Last week I met up with my friend Greg for lunch. Back in high school (before I knew Greg) he weighed 80 lbs more than he does today. When I asked him how he did it Greg told me that he woke up one morning and couldn't stand to be inside a body that didn't reflect his inner zest for life, he was uncomfortable in his own skin and knew he needed to change that so he got down to business. Greg knew that the most effective way to burn calories was running – he had always hated it but knew that it would ultimately get him the results he was after.
His plan: Greg lived out in the country, the block around his house was about one mile long so he pledged to wake up early before school and try to run as far as he could around that mile. Greg could barely make it walking the first day but he stayed dedicated to his plan. He did that same loop again and again for 365 days until he was running 5-6 laps around his house. As for his diet, he simply cut out the junk – stopped sabotaging himself with food and started eating three square meals a day. Period. Greg lost 80 lbs in under a year without a trainer, coach or nutritionist – just through sheer will power and dedication to his plan.
Greg has now kept the weight off for more than eight years. He no longer needs to run five miles everyday – just 2-3 times per week with a few kettlebell sessions added in. He now lives a life of balance, healthy eating with 4-6 workouts per week like it's totally been a norm for him all along. Ask him to show you his old driver's license and you won't recognize him!
I love Greg's story because it shows an individual taking accountability for their journey to success. He turned his intention into action and took accountability for his weight problem.
As a trainer I get a LOT of questions about shortcuts to losing weight. For example, last week alone I received over 20 e-mails asking my advice on weightily issues here are a few of the samples: – "I hate cardio, is there something else I can do? I really don't like sweating … I've always been big am I destined to stay this way?" Here's the bottom line: no! The only shortcut I know of is staying consistent, not beating yourself up over a pound or two gained and remaining focused on your goal. Run your bum off with intervals, incorporate some form strength training at least twice per week and eat a clean diet with controlled portions.
No person was born destined to be obese – sure, some of us are bigger boned and naturally more heavy set but nobody was born to be uncomfortable in their own body. The only person who can take control and drive consistent change is you! As a trainer (or any other type of health practitioner) we can only be there to influence and inspire change but it's up to you to run with it! Like Greg did. Now it's your turn! Own it.