Success Stories

 

Jumping

The National Weight Control Registry is an ongoing national scientific study of people who have lost a significant amount of weight and have been successful at keeping it off.

The results of the study, conducted by the Weight Control and Research Center of the Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I. will be used to formulate future guidelines and recommendations for treating and preventing obesity in America.

Registry members have lost an average of about 65 lbs and kept it off for 5 1/2 years. About half of registry participants lost the weight on their own and the other half lost weight with the help of some type of program.

My results are typical of those in the study. I have lost over 75 lbs to date (with a 50 lb. loss having been sustained for more than 3 years). This week marks a milestone for me because my 75 weight loss has now been sustained for one year!I followed a diet and exercise program of my own design that was based on solid scientific evidence.

Virtually all of Registry participants report that they modified their food intake and increased their physical activity in some way to lose weight. The most frequently reported form of activity was walking. Most of the participants report that they continue to maintain a low calorie, low fat diet and engage in high levels of activity.

According to the study, the majority of the participants:

  • Eat breakfast every day.
  • Weigh themselves at least once a week.
  • Watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
  • Exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.

Source: National Weight Control Registry Website

 

 

Break the Stress Chain!

broken-chain

Stress, as we know, is a major contributing factor to unhealthy habits such as overeating, smoking, drinking etc.  If you allow it to, stress can flood your system with destructive substances like adrenaline and cortisol, or keep you from getting the quality rest you need and impede your progress in the area of health.

So it is to your advantage to learn how to deal with these issues before they become a problem. Here are a few steps you can implement right away to organize your time more effectively and accomplish more in the time you have, without sacrificing what is truly important.

Focus of tasks that produce immediate benefits – So much of what we do these days contributes to our long-range goals. With this kind of pressure, it’s easy to lose sight of the progress you are making in the short term. Sometimes doing something of seemingly low-value will give you instant gratification that can boost your self-esteem and put you back on the winning track.

Break larger tasks down into manageable chunks – Be patient. It takes time to achieve something of lasting value. It probably took you years to get out of shape so don’t expect to change everything overnight. Just focus on the individual steps and the big picture will take care of itself.

Prioritize your time and energy - Do the tasks with rewards for success and penalties for failure first, or at least schedule the time in your day when you will do them. People today are busier than ever before. We all play many roles, husband, wife, father, mother, employee, student, and so on.

Remember, you don’t “have to” do anything – You decide what is important. There may be some things that you really want to do and these may seem urgent. Take the initiative to decide on what is truly important and above all, plan ahead and then execute on your plans to achieve a better body and a greater life! Until next time, Stay Strong and Live With Faith! – Jason

Training Tips: Progress and Success

training

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Only 20 percent of Americans get the recommended amount of exercise every week. The question is, “Why?”

After all, it’s not hard for people to begin an exercise program. It is however, difficult for most people to continue exercising. The gyms are always crowded around New Year’s, but when you check back in after a few weeks everyone seems to have lost their resolve.

When people ask me how I have lost more than 75 lbs and what type of exercise I do, I tell them that I just stop at the gym after work and do a 30-45 minute workout. Most people seem shocked to learn that you can make this kind of progress with such a small investment of time. The truth is that you don’t have to rearrange your life to get in shape, you just have to be focused.

The first part of my workout is weight training. This takes about 20 minutes or so. I pick two large muscle groups per session, say chest and back for example, and for each of those two groups I perform 6 sets of weight training exercise ranging from 16-4 reps on the heaviest. Then I move on to cardio. I do my “running” on an elliptical trainer due to tendonitis in my right heel. I am living proof that anyone can overcome obstacles to regular exercise.

Studies conducted back in the 1980s found that only 50 percent of people who started exercising continued to do so for an extended period of time — and those results are still true to this day, Even the most motivated people tend to drop their exercise routine within a few short months.

To avoid being one of those statistics, I suggest that you set measurable short-term goals instead of long-term goals. You may want to lose 1 pound in the next week, for example, If you remain focused and committed, this could result in a loss of 50 pounds in a year.To avoid disappointment, you may want to wait 2-3 weeks before your first progress check, since it may take that long for your body to begin adapting to new a new exercise and diet program. When you check in after 3 weeks or so and discover that you have dropped 3-6 lbs. this will motivate you because you know that the habits that got you there are simple and repeatable. Remember, success builds on success.

Without goals, you might get a few weeks in and see that you still have a lot of weight to lose and give up. But, with short-term objectives, you will be able to reach attainable (and more importantly) sustainable benchmarks, which will keep you motivated to keep on going!

Moving Forward / Looking Back

How and why do people achieve great things?

Studies of human achievement from a scientific perspective have revealed that sustainable changes are the result of having a specific outcome in mind and carrying out universally applicable, repeatable methods.

The Expectancy-Value Theory , a concept from the field of psychology, states that in order to successfully complete any challenging endeavor people must not only be interested in the outcome, but they must  also be able to see how their actions contribute to the attainment of the goal.

(Ok, I just lost about 97% of my readers so if you are still with me, you are one of the select few who will actually apply what I am about to say and reach your goals. Congratulations!)

So, what am I saying?

  • Everything you do matters. Each of your actions has a consequence, either positive or negative, based on whether it contributes to your goals.
  • Time is not money. If time was money, we would all be mega-rich because each of us has all the time available.
  • Time management is really energy management. It is up to us as individuals to channel our energy towards those activities that contribute to our goals and away from tasks of little or no value.
  • In terms of fitness and weight loss, if you want to succeed you must begin with a clear goal. Put it in writing and set a deadline for achievement.
  • Get a strong enough reason to keep you moving towards your goal even when it is uncomfortable or inconvenient.
  • Efficiency is not doing everything perfectly. Efficiency is doing the most important things consistently and eliminating non-essential tasks and activities.
  • Once you set up a goal, the things that  prevent you from achieving are known as obstacles. Most of these are self-generated and can be overcome by persistence and the determination to follow through.
  • What works for one person may not work as well for someone else. It is up to you to find a plan you can follow and keep going until you reach your goal.
  • Once you reach a major milestone, set a new goal so you continue to progress rather than slipping back into old habits. This is why most diets fail. Once the “diet” is over, people go back to eating “normally” (which for most people involves lots of poor eating and very little physical activity).
  • In order to succeed, you must retrain your brain and body to work for you. This involves reestablishing your body’s set point. In biology, we teach that all organisms strive for homeostasis. In everyday language that means we try to stay the same. However, in order to improve you must change.

Here are a few more tips you can use to accelerate your progress:

1) Find models

2) Imitate their actions

3) Duplicate their results

In simplest terms, if you want to achieve something you have never done before, find someone who has gotten the result you want and do what they did.

I am happy to continue providing this information each week. I am also working diligently to find others who have made these changes and help promote the tips and techniques they use to improve as well.

I am at a place right now that I once only dreamed of. This week I reached a major milestone by reaching a new personal best of 176.8 lbs. That’s 77.2 lbs. lost to date!

When I first started writing, it was just to motivate myself and get my thoughts in print. Now hundreds of people read, watch and listen to my advice each week. This is proof that a definite goal and a plan to get there, combined with diligent action will always result in success.

Finally, I want to send a resounding “Thank You!” to all the amazing people who have subscribed, commented, shared, tweeted (well maybe somebody out there will tweet this?) and liked all that I wrote and recorded this year. I owe a debt of gratitude I can never repay to the greatest people in the world, the members of the Challenged to Change Community!

If you are a subscriber or you stumble upon this page, write your comment below. I always want to know what my audience is thinking.

Until next time Stay Strong & Live With Faith! ~Jason

Focus: The Way to Win

vision

Following through on your commitment to improve your health takes time.  If you can see your ultimate destination, you are much more likely to take the steps you need to take to get there. With that in mind, here are a few of the best tips I can offer to help you make lasting, positive lifestyle and behavior changes:

Plan your work and work your plan. Your plan is like a map that will guide you on this adventure. When making your plan, be specific. Do you want to exercise more? Decide on the best time of day and how long you will exercise, then stay committed. Write everything down, then ask yourself if these goals are realistic for you.  Most importantly, record your progress and review it often. This will help you stay focused and aware of your accomplishments.

Start small, think big. After you’ve identified realistic short-term and long-term goals, break them down into smaller, more manageable steps that are specific and can be measured on a weekly and even a daily basis. If your long-term goal is to lose 20 pounds in the next three months, then a good weekly goal would be to lose one pound a week. If you know you need your weakness is late night snacking, decide to replace dessert with a healthier option, like a protein shake or a piece of fruit. Check off each day’s success. As the week goes by, you will feel more successful knowing that you are meeting your daily goals!

Stay the course. Unhealthy behaviors develop over a period of time, so replacing these behaviors with better ones also takes time. I find that people run into problems when they try to change too many things all at one time. To increase your chances of success, I suggest that you focus on one or two changes at a time. As each new healthy behavior becomes a habit, you will find it easier to add another practice that will contribute to the overall change you’re striving for.

You can’t focus on everything. Focus means selecting a relatively few important tasks and making them a priority, not trying to do everything. The changes that you want will take time and commitment, but you can do it. Just remember that no one is perfect. You will have occasional lapses. Don’t dwell on your mistakes, stay focused on your goals. Minor slip ups on the road to your wellness are normal and okay. Resolve to recover and get back on track!

Until next time, Stay Strong and Live With Faith! ~ Jason