Supply of Shakeology, 30 Day Free Trial Club Membership that includes Beachbody On Demand.
Base Kit Performance Challenge Pack: Everything from the Base Kit plus two supplements from the new Beachbody Performance line, Energize and Recover, a pre and post workout supplement to maximize your workout performance and recovery. This package also gets you a 30 Day Free Trial Club Membership that includes Beachbody On Demand.
Chisel Balance: A total-body workout creating stabilization, muscular endurance, and core strength.
Iso Strength Chisel: An intense resistance workout using isometric holds and flexibility to increase strength.
Chisel Endurance: Increase muscular endurance and strength in this time-under-tension workout.
Chisel Cardio: The cardiovascular resistance routine will increase heart rate, circulation, and burn an intense amount of calories.
Chisel Agility: A challenging cardio workout that will help you move quickly, improve coordination, and create greater stabilization.
Total Body Chisel: This full-body resistance workout focuses on creating lean muscle and strength.
Hammer Plyometrics: This jump training workout will use your entire body to create force, speed, and power.
Iso Speed Hammer: A tempo training workout that uses speed and isometric holds to create strength and grow muscle.
Total Body Hammer: A hypertrophy workout focused on pyramid-style sets to maximize strength and muscle growth.
Max Hammer Strength: Start with a pre-fatigued muscle, finish with a maximum lift. Increase strength, power, and muscular development.
Hammer Power: This intense powerlifting-inspired workout will increase speed, reactive strength, and power.
Hammer Conditioning: A workout based on compound movements that will improve stability, coordination, and strength.
10 Min Ab Chisel: This core-crusher will transform your midsection, without ever getting on the floor.
10 Min Ab Hammer: Carve definition into your core while strengthening your entire ab complex.
Here are some of our coach friends that were a part of the Beachbody Test Group. This program works!
If you would like some more information about this program and whether or not it would be a good fit for you and to help you reach your goals, click on any of the images or submit your email address below. We have our own Test Group starting on December 21st too! For more information about that shoot as email, reach out on Facebook, or submit your name through any of the links on this page. Let's Get Hammered! And Chiseled!
I wrote up another blog post not long long ago about the concept of ambivalence. The idea that you can hold contradictory desires in your head at the same time. If you are overweight, I'm guessing this is the conversation in your head. It would be nice to lose some weight and fit into some old clothes but... I just don't have the time or energy to tackle something new right now. My job is busy, the kids are crazy with activities and life, and I just love french fries way too much. Plus I'm not that out shape.
You've maybe tried a diet or exercise program or gym membership but as soon as you start going with that, you look in the rearview mirror and you think how comfortable you were before, and how hard this is now. The change doesn't seem as sexy anymore and you revert back. Then things get bad enough again where changing some things seems like a good idea... and....
Am I close???
That was my thinking at the time of my before picture. I had those voices inside my head. I didn't think I was that out of shape, and to be honest, compared to some I wasn't. I thought I was doing a decent job of working out eating. I didn't wake up one morning and all of a sudden I weighed 25 lbs more than I should. NO... those pounds crept on slowly through all of those little decisions I was making or not making. I had already set the cruise control on the way to Diabetesville in the land of Obesedom.
Does any of that sound like where you are at with your health journey? Do you struggle with those same doubts and hesitations? It's ok, those are natural. Here's the awesome thing, you can change!
For me I finally said enough was enough I surrendered myself to a process to get healthier and fit. It was hard! I didn't like it! That process pushed me to get uncomfortable. It taught me to relearn a lot of things when it came to diet and exercise.
It's been a 3 year journey since that before photo! I'm proud to say I haven't put the weight back on like so many statistics say should have happened. The only thing I can give credit to for that is being held accountable for my decisions. Yeah I not only coach people how to make changes, I'm doing the work too. I'm constantly learning and growing in this journey. That's what makes it fun for me.
3 Tips to Get Control of the Voices in Your Head
With that I would love to extend a couple invitations to you if you want to start moving through these steps. First off, if you are ready to surrender your current lifestyle and habits and start rebuilding some new ones, Laura and I have an online accountability group that starts on Monday, November 30th. Being a part of one of these groups was the process that started my transformation. This will be a 5 week group on Facebook where you will get nutritional advice, daily motivation, a community that will support you, and a chance to win some prizes. Serious what do you have to lose? Why not hit the New Year running?
Secondly, if you know that you won't stay committed by just wading into this fitness and health thing. Or maybe you've done a couple groups with us but just haven't quite felt that real motivation to change. If you know it will take the pressure of people looking up to you to truly commit. Why not jump in the deep end and give this coaching thing a try? Oh and don't worry the deep end isn't that deep. We make sure to help you get started right so that you can be successful with your weight loss and your business. That's the best of both worlds right, get healthy and make some money! If you would like to know more about coaching, shoot us an email, we would love to chat.
Hey there friends and followers. I just wanted share this video message with you to let you know a little bit more about myself, my journey, and what I get to do everyday as a coach.
I sincerely appreciate you following our page and our blog. I would love to hear from you and get to know you a little bit better. What are your dreams? What is your passion? What is your purpose? I love helping people answer those questions and really dig deep down to find the answers.
Middle child. Shy. Insecure. Acne. Bean pole.
Sure...we're all awkward in our teen years but some of us have it worse than others.
I think back to my middle school/high school years and I don't really have a fondness for them. There is a lot of cruelty that happens at such a sensitive age...when all we want is to be accepted, loved and feel like we belong. Don't get me wrong, my family was incredible and I had the most amazing, loving and supportive parents...not to mention a few great friends who lifted me up and made me feel like all of those things. BUT, I can still feel the sting of rejection...the pain of hurt feelings and also cruel words.
These experiences have formed who I am today and how I relate to people and empathize. I realize you may not believe me...but having acne is a lot like being overweight in the sense you feel uncomfortable going out in public, you don't want anyone to look at you, nothing can cover it up, it can leave you scarred mentally and physically and you just do NOT feel comfortable in your own skin. Looking in mirrors is just miserable and don't even get me started on pictures. It was hard enough just looking through these old pictures and these weren't even when it was the worst!
My point to all of this...I could still be dwelling on the things that happened. The way I was treated. The things people said...and YES, it's been 18 years since I was in the middle of it (whoa..has it been that long??!)...but honestly what good would that do?? It would make ME miserable and it would have kept me stuck exactly where I was.
I want to encourage you to learn from your past and then GIVE IT UP. Give it to God. You can't do it alone.
Also stop allowing yourself to believe that your worth is wrapped up in any of it. It's not. Your worth comes from the ONE who created you. There is only one person that can free you from the hurt, the disappointments and the pain that human relationships can often cause...and His name is Jesus. He wants to do EXTRAORDINARY things in you...and through you! And the hope that he gives...oh yes...the HOPE he gives is one of the most amazing things.
"God is working in you something bigger than you, and He will carry, help, comfort, encourage, lead, lift, soothe, prod, refine, break, and build you back up to help you walk on His narrow path...if you follow Him." - Lara Casey
We wanted to respond to the video that got massive attention last week. We don't even want to link to it but if you are so inclined to watch it you can find it by typing "Dear Fat People" into a Google search. The person that created the video is a comedian so you should take everything she says with a grain of salt. That said her basic premise was if we shame "fat people" enough that they will feel so bad that they decide to change. Makes perfect sense, right??? If someone is in enough pain, they will clearly choose to do something different. The problem with her argument lies in the physiological component to being overweight. She clearly has no training in anything and she just thinks that if people eat less and exercise more, presto change-o they become skinny.
Just to be clear, we should probably just blatantly say it out front, shaming people is an absolutely horrible way of treating people and it does NOT get results.
This video also brings up the the topic that goes viral every other month or so of #loveyourself and "body positive" blogs that are out there. This is always a tricky subject to us especially since we are in the business of helping people get healthy and lose weight. This is where we want to dive in a little deeper...along with giving you a strategy to navigate your own health and weight loss. Within the "body positive" movement there is a theme of loving yourself for who you are whether you are fat or skinny. No matter your shape or size you should be ok with that and embrace who you are, #loveyourself. We totally agree with this...but what if we asked ourselves this:
"Can you love yourself for who you are, and still try to improve yourself?"
The question itself is contradictory in nature. Why do you need to change if you love who you are? This is where some people in the "body positive" movement lose us. They take that thought and solely stick to the love yourself side of it. Thinking "I'm good enough the way I am and I don't need to improve". (For a little more reading on change and being "good enough" you can check out another post of ours where we talk about that exact topic, The "Good Enough" Principle - Ambivalence!) There are some in that movement that are certainly trying to improve their body composition and health. There are also people tucked away in a shack in Mississippi that are oblivious to all of this, they are "fat" and just don't care. I safely say that because those people probably don't have the internet and will never read this!
The graphic below is really helpful in helping distinguish where you might fall in your own personal health. We know that these categories aren't perfect and you may find some overlap in your current situation. We believe that everyone should be on an active journey to improve themselves AND that you can and should love where you are at currently. In fact we think in order to move forward in your health and fitness it has to be done out of love for yourself and wanting the best for yourself. In order to do that you need to take a good assessment of where you currently are though. Ask anyone that has navigated using a map and compass, the most important thing to know is to know your current location. That means getting honest with yourself and asking some tough questions...
This graphic and our descriptions might also help you understand that not all "skinny" and "fat" people will be in the same categories. Often times skinny healthy people just assume all overweight people are lazy and uneducated. Also skinny people are often thought to be healthy solely based on their body size, which we know isn't true. We breakdown these categories a little more below to bring clarity to these stereotypes.
So before we dive into each of these descriptions you should know why we chose Aware and Willing as the category headings and what they mean. By saying aware, we mean that people that fall into this category are knowledgeable with what it takes to be healthy. The science of what it takes to be healthy is constantly changing and there is new information coming out all the time. People in this category follow that information and know what it takes to improve their health and/or lose weight. By saying willing, we refer to the people that make an effort to do what they think or know is right.
Aware & Willing
They are "aware" of what it actually takes to be healthy and are "willing" to prioritize the things it takes to improve their health. It is because of this that this section of people are generally in good physical shape and generally healthy. This group doesn't have to be physically fit, but more importantly actively working towards improving their current situation. They actively seek out the latest in health trends and science to see what works best for them. They have made a commitment to their health and may even work in the industry.
Aware & Unwilling
This group is "aware" of what they need to do to improve their current health situation but have yet to make it a priority in their daily habits. There is a sense of ambivalence. They know why they should change and the benefits. They even know what they need to do in order to create a change. However they have a pull to keep things as they are. Change is hard. They may not have the support system in place that will support them if they start making changes. They may have a stubborn husband that enjoys his pizza and pasta, or coworkers that frequently go out for happy hour. They may feel they will be outcast by these people if they start making different decisions.
This group will likely not make a change until their health begins to affect something that they currently find a bigger priority. An example would be a mother with a toddler or young children that values time with her family above all else. Her kids are constantly wearing her out with all of their activities to the point where she can't keep up anymore. That may be the breaking point for her where she decides she needs to get in better shape.
Unaware & Willing
This group makes up the biggest group of people from my experience. They all want to be healthy and even go to the effort of eating what they think is healthy food and working out in a way they think will improve their health but may or may not be seeing results. This group reminds us of the saying, "Work smarter, not harder!" This group hasn't quite figured that out yet.
Common things we hear from people that would fall into this category are;
This group of people, as stated in the chart, will likely cook a lot of homemade meals..but those meals will likely be comprised of packaged goods and will be heavy on the starches and unhealthy fats and low in protein. If we could sum this group up in one thought it would be...
We eat "healthy" cereal for breakfast group.
How do people move out of this group? It mainly comes through education from credible and current sources to formulate a plan that's going to work for them. The key there is individualized plan because what works for one doesn't work for all. One of the most common things we see here is with running. Often times runners are inherently skinny. We can say that because we both were former runners and both were skinny prior to starting our running careers. People from this group see skinny runners and think that running must have made them skinny, therefore they should run to get skinny. This would be like saying playing basketball makes you tall. Yes, running will work for some but it isn't the best way to lose weight in a healthy way for a majority of people.
If you fall into this group and are curious about some resources that we have used to learn more about nutrition and exercise, we would love to share some of those with you. Just comment below or send us an email.
Unaware & Unwilling
This group unfortunately makes up a decent percentage of our population. People in this group tend to have never done any research into health or nutrition other than what a doctor or the media may have told them. They may know that certain things like sugar and fast food are bad for them but fail to connect what they are eating to how they FEEL and their overall health. They may know exercise is important but their knowledge of what to do might be rooted in what they did in junior high gym class 30 years ago. The fate of people in this group usually tends to be more grim than positive. These people will likely battle chronic disease throughout their lifetime and will likely struggle with being overweight.
Thankfully people in this group can reverse the course they are on. It usually takes a friend or family member to intervene. Unfortunately it might take a health issue to force people to change.
If you know someone in this group, reach out to them let them know you care and love them for who they are right now as they are!
Where Are You Right Now?
The reason we wanted to write this post was because we want to share a BETTER strategy for losing weight than shaming someone. With that, we also want to put the focus on HEALTH because skinny doesn't mean healthy and carrying a little extra weight doesn't mean unhealthy. We do believe that we should all love, yet acknowledge where we are with our health, and actively be trying to improve upon it.
This world is going to bombard us with toxic things that harm our body and deteriorate our health. We will also face toxic things mentally that will try to break our will, lessen our belief in ourselves, and crush our dreams. That is why we need to constantly be working to improve our current situation because we just don't know what might try to trip us up next.
If this post inspired you to make a change we would love to hear from you. If you need someone to just talk with about your current situation we are here for you!!
Here's the quick version of my Body Beast review: I have fallen in love with heavy lifting because it's transformed my body. Plain and simple.
Ladies, do NOT be afraid to lift heavy weights. Those 2 and 5 lb weights won't really get you the body you want.
Stop letting your fear of "bulking" stop you from trying out this amazing program or even just lifting in general!! There is something to be said about this program though: there's no guesswork. That was the problem for me at the gym. I didn't want to pay for a personal trainer because I was cheap and I kind of knew the basics of lifting but I really didn't know what to do and in what combination to get the best results. Before this program, I had no idea what a super set or a giant set was and I had actually never done some of the lifts before.
Even though I knew this program would be good, I was still hesitant to start it. Fear of the unknown I guess! This program is heavy lifting 5 days a week, cardio 1 day a week and 1 rest day. I was hesitant to only do 1 day of cardio even though I KNEW in my head cardio is not the key to fat loss...I still knew I would miss being drenched in sweat and completely out of breath...but I followed the plan and I'm SO glad I did.
There are two different approaches you can take, you can follow the Lean Beast calendar or the Huge Beast calendar. I followed the Lean Beast calendar because huge beast just doesn't sound ladylike. Haha! There are 3 phases that you go through with either calendar; Build, Bulk, and Beast Phases. You will start "building" a base of strength in the first phase and these workouts are the longest (38-50 min). Followed by the "bulking" phase where you change up your lifts a bit. I liked this phase because the workouts weren't as long (29-40 min). If you follow the meal plan that comes with the program you would eat more calories in this section to bulk up, but I decided to just stick with my 2000 -2400 calories a day and not follow their meal plan. I still focused on getting lots of protein, veggies, fruit, fats and healthy carbs though. The goal here is you will add muscle but you will also add some fat. Then in the final phase, you trim the fat and keep the muscle by doing one more day of cardio each week and mixing up the Build and Bulk workouts a little bit.
One minor downside: it requires more equipment than some of our other programs. By the end of the program I was using all of our dumbbells (8 lbs up to 35 lbs), a barbell, and a stability ball (a bench works as well but we didn't have one). Although, you can actually stream this workout from a phone or tablet and do it at the gym and use all of their equipment if you're not interested in buying equipment. Becoming a Team Beachbody Club Member allows you to stream this workout and 33 other workouts as well...it's amazing!
Ok so now for my results:
I actually didn't lose any weight or inches. Yep. I was kinda disappointed at first BUT then I decided to actually look at my pictures and think more about how I FEEL now. Plus, I'm still breastfeeding Eli and I know that is causing my body to hang onto a little extra fat which I'm MORE THAN ok with because getting him nutrients (even though he did just turn 1) is still really important to me!!
I feel so much stronger after 90 days of Body Beast. I'm able to do a lot of moves in other workouts that I struggled with before (crow in p90x3 yoga, elevator pushups in p90x3 The Warrior, all the pushups/plank walks in T25 Total Body Circuit). My legs, back and shoulders are definitely stronger and more defined and I love that!! I was afraid that because there wasn't much cardio, I would lose a lot of my endurance but I actually haven't. I'm still able to do as much as I could before.
All in all, I hope you'll consider adding some heavy weight training to your routine. It definitely takes time to build up the strength, so don't start out curling 30 lb dumbbells or squatting a ton of weight :) There are SO many benefits though...and they last a lifetime!!
So this is a topic that comes up a ton for us in our Challenge Groups and some of our coach's challenge groups so I wanted to just put together a video on the subject of Calorie Deficit Diets.
There is so much bad information out there about how to lose weight. Unfortunately the magazines and talking heads out there preach an unhealthy way of losing weight, cut calories, whether that be through appetite suppression pills or powders or just by telling people to be hungry all the time.
So this is my effort to raise the volume on the other side and I would argue the healthy way to burn fat. I probably don't have to argue that point since there is science to back me up.
If this message resonates with you please share it so that your friends might hear it and understand that there is a better and healthier way to lose weight.
We can't change everyone's mindset on this but hopefully we can at least start building some curiosity in a few people's minds.
July 16th - 19th we packed our bags, left Eli with my parent's and headed to Nashville, TN to spend 4 whole days with our Beachbody family...to say we were excited was a bit of an understatement!
This event is something we look forward to every single year for quite a few different reasons:
I won't bore you with all the details of what we did since I have pictures of most of it...but to summarize: there were workouts with Shaun T and Autumn Calabrese, listening to Simon Sinek speak and also DeWitt Jones who is a photographer for National Geographic, delicious food, amazing trainings, knowledge, insight and inspiration shared and LOTS of walking!
"Every One Matters" was the theme for this year...and that couldn't be more true. We're in this business to help people live HEALTHY and FULFILLING lives. Your health really is one of the cornerstones of your life and it impacts every area of your life. If your health is suffering, everything else seems to go downhill as well, right?? So our goal is to get people to focus on health...and how it's a lifestyle and not a diet or a short term fix. It can't be if you want to live life to it's fullest!!
We are already looking forward to next year...and can't wait to have so many more people from our team there!!
***It actually hasn't been scientifically proven, but I'd say it's the truth after reading this.
This is our good friend, Scott.
We've never actually met Scott...but I (Laura) met his wife Amber on Instagram about 2 years ago. She was looking for a way to lose some weight and was interested in trying one of the Beachbody workouts so we chatted and picked one that worked best for her and her goals at the time. She got hooked on this whole "healthy lifestyle" thing :) and the rest is history...she's now one of the top coaches on my team, ready to move mountains and help so many people change their own lives after changing hers!
She shared her husband's story on her page last night and I knew I had to share it with you guys too. I LOOVE this stuff. I live for it. I get goosebumps. Getting to watch people change their life (even if from afar) is one of the best things ever.
Here is Scott's journey...in his own words:
**How did you feel about yourself & your body before starting the program?**
I've always been a fairly confident person, but I suppose that is based more on what's inside my head. I think I had disconnected somewhat from an honest assessment of my physical self. My weight was distributed all over my body, so I initially didn't notice that I was getting so chubby. It wasn't until a professor referred to me as "husky" that I took note. Shortly after that, I stepped on a friend's scale in their bathroom and was 255 pounds! I was sluggish and wore out easily. Once I accepted that I was, indeed, overweight, I went through a period of personal disgust, tummy grabbing, and dealing with thigh-chafing hikes before finally deciding to tackle it.
**What inspired you to change your life & begin exercising?**
In truth, I was not inspired to change. My wife's commitment to her health and her dedication to her Beachbody business and general fitness and nutrition was admirable. SHE inspired me... but it didn't make me want to do the videos. I was drinking the Shakeology and feeling pretty good from that. I kept telling myself that I would get back to exercising once I finished my dissertation. But the truth is, there will always be a "dissertation". We all have a dissertation (kids, family, friends, work, chores, any combination thereof) which prevents us from doing things for which we know we should be making time. There is never enough time for everything. But one's health and fitness should be a priority in life or you're just shortening the time (and quality thereof) you have on the back end. So... I was not inspired. I was coerced. I was on vacation with my wife and we had a lot of space in our rental cabin and I had virtually no excuse not to do the videos with her. So... after a beautiful hike in the Smoky Mountains during which my thighs really got to know each other intimately, leaving me a chafed-up mess, I decided, "Oh, the hell with it!"
**What did you like about the program you chose?**
T25 was only 25 minutes (to be honest, it's generally 27.5 to 28.5 minutes with warm-up, but T28.5 isn't a commercially appealing title). But hearkening back to the time issue... that's the number-one reason people don't exercise: not enough time. The truth is, we all have time to squeeze in some exercise. The truth is, most people don't like to sweat and pant. It hurts. It's hard. Especially at first. I was one of those people. I am NOT athletic in the slightest. Never have been. I don't even like watching sports. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy physical activity. I'd just gotten out of the habit. When you get out of the habit, starting any exercise program just sounds so overwhelming. Just as energy creates more energy, lethargy spirals into more and more profound lethargy. I had learned this time and again throughout my life as I would start exercising in earnest, feel the energy spike, and then abandon it as I ALLOWED life to take over and I ALLOWED my focus to scatter. So what was different this time? I suppose I could attribute my success to these things:
a.) The ease of fitting T25 into my day, whether early in the morning or late at night... It was always less than 30 minutes... even if I had to do it after midnight, which often I did, I made myself do it. It hurt at first, but like everything, it gets better.
b.) The structure of the program. Rather than hitting the gym and trying to piece together my own thing, I was able to follow a calendar and check off boxes.
c.) Shaun T is charming, encouraging and doesn't annoy me.
d.) I had to catch up to my wife's level of fitness so people wouldn't assume she had a weakness for funny flabby guys.
**Describe your results that you achieved:**
I have lost 75 pounds since beginning T25 in August 2014. I went through Alpha, Beta, and Gamma twice. Now I am doing the 21-Day Fix and will move up to Extreme after a second round of that. After that, I will meet Tony Horton in his natural habitat (not that strange commercial where he flirts with the grocery-shopper). I have lost weight all over my body and it is certainly noticeable. I have muscle definition in places where I never had before. My thighs are no longer rubbing buddies. My legs are actually extremely strong. I have toned arms and visible abdominal muscles. I am not ashamed to go shirtless at the pool or lake. I have so much energy between the exercise regimen and the Shakeology that it's insane. I've always had enormous mental energy reserves which sometimes manifested in short bursts of physical energy, but now I am driven, focused, and can manage my frequently 18-hour days without problem. Plus... I look in the mirror and I think that I look good. I guess I never realized how important that it before, or perhaps I was in denial. It's good to feel handsome. It's nice to know that I am in great shape. The mental results are just as good as the physical ones. My confidence has spiked all over.
**How has your life changed since completing the program?**
Well... I've already said a lot... What else can I say? There are obvious improvements to life which come from physical fitness. Everything is better because I have more zest, more stamina, and more desire to DO. I have more confidence which improves my relationships with everybody. My marriage has always been a good one, but the spike in our mutual health and confidence has made it that much better.
Something I can talk about is what it has done for me professionally. I am an actor, writer, and professor of theatre. For years, I held myself back as an actor because of a vanity in which I was in denial about. I made all sorts of excuses but I really just didn't want to be the fat actor. Now that I'm in great shape, I am getting all sorts of offers. People are noticing. I have the confidence now to pursue roles more aggressively. And one thing I've never done is audition for commercials. I have to get new head shots (because I look completely different than in my old ones) but I plan to start pursuing commercial work (where all the money is) because the mental impediments are gone.
And just recently, I performed in an incredibly visceral, physically-demanding production of Eugene O'Neill's "HAIRY APE" at the KC Fringe Festival. I would have never made it through that show alive one year ago but now I'm not only making it through, I'm thriving and getting great reviews. The KC Star critic wrote: "a visceral, non-realistic production anchored by Scott Cox in an extraordinary performance as Yank. Cox’s intense, physical presence is riveting, and it never wavers during a show that moves with the momentum of an avalanche."
Nobody would have said that a year ago. I couldn't have done that a year ago. Now I plan to keep doing it. I'm two years shy of 40, in the best shape of my life, and just now starting to achieve the things I've dreamed of professionally.
Success can be defined a lot of different ways. In sports it is winning a championship. In work, it is landing that big deal or getting your dream job. In fitness, it is reaching your "goal weight". No matter what area of life you want to look at, being successful takes a lot of work.
I know about this firsthand as a golfer, I was pretty good... I don't say that to brag, it was true and to a lesser degree, still is true. Let me take you back to my childhood. I grew up at a golf course, not literally but pretty dang close. As soon as the course opened each spring I was out there playing and practicing everyday, this probably started around age 9 or 10. I would ride my bike out to the course at 6:30 in the morning and spend the entire day out there. Golf was my life! Once I started playing competitively I set a goal of being a State Champion. I was in 7th grade when I set this goal, so that gave me 6 years to prepare before I would have my last chance to accomplish it. I did everything to accomplish that goal, played 100+ rounds of golf every summer, practiced for hours on end at the driving range. In the winter time I chipped and putted indoors in our basement and when I could, I would travel 2 hours to a golf dome to hit golf balls.
So here is where success became a problem for me. My focus was on one tournament, one achievement. Yeah I had dreamed about playing professionally, but my effort was focused on that one tournament. I never had a game plan if I won. That success was the end point for me. I transitioned to college golf where I had some success but nothing like I had previously. From there I was a local club professional and played against other local professionals and had some success there too. I think I felt like things would come easy to me, that if I accomplished that one thing it would be like dominoes falling over from that point. That winning a state title would naturally lead to success as a collegiate golfer and success there would lead to success as a professional golfer.
Here is the secret that I've learned 15 years later: success isn't like dominoes. One accomplishment doesn't mean you are guaranteed your next victory. This isn't just about sports, I look at this now in my fitness journey, my job, my relationships, my spirituality. I've had some success in these areas but I don't look at success as a destination anymore, it is a journey. Everyday I need to remind myself to keep pushing forward, to knock that next domino over. For me this means reassessing my goals on a regular basis, so that I always have something to work towards. It also means that I need to work on myself through personal development. The person that I am today can only accomplish the skills that I know today. If I want to accomplish new things than I have to grow and learn new things.
If you want to be successful in some area of your life I would encourage you to think the same way. Set goals regularly, that way you have a game plan as to what is next. Don't get caught living for one moment or one accomplishment.
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.