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Tom’s Fitness and Paris Martial Arts

BUT HOW DO YOU FEEL?

Posted: August 08, 2009

I was talking with a new member who had been working out for a few weeks. When I asked her how things were going, she told me “things were fine.” That was too generic an answer for me, so I asked her how she was feeling. Kind of reluctantly, she replied in a shy voice, “Better.” I said “so you’re feeling better?” She smiled and said, “Yes, I feel better.”

I said, “So you’ve been exercising every day and you’re feeling better?” She laughed and said, “O.K. I’m feeling better. I didn’t want to admit it, but I’m feeling better.” I asked her how her clothes were fitting and she said they fit more loosely.

I told her that was great, and just the way it should be. The most important thing is always how do you feel? After that, what are your clothes doing? Do they fit better? Often times, we’ll see these two long before it starts showing up on the scale.

It’s kind of funny that she really didn’t want to admit she felt better. She told me that she wasn’t expecting it to work and didn’t want to admit she was wrong. Now she knows she needs to keep doing it because it does work. No excuses.

The amazing thing is that once you feel better, you can do more things because you’re stronger and carrying less weight around. Before you start an exercise program, your body feels like it’s working against you. You’re heavier and things are harder. But after you lose some weight and put on some muscle, you body starts working for you.

Regardless of age, losing fat and gaining more muscle makes everything easier, and that makes it better. Studies show even people in their 80’s can gain muscle mass in just six weeks!

What you have to do is get past the early painful part when you’re starting out. It’s going to be difficult. You might be sore, but you’ll get better. But it won’t feel that way forever.

Now if you don’t care how long it takes and don’t mind slower, less obvious progress, you don’t have to experience much pain at all. You can start out very easily and just do a little more each time. Some people don’t like this, because they can’t see the changes quickly enough.

That’s when you need to ask yourself those questions: “How do I feel? Do I feel better? How are my clothes fitting?” Usually, you’ll feel much better and your clothes will be looser. That will give you some motivation to keep going and turn it up a bit.

Once you get to where you start looking forward to your workouts, and start trying new and different challenges, that’s when you’re going to get what you want. It will be part of your lifestyle.

I had a gal in Biggest Loser “8” tell me how she hurt her back last week. She’s done a couple Biggest Losers and has been feeling pretty good lately. Last week, she was running and biking with her son and was feeling so good, she decided to race her son up the hill on the bike, standing up on the pedals.

The good news was that she was feeling that good. The bad news was that her back wasn’t quite ready for that extra loading with the body twisting side to side while pushing too. She paid for it for a week, and needs some therapy to get things back to normal.

What’s amazing is that she felt like doing it. That’s what I’m talking about. This is a woman who used to read magazines while walking on the treadmill. Now she’s out there running and biking, and she actually felt like racing up the hill! Read that again. She felt like it. Sure, she paid for it, but with some more core training and building up to it, her back will be fine.

Finally, I got an email from another friend in Biggest Loser “8.” She’s had to miss a couple workouts due to going on a mission trip, then a cruise, and then another meeting. I told her to be careful on the ship, because they have plenty of food. I also told her to be sure to make sure she got her workout in every day, since they’d have a great gym on the ship, and she could do lots of walking, too.

She emailed me her weight after the cruise and she lost 1.8 lbs—on a cruise ship! Here’s what she said: “I took your advice seriously and only ate at meal times. I made good choices when picking entrees and exercised for about an hour each morning. BUT—I had dessert each evening. Eating right does not mean starving or denying! Hard to believe, but eating right and exercising are the keys—just like you always say!”

If they can do it, you can do it. So how do you feel? How do you want to feel? Brittany Cline feels pretty good, winning Week Five of Biggest Loser “8.” She lost 3.2% of her body weight and 4.9 lbs and won a $20 Walmart gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance.

Second place went to Tammy Hewitt who feels pretty good too—losing 1.4% of her body weight and 2.2 lbs. Third place went to Cathy Kemper, who lost 1.0% of her body weight and 2.0 lbs. I think she’s feeling pretty good too.