BIG THINGS COME A LITTLE AT A TIME

Last week we finished Biggest Loser “5” but the thing I didn’t tell you was the average weight loss for all the participants. Of course the top three had crazy weight loss. Weston lost 57.2 lbs, Erika lost 37.0 lbs, and Logan lost 43.7 lbs.

While we continue to see people losing this much, it’s really the exception rather than the rule. Just like in life, there are always a few people that take it to a different level.

Don’t get me wrong, the others were working pretty hard, too. Just not at their level. First of all, Weston, Erika and Logan were pretty young, and in pretty good shape, so they could push themselves harder. I was told that Weston even did three workouts a day a couple of times.

Once you start feeling better, you can start doing more. Then your workouts can be more intense and you can burn more calories, losing more weight. Now everything gets a little easier, letting you push even harder, burning even more calories and losing even more weight.

I call it the “cycle of success.” Your body starts working for you instead of against you. At first, some people can’t do much. So you won’t lose much weight but you will start feeling better and getting stronger. Then your weight loss can increase.

Another factor is the effect certain medicines have on the body. Medicines for high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, depression, or conditions requiring steroids often have an adverse effect on metabolism—causing weight gain and making it much harder to lose weight.

Even so, it’s still possible to get the job done. It just might be harder for you than for others. When the tough times come, motivation counts for a lot. You’ve got to really want to do this.

In fact, it’s got to be more than that. It’s got to be a “have-to” if you’re really going to be successful. Like a salmon swimming up stream, you don’t have any choice in the matter. You’ve just “got” to do it.

If you have that kind of drive, you’ll be able to push yourself more. You’ll also stick when it counts. The person that sticks will always do more than the one who starts and stops all the time.

It’s tough losing weight. A pound of fat is 3,500 calories. You have to work really hard to burn that off so some people feel like it’s just too much work so they quit trying. What a shame, because almost everyone can burn 3,500 calories in a week—a little at a time.

There was a pair of ladies in their 50’s that made tremendous gains during the program. They even ended up jogging for a couple minutes at a time. They also participated in some really tough workouts there at the end.

Both will tell you that they never dreamed that they could work that hard. But each week they got a little stronger, lost a little more weight, and could do a little bit more. By the end, they were running short distances on the treadmill. They’ve also signed up for the next Biggest Loser. I think they have this thing figured out.

Two other gals told me that jogging was hurting their knees too much, but there at the end, they figured out that they could do the elliptical without pain. In those last two weeks, their weight loss really jumped up.

Another had serious back trouble for years and had to limit the exercises she did. Her strategy was doing more of the things she could do. It worked for her.

After you’ve made the decision to start, and made the daily decision to stick with it, there’s still one more thing. You have to have a realistic goal.

A poll of the 21 participants at the end showed that most wanted to lose 20 lbs, and a few wanted to lose 25 or more. In Biggest Loser “6” we’ll ask everyone up front what their goal is.

Something I keep saying, and just like getting women to hit their “minimum” calories, it’s hard to get people to believe me. Losing a pound a week is good. Two pounds a week is great, and three or more is fantastic.

That means that a 12 week program should net you 12 pounds, if everything goes right. 24 pounds in 12 weeks would be great. Anything more than that would be fantastic. We had 3 people in the “fantastic” category.

The total average weight loss for the 21 was 18 ¼ lbs. If you throw out the top three results, the average for the other 18 people that made the final weigh-in was 13.6 lbs.

This means the average was pretty good. For some people, the weight loss was better than good—it was almost great. For those three, it was outstanding. Keep in mind that all of them wanted to lose more.

In the end, it comes down to realizing you have a problem and then deciding to do something about it. Then you have to get started, set a realistic short-term goal, and work toward that goal.

You have to be dedicated, persistent, and pick your way through the minefields that appear along the way—and they will. At the end of that time period, evaluate how things went.

Then set a new short-term goal designed to get you to the bigger, long-term goal. There’s not a single person I’ve ever met that couldn’t get where they wanted, if they were willing to do what it took for just one year.

Think of it. A year of hard work, but you’re feeling better each day. You’re losing more weight each month, and looking better too. Six months have gone by and now you’re feeling great. You’ve got a spring in your step, and you’re well on your way.

After nine months, people don’t recognize you. They tell you that you look sick, because of all the weight you’ve lost (that’s pretty ironic). Your jogging—maybe even running a 5K. You’re lifting more weight, and have muscles showing up all over.

Your metabolism is humming along, making you a fat burner even standing still. You’ve had to buy new clothes—several times. After a year, you’ve completely transformed yourself. You’re a new, healthy person physically and mentally, too. It’s completely doable.

Biggest Loser “6” starts Friday, January 2nd. We’ve already got 10 people signed up, and you have to be registered before the end of the year—we’ll be too busy that night to mess with that.

It costs $50 to participate and you don’t have to be a member at my gym, although you should be a member somewhere, because you’re going to be working out all the time, right?

2008 has come and gone, and 2009 will go quickly too. A year will pass whatever you do. So what will you accomplish this next year? You can accomplish big things too—a little at a time. Let’s do this together.

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