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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts


Posted: October 11, 2008

This week 45 people weighed in—down from the 52 that started. Unfortunately, that’s normal. So, I thought it was time for some straight talk.

After everyone had finished with their first assignment, walk/run a mile and had gathered in the room, I pointed to a large stack of papers on the center table. “Can anyone tell me what those are,” I asked.

There were several guesses about the foot-tall stack, and then someone guessed that they were files of people who had quit. “That’s right,” I said. There were probably 300 membership files sitting there.

So we talked about some of the reasons people had started and stopped over the past few years. Some people had moved away. At least two had passed away.

I told them about Buddy, who used to come in with his oxygen tank. He worked out almost everyday. Even though he was fighting a losing battle, he wanted to do what he could—and did almost to the end.

They learned about my friend Bob, who was dragged in kicking and screaming by his wife. His first words were “I don’t want to be here and I’m not going to do anything!”

I remember saying, “That’s O.K. Just sit here on one of the bikes and watch TV. If you feel like pedaling a little bit, go ahead.” Before long, Bob was riding the bike 30 minutes, and finally, he worked up to coming in twice a day.

Others have left to join the Y. That’s O.K. too. A third of the Biggest Losers this time work out at the Y. The important thing is that they’re doing something.

Some had purchased equipment to use at home, and that’s fine, too—if they’re using it. Unfortunately, most home gym equipment goes unused, and sooner or later gets moved out to the garage, sold in the paper, or even given away.

The real shame is that every one of those people had a goal—a reason for starting. Most of them had reasons for stopping, too. But most of them didn’t get what they wanted.

The hardest thing is starting. Once you’ve done that, the hardest thing is continuing with an exercise program, a healthy diet, or anything else you’re trying to change.

We are creatures of habit, and old habits are hard to break. Experts say it takes 21 days to make something new a habit. We’re 14 days into this thing, and have already lost 7 people.

If experience holds true, before it’s over, we’ll lose close to half of the group for some reason or other. So I asked them, “Which half are you going to be in? The half that quits, or the half that sticks it out and gets what they want?”

You see, life is going to intrude. There will be emergencies, inconveniences, scheduling conflicts, kids getting sick, high gas prices, working late, vacations, and so on. But do you let those things keep you from getting what you want, or do you impose your will on things?

You decide what you’re going to do. I’m so proud of one of our Losers. He’s been a busy executive for years and just never thought he had time to do it, even though he knew he needed to.

He’s hitting it on his lunch hour. I told him to let people know that’s where they can find him if they need him—and not to bring in his phone, either! If it’s that important, they can come get him. And you know what? Things are fine that hour without him. He’s getting it done.

I’ve got one gal who’s getting up at 3:30 AM to get in her early mile. I’ll say. That’s an early mile. You won’t see me in here at that time. But, she works in Indiana, and wanted to get it done. Once she gets to her goal, it’s likely that she’ll back off a little bit and just hit it after work, but for awhile, more power to her.

I finally met the woman I’ve seen running while pushing a double baby carriage, two dogs on leashes running along on each side—and a little one riding a bicycle in front. Now that’s multi-tasking!

She took everyone’s excuses away just by running by. We’ve got her husband involved now. You know he’s going to get plenty of encouragement at home.

Once you’ve started, you’ve got to make the commitment to stay with it, and not let down your guard. Change doesn’t come easy, and the old you will rear up and try to shut things down.

Don’t let it. Stay focused. Have the big picture in mind—you getting smaller. Anything worthwhile never comes easily. There’s always a price to pay, but it’s worth it.

Looking good and feeling good is there for everyone, if you’ll just stay with the program. It doesn’t take nearly as long to take it off as it did to put the weight on.

Still, that’s not fast enough for some people, especially when they see others putting up those big weight-loss numbers on TV, or even here each week. I’ve got to keep reminding them that losing one pound a week is good, two pounds a week is great, and three or more pounds is fantastic.

Even a pound a week will turn into 50 pounds in a year. Most people can double that, if they do everything right. That’s 100 pounds. For most people, they’ll have hit their ideal weight before then.

That brings us to our Biggest Loser this week, Erika Hollis. It’s rare for a woman to put up the higher numbers, because the guys usually have more to lose, and more muscle to help them lose it with. Women also have a different hormone mix that makes it more difficult.

Erika lost an astounding 3.0% of her body weight, for a total of 5.8 pounds. Her two week total is 11.6 pounds lost, putting her in 3rd place for overall weight loss.

She won a $20 Walmart gift card from our sponsor, Terry Elston & State Farm Insurance. Terry is the high school boy’s basketball coach, and is all about helping people achieve their goals!

Second place went to John Rigdon, who lost 2.2% of his body weight and 4.4 pounds. Third place was a tie between two other women woman, Jennifer Bowers and Stacey Reed. Jennifer lost 2.0% of her body weight and 3.9 pounds, and Stacey also lost 2.0% of her body weight, which worked out to 3.4 pounds.

Next week, I’ll give you the skinny on why they’re getting the results they’re getting, and how to put together the perfect meal to keep you eating right, all the time. Right now, it’s time to get to the gym!