This guest post comes from Paige Corley, a Program Director at the Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge.
A co-worker of mine, Nancy, was telling me about her success with fitness and weight loss recently. She has lost 7 pounds in 15 weeks, improved her fitness, gained strength and lost inches. She looks great – not just in her body – but in her smile and eyes. She is more energetic, her clothes have become more fun, and she is excited about her new body and new healthy focus.
When Nancy posted her success on her Facebook page she was surprised to see responses like, “What is your secret?” or “What did you do differently?” Some of these responses were even from former guests at The Resort.
Nancy has no secret, and she has no magic pill: she simply increased her calorie burn and decreased her caloric intake. This is what we teach here at Fitness Ridge: calories in vs. calories out, healthy, balanced eating and drinking, and increased cardiovascular and strength training. This is what works.
But, for some reason, people just don’t want to accept this solution.
I remember when Nancy came to me and asked, “Tell it to me straight, Paige, what is a realistic weight loss for me per week? And what do I have to do to reach my ultimate weight loss and improved fitness goal?” This was the first of many correct steps that Nancy took: she asked for help from someone who would give her truth, not fluff.
So, we sat down, did her “Budget” and figured out with her resting metabolic rate, caloric intake and exercise calories that she could realistically expect to lose half a pound per week. Most people would react badly to half a pound a week. They would say, “That is not enough! That will take me forever! I can’t wait that long!” Sadly, most folks would have given up right then and there. But Nancy took that truth, accepted it and started on her journey.
Nancy watched her caloric intake by following the 90/10 rule that our Registered Dieticians recommend – eating high nutrition, lower calorie food 90% of the time and eat what you want the other 10%. Instead of depriving herself of those foods or drinks that were indulgent, she just reduced how often she had them.
She took part in classes here at Fitness Ridge 4-5 days a week and even though she will admit that she didn’t always want to go to class (and even tried to get out of going to class) she did go the vast majority of time.
And then the funniest thing happened. She was able to fit into clothes that had been tucked in the back of her closet for a while. She was able to push harder in class. She was able to work on perfecting her running form. She has built muscle. I would even venture to say that she has found herself very much enjoying the effects of her new healthy lifestyle. She started training and participating in local 5Ks and sprint triathlons. She understood that her weight on the scale was only a small part of all that she changed about her body. She lost inches, gained fitness and started enjoying all the benefits that come along with being healthy and fit.
The reality is that 15 weeks ago Nancy could have given up when I told her to expect a half pound a week weight loss. And she could be sitting at her desk now at the same fitness level and weight that she was then (or even heavier and more out of shape). But she didn’t. She made a commitment and stuck to it believing that the results would happen and they have.
So, if you are faced with a long road back to health and fitness, remember: time will pass no matter what. You can find yourself healthier in the future but you have to make that commitment. And it’s simple: decrease your caloric intake, increase the quality of your calories and increase your activity and exercise. Change might not come as quickly as you want it to, but it will happen.
May 10th, 2011