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Have you ever tried to lose weight? Have you ever been successful? How did you do it? Did you reduce your calories or eat in a specific way? Maybe you cut out a complete food group.


We’ve all seen successful people who have lost weight and done just a fantastic job. The unfortunate side is that many of these successes do not last for the long term. This naturally begs the question: Why do we continue to have the same issue of people losing meaningful weight but not being able to sustain it and keep it off? Often this is because we focus on the quick fixes and we focus on not creating meaningful habits.


One of the ways that is talked about quite often is the need to burn calories. I am sure you have heard that you need to burn more calories than you take in. Honestly, that advice is not necessarily incorrect; however, the way in which you approach it can often be the difference between success and failure. In fact, a lot of people and trainers take that advice to literally mean, “hey, let’s try to burn as many calories as we can during this work out”, the problem that I see and what ends up happening is that the individual ends up overworked and stressed out. Progress stalls and goals are usually not met.


Guess what? Calories are absolutely important! Specifically, we need to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight. In fact, this is the only way to lose weight. If you have not been successful losing weight it is because you have not been in a caloric deficit. This is a sad reality that most of us need to understand. It is a concept that can be difficult to grasp and hard to come to grips with. It is easy to see how difficult this can be to understand because we see the calculators online that show us how many calories we need to eat. We see MyFitnessPal among other trackers that tell us where our calories should be. We don’t think we’re eating very much food but we’re still not losing weight and it simply comes down to the fact that you’re eating more calories than your body is able to burn.


Let me be the first to tell you that that is not your fault. The calculators are right for about 50% of the population (and that might be generous) but for everyone else it might not always be accurate. These calculators are a good starting point but we have to measure this for a long time to make meaningful change. I suggest weighing your food to begin with. This can seem quite tedious at first; however, this will allow you to see how easily extra calories can come into play. For example, I can measure out ½ cup of quick oats which comes to 150 calories and 27g of carbohydrates. However, if I weigh the same amount (The ½ cup) it comes out to approx 225 calories and 40g of carbohydrates. Now, obviously the protein and fat content matter here as well but I only use the calories and carbs to illustrate a point. The extra 75 calories can add up quickly and easily sidetrack your progress.


To accomplish all of this, you need to sit down and realize that to be successful you need to prepare for the long game. I know that you’ve heard before that quick fixes are not the solution and a quick fix won’t drive lasting change. I feel the need to repeat it again because our country, our society, and our world focuses on quick changes and things being instant.


Read this: if you lose 2 pounds in a month you have succeeded...now, read that again!


A lot of people would look at that and say “only 2 pounds!?, that’s awful”, but what they don’t realize is that they are moving in the right direction and they have successfully lost weight. You did not gain excess weight in a month or in two months or probably even two years so we cannot take it off that quickly either. We can set up the good habits that lead to that lasting change though!


Some of the other culprits behind the calorie burn issue are activity trackers and aggregate sites such as my fitness pal. Those sites like to promote how many calories you burn by working out and we see that in some of our daily activities. How many calories do you burn walking up stairs, mowing the yard, lifting weights, performing HITT cardio, just to name a few. Studies have shown these estimations to be highly inaccurate. They generally overestimate the caloric burn but can occasionally underestimate how many calories you are actually burning.


With that said let me be very clear. I don’t want you to count back in your calories from your exercise. I don’t care if your tracker device says that you burn 100 200 300 even 500 cal. I only want you to concentrate on how many calories you should be eating during the day. I recommend that everyone should track their calories for at least a month or longer to properly understand how much food you’re really consuming, as evidenced by my oatmeal example above 😉. Please understand that this is to empower you and not to cause any headaches or issues that could be frustrating.


The simple truth is losing weight is difficult and sometimes can be overwhelming. We need to be in a caloric deficit but we also don’t need to be so low in calories that we make ourselves miserable. Losing weight can be made fun and attainable for everyone. If you need help please let me know


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Goals: Do you have them? Do you accomplish them? Before we get started I have a few questions about goals that I would love for you to answer out loud:


How many times do you look at your goals? How many times do you think about your goals? How many times do you accomplish your goals? How many times do you write your goals down somewhere?


Heck, how often do you actually HAVE goals that you are working on? We see articles and ideas and comments about our goals all the time. How many times have you actually sat down and written what your real goal is? How many times have you taken a step back and thought about what you actually want to accomplish? Society has this idea that we have to have a goal in order to feel fulfilled in life. While I don’t want to necessarily debate the merits of having a goal I do want to explain how to have and accomplish them properly.


The first 25 years of my life I can tell you for a fact that I did not have goals. I accomplished several things that I am very proud of, I played college football and I was able to actually get out of the field a little bit and did many other things that I’m very proud of. The truth is never once did I actually write a goal down or think about what I wanted to accomplish in my life and now looking back on all of that, I think that was not my smartest decision.


For the next four or five years I started thinking about making goals. I thought that making goals would propel me forward in my life. These goals were usually outcome based and focused on the usual suspects: finances, Health, family, and other objectives that are easily measured and also easy to talk about. The problem is I rarely hit any of these goals. We will get into the reasoning why later.


In my 30s I started taking a better look into what goals actually should be. I started shooting for real quantifiable goals that could potentially move me forward in my career and in my life. I used the SMART framework that I am positive you have heard about and I used cleverly designed programs to help me write and design the best goals. But yet I rarely obtained the goals that I had written down. I was doing everything the experts told me to so why would the goals not come?


I read, I listened and I looked at all types of reasoning as to why I could not hit my goals. I simply didn’t understand what was going on. I was doing everything that the books that I should be doing and I was following through and even using the right framework and making them SMART. Why wasn’t it working?


My guess is that something similar has happened to you. As a society we talk about goals almost yearly and sometimes even more frequently than that. We talk about what goals you want to accomplish and those typically revolve around finance, wellness, social, and something to do with the family. Statistically speaking, chances are you didn’t hit your goals and haven’t hit your goals in a while. I bet you are wondering why. Maybe you’ve used some type of framework to accurately write your goals but sometimes that’s not enough.


Goals can be very powerful when we have them and when we work toward them. The great thing about that is most people want to improve themselves at least one thing. So why do most people have a hard time completing the goals that they so desperately want to accomplish?


Before we talk about accomplishing any goals we need to define what goals actually are and what goals you should strive for. Goals are ideas and outcomes that we envision for ourselves that we hope to claim in the future. However, unfortunately what happens a lot of the time is goals are missed due to an error in the way we approach them. We actually pick the wrong goals most of the time too.


When I was younger and first started setting goals I was just like you. I chose goals that I thought we’re great for me. I chose to lose weight, to make more money, spend more time with the family etc. but the problem was none of those or what I really wanted. So before we pick goals let’s really dive into what exactly you want.


I want you to think about yourself one, three, five, and even more years from now...What will your life be like? What kind of house will you have, what kind of car will you drive, what kind of family will you have, what will your job be, and what will your health be like? I’m sure you’re familiar with questions like this and have probably answered those before let’s take it a step further. WHY do you want a certain kind of house or a certain kind of car or to lose 20 pounds? In other words, why will any of those answers be the answer to those questions? The only way to fully accomplish our goal is to know why we want it in the first place.


You see, the problem that I kept running into was that I was continuing to set generic goals that everyone else was using. I was setting goals just like everyone else and they were not specific to me. This meant that they did not create any sense of passion or urgency in my life. Only when I really discovered my why was I able to fully develop my goals.


So once you develop your why we have a solid starting point. We have that initial point which we can move forward from. The true why behind your goal and really anything else in life is what pushes you to accomplish things. For a lot of people that is never fully realized and that is why we continue to miss our goals. I want you to pick one to three goals that you want to accomplish in the next 90 days. I don’t care what they are and they don’t have to be fitness related; however, some examples could be you want to drink more water, eat more vegetables, read more, exercise more, or something along those lines. The possibilities are endless.


Once you pick these three goals I want you to figure out why you picked them. Why do you want to read more, why do you want to drink more water or eat more vegetables. If you need to talk to someone about that, reach out and talk to someone about it. The truth is we need to figure out why you want to do that specific thing.


Now that we have those few goals picked out we’re gonna work on them over the next 90 days and in order to fully accomplish them we slowly increase over time. For example, if you are not reading now let’s find a book and start reading for five minutes a day. It may not seem like much but over these 90 days as you’re developing a habit those five minutes will slowly grow to 10 minutes and so on all the way up to maybe 30 minutes a day. Think about how many books and how much information you can absorb in a year by reading 30 minutes a day and it all started with pushing yourself to do five minutes a day...and those five minutes started because you figured out your why.


Currently I work on 3 to 5 goals at a time that lead to other goals. For example, one of my goals this year is to write a book and quite frankly, I’m not used to writing and it does not come easily to me. In order to develop the habit, I’m working on these blog posts and writing in a journal daily for 5 to 10 minutes with just my thoughts. These daily habits are leading me to my goal. I have a strength goal of deadlifting 500 pounds by the end of the year (2020). To accomplish that I have made smaller habits my priority in order to accomplish the bigger goal. These include getting consistent sleep and making sure my protein intake and caloric intake are adequate enough to facilitate strength gains. Those are just two of my goals that I very much want to accomplish because I discovered my why.


I encourage you to take a little bit of time by yourself and think about what you want to accomplish and then think about why you want to accomplish them. We then break those goals down into small, bite-size chunks, that lead you to your bigger goal. For me, that has been a game changer. Good Luck and let me know what goals you want to work on! I am always here to help!


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It happens...trust me I get it and I’ve been there. It’s tough to make wellness a priority and as a result, your health has suffered in the past few years. Things get in the way and have taken precedence in your life. You have a family, a career, and plenty of other stressors that crop up every single day. In fact, every day is different but the stress doesn’t leave. The stress compounds over time due to lack of sleep, poor health, poor dietary habits, negativity on facebook, and your kids’ sports teams (to name just a few).You put a lot on yourself to take care of those around you and you work hard to provide for them. You always place yourself last because, quite frankly, everyone else matters more than you do. You are not alone in this thought. It is so easy to place your focus on others and I applaud you for that. I see it all the time and have experienced it myself.


I've been there, truthfully I think we all have in some sort of fashion. It's easy to relax and I got complacent and out of shape FAST when my son was born. It’s so ridiculously easy with the lack of sleep, eating on the go, constant stress from a new person living in your house, and a partner that is dealing with some of the same things. I didn't have time to workout, well I actually DID have time to workout but I didn't want to (More on that later). I didn't want to go to the gym or even get on the floor and do some pushups. I wanted to relax when I could, watch television when the opportunity arose, and be able to drink a beer with dinner.


You see, I knew that when my son got just a little bit older I would turn it on again and start lifting. I’d get in shape in a few months because I knew that I would be able to get into a routine when he was sleeping through the night. Can you guess what happened? That routine never came. Instead, I fell into the routine that everyone experiences. I came home from work after eating on the go, spent time with the family and relaxed. I wanted to workout...I needed to workout but I just didn't make the time for it. I mean, I was young (30) and knew that I had plenty of time to get in better shape. In fact, I was never terribly out of shape or had any unhealthy numbers or labs; however, if the trend of no activity would have continued, I was well on my way. I was developing bad habits that would lead to chronic conditions and poor overall health if I didn’t get them under control.


Does any of this sound familiar? This is all too common in our society today and not just in America. Most of us are well on our way to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and worse! Chances are, you know someone with one of the chronic conditions or you may have one yourself! In fact, many experts agree that a chronic condition of some type will directly affect every person living in some way. What is both encouraging and frustrating is that a lot of the conditions could be mitigated with some work on our part. It is encouraging because it doesn't take a lot of effort but it is frustrating because the wellness community makes us think you have to completely change your life.


Here is an important thing to know at this point, It’s completely normal to get into (and out of) routines that negatively impact our health. It happens to every single person in the world (Even guys like David Goggins and Jocko Willink) so you need to understand that when it does happen, it might not be totally your fault. The deck is stacked against us when it comes to our health. I mean, how often do you see ads for chips, candy, and soda vs ads for broccoli? How easy is it to go through a drive through on the way home with your kids in the back needing something to eat quickly. When you go grocery shopping, it’s hard to figure out what is healthy and what isn’t. Besides that, sometimes we just want the candy!


I currently have 3 children and fitness is not only my job but something that I actually enjoy. Guess what? It doesn’t get any easier to fit a training program into your life. It is a massive undertaking and is very difficult to manage sometimes. There are days that I don't train and there are days that I partake in a little too many Reese’s peanut butter cups or trail mix. But that is ok and I am here to tell you that it is ok.


Look, it is hard to get to where you want to be health wise with all of the obstacles you have in front of you. The good news is that it CAN be done and might even be easier than you think. We don't need to over complicate anything or reinvent the wheel. We also don't need to spend countless hours in the gym or destroying ourselves on the treadmill.


I’m going to let you in on the secret but before I do that I want you to know that I believe in you and I know you can do this. I know that you can change your life starting RIGHT NOW. I know that you can get healthy, lose weight, feel better, and improve your chronic conditions by following what I am going to list out below. However, I need to warn you that what I am going to share is guaranteed to work and is certain to get you to EXACTLY where you want to be. I am going to warn you though, while it is simple it is not easy and a lot of people who try this have a hard time. So I have broken it down even further...because I care about you.


Ready?


Are you sure you are ready?


Here it is:


You need to do the following:


Change. One. Thing.


That’s it. That is all you need to do. Well, maybe not all you need to do but it is where you start. So let me break it down a little bit more. While it is as simplistic and easy as just changing one thing in your life we need a little direction, right? Here you go.

Each week for the next 2 months I want you to focus on one thing. So that means I want you to pick 8 things to work on for your health. Some examples can be drinking more water, eating more veggies, walking more, taking time to read, putting your phone down at night, trying to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, eating more protein, or something like that.


As you can see, each of these seems pretty simple right? So what is the big deal? The problem is that we try to do all of them at once OR we try to move on to the next task before mastering the first one. You see, when you only focus on one item per week you end up increasing your odds of “winning”.


Now you have it. Pick 12 things, or 8, or 4, or 1, you get the idea...the number doesn’t really matter. In fact, we all have something we can get better at. Break those down to 1 per week but understand that you might have to take 2 weeks or maybe a month to knock that 1 task down. It may take a month to get to where you are drinking enough water each day. That is perfectly fine, because in a year you will have changed so many things and it won't seem like you changed your life.


Changing one thing might not seem like much, it’s just one thing, right? The beauty lies in what happens in a year. If you took a month to change just 1 thing, you would be completely different in a year. How exciting is that? You would be sleeping more, drinking more water, and getting more movement, just to name a few ideas. THis is how true progress happens and how true change happens. We take our time and slowly build these habits.


Now, it’s your turn. Go build that habit and watch your health improve. If you are interested in a customized wellness program just for you with accountability for your goals, let me know. I am taking on clients right now!


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