When did you start your fitness journey?
On June 15th 2017, I made the decision to get healthy. It was just a few months after I turned 40 and I decided that I was tired of being overweight and unhealthy that it was time to make a change. I decided that I wanted to lose over 100 pounds in a year (about one-third of my body weight) and I wanted to do it my way. No surgery. No fad diets. No giving up things that I liked (pizza, BBQ, beer, etc.). I was just going to start making healthy choices.
How long have you been a member?
I joined TFL in October, 4 months into my journey. I wanted additional exercise options, particularly with the colder months arriving. I chose TFL because of location, because they were partners with my employer and because of the Mind, Body, Community philosophy.
What is your favorite workout routine/class?
I started out with just using the treadmill and that is still the biggest portion of my workout. Walking, and now running, is a great cardio exercise and has been a big part of my weight loss journey. I also mix in lots of weight training now and am working with a trainer (Teresa) to help take my workouts to the next level.
What keeps your motivated?
Goals, inspiration and success. First, I am a goal-oriented person and having a very clear goal that I am chasing and knowing why the goal is important to me tends to keep me motivated. This is particularly true when the goal is so clearly measurable. I am also a big fan of inspirational and motivational quotes, memes, affirmations and other such things, especially motivational music. Any time I can find something that helps get me energized, I try to make a note of it and use it before or during a workout.
Finally, I think my biggest motivator is success. In the first month of my journey, I had already dropped nearly 20 pounds. This success just kept going - though there were a variety of setbacks along the way. Success is big motivator and makes you want to keep going with bigger and bigger goals. I think of this as a kind of success snowball!
What do you attribute to your success?
Mindfulness, data and community. I no longer do anything mindlessly as it pertains to my health, no auto-pilot! I am fully aware of everything I put in my body including its calorie content and nutritional value. I know exactly how much exercise I have had and when I have and have not met my goals. I am a numbers-drive guy through and through. I believe that there is truth in data and agree with the classic quote “if I can measure it, I can manage it.” By tracking everything that I eat & drink, all of my exercise and other key health and biometric information, I get access to a ton of data. With that data, I can set goals and targets, work towards them, celebrate and set the next goal. Then, I repeat the whole process! Plus, I get to use technology to help with the data management process and I can geek out about my health… how cool is that!
Finally, it doesn’t just take a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to achieve your fitness goals. Early in my journey, I shared my goal publicly through social media. Then, I continued to use social media to celebrate my successes and to hold myself accountable. My “village” continued to support and encourage me throughout my journey.
What have you accomplished so far?
I achieved my original goal of losing 100 pounds in just 9 months! I decreased my waist size by over 12 inches and decreased from XXXL to XL. My average resting heart rate has decreased from the low 80s to the low 50s. I am running 5-6 days per week and training for my first 5k. Plus, my confidence has increased as has my health focus through every facet of my life.
What are your goals going forward?
Since I achieved my initial goal early, I have kicked-off phase 2 of my journey. I still want to lose a little more weight, but I have some other goals that I am focused on in addition to weight goals. I am working on training for my first 5k run and plan to accomplish that goal later this spring or early this summer. I am working on continuing to build my strength and muscles and to tone my body a bit. Teresa has been a big help with teaching me new exercises to target specific areas of my body!
Finally, I am dedicated to mentoring and personal development and I am continually looking for opportunities to help people achieve success with their goals whether in a fitness setting or a professional setting. With that in mind, I want to use my successes and the lessons I have learned along the way to help other people achieve their fitness goals. During my journey, I launched a website and blog (OperationMelt.com) to tell my story in real time. Now I have written and am working on publishing a book about my journey. Plus, I am looking for other ways to help people be successful.
What advice would you give to members?
· First, set a goal and commit to achieving it. Make your fitness journey a high priority in your life.
· Next, start small and build from there. You don’t have to jump from a lifestyle that is completely void of exercise to being a professional athlete. You just need to start moving one step at a time. Look for small ways to start adding more exercise into your life.
· Don’t give up things that you like. You journey to a healthier you is just that, a journey. This is a lifestyle change and isn’t going to happen overnight. If you start depriving yourself of things you enjoy from the beginning, it isn’t going to last. The things you like can fit into your diet, you just need to be playful about it.
· Right this minute, commit to never mindlessly putting anything into your mouth ever again! From today until you hit your fitness goals and beyond, write down everything that you eat or drink. Just make a note of it, keep a food journal, use an app, make a spreadsheet or anything else that works for you. Simply keeping a log of what you are consuming and reviewing that log daily will help you make better choices and identify your problem areas.
· Finally, be patient with yourself. This is not just a physical journey, it is a mental journey too and there will be setbacks. I had times where I would step on the scale in the morning and my weight would be up 4 pounds overnight! But, that is a temporary setback and it does pass. Be ready for the ups and downs and don’t let a minor setback torpedo your ultimate goals. This is a journey!