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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts


Posted: May 22, 2009

Did you see the Biggest Loser finale on TV last week? Aren’t you just amazed at the transformations of all the participants? Not just the winner, or finalists, but all of them. In just five short months, they lost an amazing amount of weight.

Mike, the 18 year old in the finals lost over 200 lbs—and still didn’t win. The two gals beat him with a higher percentage of weight loss. It was just amazing. But at 18 years old, he’s now got a completely different future ahead of him.

And so does Helen the 48 year old winner. To lose 150 lbs must just feel amazing for her. The runner-up, Tara, was a former plus-size model. She won 13 out of the 18 challenges, including a half-marathon and full marathon. The confidence they’ve gained will last them the rest of their lives.

I’m not sure I can even comprehend how that must feel, to drop 150 or 200 lbs. I do know what it feels like to drop 30 lbs. That feels amazing, especially when since I replaced it with 20 pounds of muscle. Imagine how they must feel.

If you want a new lease on life, try getting in shape. Lose that fat you’re carrying around and build some new muscle. It doesn’t mean you won’t have other problems, but you’ll feel better while facing them. You’ll have strength, stamina, and a spring in your step when you head out the door. Feeling better about yourself often produces other dividends, too.

You don’t have to hit it as hard as they did on the show—they worked out 6-8 hours a day. It was their main focus in life for five months. You don’t even have to hit it as hard as our Biggest Losers. Many of them work out twice a day on most days, and the others try to hit it hard at least once every day.

You could start out by making a decision to just start moving every day for at least 20 minutes. Most everyone can walk a mile in 20 minutes. If you just did that, and watched what you ate, you could change your life.

Adding a simple weight lifting routine would make things even better. It takes just 20-30 minutes, three days a week, and will improve your strength, stamina, and muscle tone. It’ll also make you a more efficient fat burner as you gain muscle, and it looks pretty good too.

So instead of a 5 month program to lose the weight, say it takes you 10 months. Or instead of a three month program, it might take you six months. So what if it takes a year, or even 18 months. How long did it take to put the weight on? The time is going to pass, no matter what you do, and each day is going to be better, so just last it out and you’ll get what you want.

If you want to do it quicker, that’s O.K., too. After 6 weeks, our leader is averaging 5.0 lbs a week. Second place was averaging right around 4.0 lbs a week. A couple people averaged 3.0 lbs a week, and several more are averaging 2.0 lbs a week. Most everyone else is losing about a pound a week, and that’s fine.

Personally, I think that when you lose too much too fast, sometimes you’re left with saggy skin, and we saw that on this year’s show with several of the finalists. Skin is elastic and will shrink somewhat as you lose the fat, but building muscle is the real key to filling up that space where the fat used to be.

If you’ve been working at it for awhile, and you’re not losing as fast as you’d like, here are some questions. First, how do you feel? Do you feel better than you used to? Great, so quit complaining and keep going.

Next, how do your clothes fit? People will lose inches, but it hasn’t showed up on the scale yet. But they’re thinner around the waist. You’re thinner, so quit complaining and keep going.

Third, what is your body fat doing? If your weight is staying the same, but your body fat percentage is going down, that means you’re losing fat and building muscle. That’s fine because muscle will help you do more, and burn even more fat in the end. Quit complaining and keep going.

Finally, what does the scale say? If you’re gaining weight, then “Houston, we have a problem.” You’ve got to be looking at how much you’re eating. Put the fork down and step away from the table. If you’re losing weight, then don’t worry if it’s not “enough.” It’s something, so quit complaining and keep going.

In every case, one action is the same. Did you catch that? You are in control of this bus. You’re in the driver’s seat. So get started, quit complaining, and keep going. If you’ll do that, then you’ll be well on your way to a new you.

This week’s winner was Pennie Callaway-Duzan who lost 3.5% of her body weight and 5.4 lbs. She wasn’t really sure why, though, because her work schedule kept her from being quite as active as she’d have like.

I’m not sure why either, but sometimes our body takes awhile to catch up, and you can put in the work one week and see it on the scale the next. We’ll see what happens next week. Pennie won a $20 Wal-Mart gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance.

Second place went to Brittany Cline who lost 2.7% of her body weight and 4.8 lbs. Brittany said she was pretty much running on the treadmill all the time. Third place went to John Crow who lost 2.6% of his body weight and an amazing 6.9 lbs. John said he’d really stepped it up with two workouts a day.

Here’s a full-body workout similar to the new one they learned on Saturday in case you’d like to try it at home. Do the first two exercises back to back three times and then move on to the next pair. Try to keep moving and never stop the entire time you’re working out. Do 3 sets of each pair with 15 repetitions of each exercise.

1. DB Pec Fly’s on Stability Ball 3. Walking Lunges
2. Ball Twists w. Medicine Ball 4. DB Pullovers on Stability Ball

5. DB Deadlift-Curl-Press 7. Double Tricep Kickbacks
6. Pikes on the Stability Ball 8. Knee-In’s on Stability Ball

Start with a pretty easy weight to get warmed up and familiar with the movements. Try to increase the weight in your second and third sets. If you’re not sure how to perform the exercises, make sure you get with a trainer who can show you how to do the movements correctly. Do everything slowly and in control, making sure to keep breathing throughout the exercise.