This is an oldie but a goodie! Enjoy
I remember the day I lost my feet. I remember catching a glimpse of them and thinking they are no longer pretty and feminine like they had once been. They no longer showed the veins and tendons, that nice trim look had disappeared. I had actually lost the space between my toes because of how large they had gotten. It was the last part of me that I still saw as slim which was now gone.
I also remember the day I got my feet back. I was laying on the couch and said to Dan “hey I actually have space between my toes”. I tell you this simple and maybe to some of you very pointless fact because I want to focus on paying attention to the little thing, the small changes, the tiny victories.
Here are some of my small changes/ little victories:
I have really noticed a change in my hands, similar to the changes in my feet. I am starting to see the tendons as well as more consistent veins. My engagement ring (received in July) is already spinning on my finger and my wrist bones are finally back! I also have noticed my collarbones starting to show which is very encouraging. Dan mentioned you will lose body fat from the outside in; meaning from your fingers in, toes up and head down.
My forearms have muscles that I have never had before and are starting to show great definition. My face is the change people notice the most and I get the most “you have lost weight I can really see it in your face” comments. Its so nice to pass the point in my journey where outsiders are noticing the changes, not just me.
Clothes, clothes, clothes! I have had to go on a couple shopping trips to get clothes that fit. I will come down stairs dressed for church and Dan will say “I think those pants need to go in the Goodwill pile, your bum is saggy!” So up I go to find a new outfit. It’s a great problem to have as I do love shopping. I will often put on a shirt and say “holy cow look how big this is on me” and then find Dan a picture of me in the same shirt years prior. We will then marvel at the changes that have taken place and rejoice in that tiny victory. ANDDD to my amazement some of my shoes are too big. Who knew that my feet had trimmed down to a point where my shoes don’t fit any more! I now have to walk around the house a couple laps before leaving to ensure they will stay on my feet.
Two smaller goals of mine were to be able to wear tall boots and to weigh less than Dan. 10 months into my fitness journey and I am able to wear tall boots just in time for Fall! This was one of the biggest and more emotional victories for me. Not 100% sure why this one was so big for me but I was very very happy walking out of the store with my first pair of tall boots. I have also surpassed Dan in weight by 1 pound! Its only 1 pound but its still one of my goals being met!
Lastly is my Bench jacket. I bought this with Dan in April, its an XL and at the time it didn’t even do up and I could hardly move my arms but I wanted it bad. I had never had a Bench jacket before and all the cool girls wore them! (lol) I took a painting down in my front hall way and I hung the Jacket up there so I would see it every day. It was my goal to fit into this jacket. As of September 2015 the jacket fits!! Dan and I celebrated this tiny victory with McDonalds, JK, but we were both very happy and proud!
Don’t get me wrong, I still have those days where I feel like I’m 300 lbs and other days I feel like I’m 100 lbs. But even when I have those days my hands don’t change, my collarbones still show and my Bench jacket still fits! I love stopping to reflect on these goals and it was fun talking with Dan to write this blog and coming up with them all. I find these small victories as a constant reminder to not give up even when the scale doesn’t change.
I tell you about the small changes because sometimes we are so focused on hitting our goal weight that we miss the small victories. I hope you will stop and take count of the little victories, which I feel add up to more in the long run.
What are your small changes/ little victories? Start to take notice of the smaller changes as you venture on your fitness journey. They should make you smile!
I have written down some tips I use what may be helpful to you and will help you see those small victories and ultimately reach your final goal.
Try implementing 1 of these tips each week over the next couple months. All of these small steps show I am taking control of my fitness, my life, my journey
PS. Remember 1 + 1= 2. If you are eating healthy and working out you will see your body change.
One of my biggest challenges as a Personal Trainer as I have been working with clients is their mind set around food.
I cannot stress enough the importance of eating right.
This Journal Blog I am going to talk to you about your mindset, the importance of eating clean and practical tips you can follow.
Mindset is everything, if I have said this once I have said it a million times. If you are not in the mental game when it comes to your fitness, your battle will be substantially harder. You need to wrap your mind around a couple of key points in order to be successful.
Eating clean is crucial to your fitness journey, sorry I am not sure you heard me correctly, Eating clean is crucial to your fitness journey. I am sure most of you have hear the 80%/10% concept where 80% of your fitness journey is what you eat and 20% is the physical activity. Well this has recently changed; it is now 80% healthy eating, 10% physical activity and 10% genetics. If you don’t eat clean then you essentially sabotage your physical activity.
Society has made food soooo tasty to the point where we now crave it. They have also made it fast and easy which is convent for so many of us in our fast pace lives…BUT they have also made it very dirty, the complete opposite of what we need to be eating. This is where the mindset part comes in and you need to see food as fuel and not something just to eat. Constantly ask yourself “Will eating ____ fuel my body?” If the answer is “no” then guess what….don’t eat it, its truly not worth it.
There is something to be said about the people who “get it”. The people who meal prep, who care about what they consume, and the people who put their fitness above all else. You know that saying “if people are doing it and it works, maybe I should do it to”. Well now is the time to start doing what they do.
Here are a couple tips to help you on your journey:
ii.That Sugar Film
iii.Hungary for Change
vii.Fat Sick and Nearly dead
I know not everyone believes in the Bible, but there is a key verse found in 1 Corinthians 6:19 which states “…your body is a temple” and I truly believe we need to change our mindset and start viewing our bodies this way. We only have one, so lets take care of it. Make your fitness healthy a priority.
Ps. Eating clean is crucial to your fitness journey...in case you missed that point
One of the biggest barriers that people have in achieving as well as maintaining their fitness goals is time. I started out going to my high school gym in grade 8 with one of my best buddies. We would wake up before class in high school to workout. When other 13 year olds are sleeping in or watching morning cartoons, Jason and I would wake up extra early, bike to school, and train for at least one hour every day. It became our ritual, something we loved to do even when it was freezing outside and still dark outside.
This was our life at the time and we loved every minute of it. I continued this lifestyle every since and can even remember arguing with my mom because it was her wedding day and I wanted to go to the gym. I know it sounds crazy and selfish and maybe it was, well actually I know it was but when you love something so much it takes priority over everything else. This was my mindset when I decided to become a trainer and was surprised to see that most of the world didn’t share my passion of fitness. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that people don’t want to get fit and be healthy but they don’t make it a priority.
This was hard for me to understand and grasp, I just didn’t get it. Since I had grown up a gym rat it who just who I was. When I woke every morning, the first thing on my mind was “when I was going to the gym and what I was going to train” and it was the last thing on my mind at night. It became my first love and was more important than anything else was. Even when I travelled the world to live and work, I still found a gym. In Taiwan I joined a public gym and was a spectacle, being the only black guy at an ALL Asian gym. In the Bahamas, the fitness centers were too expensive but I still found this old man (an ex bodybuilder) who had a make shift gym in his barn and he only charged me 5$ a week to use it. This place was so old that you couldn’t take the weight off one side of the bench because it literally had to stay on to keep everything in balance!
My point is, I always made the time. I would organize my life around the gym, not the other way around. Now I understand that this is not so easy for everyone because life gets in the way. People have jobs, families, hobbies, and a lot of other things going on in their lives but everyone can make time for the gym. It does not have to be a long time but if you start with a consistent commitment, then fitness will also become part of your life. Sometimes you need to make sacrifices because we only have so much time in a day and choose to make it a priority. At first I thought that maybe it was just because I had more free time than most people and that’s why I was able to train so much but I was mistaken. I have lots of friends at the gym that have crazy and busy lives and still make the time. They wake up earlier, cut out TV or other leisure activities, go during their lunch break or even have to extend their day by going after work.
I know this can seem hard at times and you may feel that you can’t find the time or that other things are more important. But let me ask you this…what is more important than your health? If you get sick or are injured then nothing else will matter. You must first take care of yourself in order to truly take care of anyone else in your life. Once you have implemented regular exercise into your daily routine, you will have energy to do more and find yourself to be more productive. Ultimately you will find the time to make sure you make it into the gym.
By you MAKING the time and it becomes important to you just like eating, sleeping, working and playing. It should be just as important because it is a key factor to living an optimal life and a life with minimal injuries and illness. We need to make the time because it’s not given to us. It starts with small steps even just 10min a day.
When my wife (boy it feels cool to say that) was ready to start her journey, she thought she had NO time at all. She was a single mom and was self-employed. Trying to juggle work, family, cleaning the house, groceries and extra-curricular activities how could she ever find time to train. She started with 10min a night running her stairs in her house after her daughter was asleep. With the feeling she got and the sense of accomplishment she felt, she was able to jump-start her fitness journey. She now is a regular gym rat and is pushing and working harder than a lot of guys I see at the gym. They stare in awe as she bench presses 135LBS and squats 205LBS. I know this must be an amazing feeling for her from where she started to where she is now and most of all where she will be. I am her biggest fan!
So I challenge you to start with 10min each day. Go for a walk, a run, workout at home with your body weight, a video, anything. You will get results and feel amazing, it will motivate you to do more and before you know it, fitness is part of your life. Like I have mentioned in previous blogs, we are active people by creation, it’s our busy lifestyle and technology that has caused us to become lethargic and lazy, and it’s in our control to fix this. You can do it! Find a support system to encourage you, motivate you and keep you accountable. It might be difficult in the beginning but the long term payoff is worth it, trust me…better yet trust my wife.