Keeping the Weight Off by Keepin’ it Fresh!
By Timothy J Murphy, CAE
I recently chatted with Bo Railey, Exercise Inc’s owner and founder, and he requested I write another blog article, as I last contributed to the blog page at www.exerciseinc.com some time ago. I asked for Bo’s thoughts about the general topic, and he suggested a discussion of how I’ve maintained my goal weight since achieving it a number of years ago. I reminded him that I already wrote one with that very message a while back, and his reply was spot-on. He said, “I know that, but we published that article years ago. Lots of people maintain their weight loss for a short period of time, but you are now beginning your 8th year at Exercise Inc, and you continue to keep the weight off!” That made me reflect on what has changed in the ensuing years, and how I have adapted my strategies to remain fit and lean after 7 years as a client of Kyle Truitt in Zionsville.
An important note: weight is the only thing that I “maintain”. Muscle mass, muscle tone, strength, and endurance have all constantly and consistently improved. I am amazed each year when I look back and note how these metrics just keep getting better and better, while the unhealthy body fat and excess weight remain a distant memory. Everything I suggested in that original article still holds true. In addition to these, some new strategies have entered my repertoire to keep fitness, health, and wellness on track and scaling upward.
As my fitness level continues to evolve and advance, so do my strategies for enhancing these improvements; and you should consistently view your approach as a work in progress as well. These added tactics keep us from getting bored with our routine, as well as address new goals we may set for ourselves. As such, “keeping it fresh” is always a healthy attitude when planning and implementing your fitness and health activities.
Here I list some of my best strategies that you can implement to keep your daily wellness accomplishments renewed and interesting:
Get a Fitness Tracker – Most people I know wear them. They include watches, pendants, or discreet clip-on devices that measure key movements like steps in walking and running, stairs climbed, biking, swimming, etc.—just about any physical movement you can imagine. If you want to use your smart phone for your tracker, just download one or more of the several free apps that log all these. I use Google Fit, as I like its accuracy and easy dashboard. Now, once you set your goals in the tracker, increase those goals by 10% every month. For example, you may start out with a goal of 5000 steps per day; so next month, re-set that goal to 5500; then 6050 for next month, etc. Go more if you can; you’ll get the feel of what your body can achieve.
Get Up and Stay Up – I have a friend who is a health and wellness expert for his company, and I love his axiom “Sitting is the new smoking!” He follows that up with “Chairs are lovely decorations.” His message: people tend to sit too much, too often, and standing benefits your health through improved posture, circulation, etc. So three years ago, I bought a standing desk for my office. Quite frankly, I loaned my office chair to someone two years ago and haven’t seen it since! But that doesn’t matter because when in the office, I stand to work on my computer, talk on the phone, chat with coworkers, write, and everything else one would normally do at a sitting desk. At receptions and parties, I prefer to stand at a high cocktail round and socialize, rather than sitting down to visit. Standing, as opposed to sitting, can reduce the risk of weight gain/obesity, heart disease, and metabolic disorders like Type 2 diabetes. (Yes, there is a time and place for sitting, too, but try standing more than you sit. It will become invigorating and habitual.)
Involve and Encourage Others – At my company, our Health and Wellness Committee created a motivational goal for everyone to walk or run 100 miles in a 90-day period. All staff members downloaded a free app called Count.It (the free version works well enough for most users), and they could track their progress and see the progress of their peers as time went on. At the end of the period, everyone who made their goal earned a reward of comped personal time off. Everyone made their goal. This was a great reason to celebrate and keep ourselves motivated! You can do this with family, peers, coworkers, friends, you name it.
Add or Increase One New Activity Each Month – This month, perhaps you’ll commit to walking daily (whatever distance suits you.) Next month, you can add a set number of flights of stairs to your regimen. Later, you may add in a running or biking component. (Your coach uses this same approach in adjusting your machine weights each week.) This strategy shakes up what you do; add to your goals and replace them with new activities when they get stale. This way, fitness remains exciting and fun. Your coach can help you set and adapt your goals, just as my coach, Kyle, has helped me with mine over the years.
Keep it Exciting in the Kitchen, too! – We tend to eat the same things often; probably because that represents our comfort zone or skill level in the kitchen. However, your meals don’t have to be boring. I like to visit the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, because their advanced recipe searches allow you to find creative recipes by ingredient. For example, I found about 400 interesting and fun ways to prepare easy dishes with ground turkey! Exercise Inc also cultivates a collection of healthy recipes which they email to their clients every Friday. (Let your coach know if you’re not receiving these, and they’ll update their email distribution system.) In our kitchen, we refer to these all the time. I recommend saving them to a file so you can quickly access them for future use.
Boredom with anything leads to disinterest, which leads to stopping an otherwise positive activity or strategy. By consistently changing it up, making it interesting, and keeping it challenging, your body will thank you every day, and your lost weight won’t come back to visit.
Keep It Fresh,
Timothy J. Murphy, CAE
The preceding was a guest post from one of our clients, Tim Murphy. Since he began training with Kyle at our Zionsville location in 2014, Tim has lost over 80 pounds, reduced his waist size from 40 to 28 and reduced his suit size from 48 portly to 38 slim, among improvements to other key health metrics. To hear more about how Tim has changed his life in 20 Minutes A Week, check out his Client Spotlight.