Training Tips: Progress and Success


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


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

Share Your Story





Congratulations! People in the Challenged to Change Community are getting great results! This week alone, several of you have contacted me to share the progress you are making. Together, we are turning the health and strength of this country around. You deserve to be proud of your accomplishments!

If you hit a major goal this week, whether you dropped weight, gained strength, or simply honored your commitment to exercise a certain amount or eat healthy, I would love to hear about it and I’m sure that the other members of our community will be encouraged by your achievements.

Please feel free to share this post or contact me with specific questions or comments you may have. ( Your questions may be featured on a future episode of the podcast, but your contact info and full name will not be used.)

I am always on the lookout for pics our community members post of themselves doing something active with family and friends or making better decisions about what and how much to eat. If you want to be featured as a Success Story on the site or our Facebook fan page just let me know and I will help you put your story in a format that will encourage and motivate others.

You have made an excellent choice by associating with other people who are also making positive changes.  I want to take a moment to personally thank each member of this community and helping to change the face of good health in America.

Free Doughnuts

Can't beat the plain glazed .


O.k. I admit that was a dirty trick to get you to read my blog post. In the battle against obesity however,  I am not opposed to “fighting dirty”. Think about advertisers who spend millions to promote junk food targeting children. Is that fair?

What about the “Happy Meal?” Did the guys at the Golden Arches spend tons of money and marketing research to determine the exact amounts of sugar, salt, and fat needed to elicit an addictive response on the American public? You better believe it.

junker food images

If images like these make you crave the food you see, you are not alone. Our brains are wired to want what we see. It’s part of our physiology. The area of the brain responsible for processing visual information is also conveniently in charge of procuring food.

This allowed our ancestors to eat whatever was available, whenever it was available, in order to avoid starvation. Combined with our ability to store excess nutrients in the form of fat tissue, this allowed our ancestors to have the energy to chase down their prey or gather wild food sources. Later we used these abilities to raise livestock or do manual work in the garden to cultivate our own food.

childhood obesity images

The problem in our modern culture is that our eyes have gotten bigger than our head. There is a fast food restaurant or vending machine virtually in sight at all times and we have to do very little in the way of physical effort in order to obtain this high-calorie, low-nutrient “junk”.

Advertisers know that a picture of their products will stimulate the appetite and cause us to purchase them. Why do you think all of the major Superbowl commercials are for food or drinks? Think about it.


The solution to this dilemma is the same thing that Mom and Dad always said “Go outside and play!” People today are more likely to sit at a desk rather than working at a physical labor type job. Kids also spend the school day at a desk and the summer on a couch. We have hundreds of ways to entertain ourselves, television, internet, video games.The list goes on and on (and on and on).  The fact that I am writing this article and that you are reading it is proof of it! Experts agree the majority of Americans need more fresh air, sunshine and exercise to be as healthy as we possibly can.


If you are anywhere in the Atlanta area. You can attend a free outdoor class at Panola Mtn State Park. Details are available at

If you show up early, I will even give you a doughnut. Sound fair?


Until next time, Stay Strong and Live with Faith- Jason