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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts


Posted: September 06, 2008

It’s that time of year again. The leaves will be turning soon. A cooler breeze is in the air. And on TV, a week from Tuesday, we’ll be seeing Biggest Loser “Families.”

It’s that time of year here at home too. After a break for the summer, we’re ready to get back in the saddle with our local version of The Biggest Loser. Last year was pretty cool as we had the opportunity to work with local people, just like you and me, in Biggest Loser “2”, “3”, and “4.”

The programs kept growing, with more than 150 people participating, 68 of which started Biggest Loser “4.” About 60%, or more than half, finished each contest.

It seemed like each group inspired the next one, because the results kept getting better and better. Steve Johnson, Jr. had owned the previous record from 2006 in Biggest Loser “1” with a weight loss of 44 lbs.

He won Biggest Loser “2” last fall with a very respectable 38.8 lbs. Then in Biggest Loser “3” things exploded. Chris Redmon set a new record, losing 56.5 lbs in 12 weeks, but still came in third place!

Since the winners are determined by total percentage of weight loss, Bill Lewis took 2nd place with a 52.5 lbs, and Joe Stidham stole 1st place, losing 49.5 lbs, both with a higher percentage of weight loss.

Then in Biggest Loser “4” last Spring, Josh Rigdon raised the bar by losing an amazing 57.6 lbs, followed by Bill Lewis losing another 40.6 lbs. By then, Steve and Joe had reached their long term goals, joining the 100 lb club, and Bill and Chris were not far behind.

The women were pretty impressive too, even with a couple of disadvantages going into it. Guys have more testosterone, enabling them to push harder, building more muscle, in turn burning more calories. The hormone structure in women is different, making it quite a bit harder.

Still, Cheryl Redmon lost 36.4 lbs back in Biggest Loser “3” and in Biggest Loser “2”, Shirley Fiscus lost 30.4 lbs. Many other women lost between 20-30 lbs, and several participated in several sessions, losing over 40 lbs total.

I’ve still got quite a few gals working out, that are asking me when the next contest starts. They’ve learned that they need that extra push and accountability to help them get to that next level—primarily on the food side of things.

They’ve got the workouts covered—trust me—I’m hammering them. It’s the daily keeping track of food, and the weekly weigh-ins that make the difference. And sometimes, people slack a little bit on the workout side.

Remember, in the contest, people are expected to workout twice a day. It can be as simple as walking a mile in the morning (20 minutes), with the “real” workouts coming at lunch or in the afternoons or evenings.

The early workouts are designed to get your body burning calories early, so you can really get after it later. It’s O.K. with me if they don’t do it but it’s proven that people lose more weight when they do this, than when they don’t.

For those people that want to lose as much weight as they can, as fast as they can, that other workout really matters. In the end, you have to do what you can do.

Like I keep telling them, the weight loss numbers they put up on the TV show aren’t normal—those people live apart on a ranch, don’t work (except for exercise), and don’t have to take care of their kids.

Even our “winners” numbers aren’t normal. They are exceptional people that have pushed themselves beyond what most people will do, and beyond what even they can sustain for more than 12 weeks.

At some point, everyone has to back off, and fall into a more reasonable routine. The trick is to make the routine still meaningful and productive.

Unfortunately, I see people slipping into mediocrity in their workouts all too often. Instead of continuing to try to find ways to progress, or push themselves, they start getting comfortable.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you can already do it, your body has no reason to change! You can walk several miles a day and not lose weight. Sure, there are health benefits, but weight loss takes more than that.

You have to burn more calories, and your body will get very good at doing the least amount of work for the least amount of effort. That’s why you need to continue to shake things up.

In the end, if you can sustain a 1-2 lb a week weight loss, you’ll get what you want. Even if you need to lose 100 lbs, you can do it comfortably in a year.

Another way of looking at it is “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.” I’m not sure where I got that one, but it’s true. If you’re not happy with things, you’ve got to change some things.

That brings me squarely back to the topic of this article: “Biggest Loser “5.” We’re starting two weeks from Friday on September 19th. If you’ve been thinking about it, this is your chance.

You don’t have to settle for second best in your diet, in your exercise, or in your life. I’m living proof that you can be in the best shape of your life now (I’m 46). All you have to do is make a decision that this is your time for you.

Time is going to pass, whatever you do. A year will go by. Where will you be? What will you be? Will you be what you want to be? You can be.

It will be $50 to participate in the 12 week contest and you won’t have to be a member at my gym—you can workout anywhere you want. The prize will be $500, plus whatever we can drum up from a generous sponsor (anyone?). We’ll meet each Friday night from 6:30-7:30 for a weekly weigh-in and a progressively harder workout.

We’ll be talking about proper nutrition, and perhaps most important, holding you accountable. I won’t be putting your weights in the paper—only your weight loss, which could be substantial. Come on. Let’s do this together!