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The Bullhorn, Issue #012 -- Monthly Motivator for March 2007
March 15, 2007

Just the right push to succeed!

Lose 10 Pounds Before Summer!

Ten weeks from this Friday marks the unofficial start of summer...Memorial Day weekend. Pools will open up; people will flock to the lakes, oceans, and resorts; and our bathing suits will come out of hibernation. It’s only 10 weeks away! But there’s good news: We still have time to trim down a bit and feel great about ourselves before we grab our beach towels and run out the door.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with large goals & the calendar has a way of creeping up on us, but 10 weeks is a manageable time frame. If you set your mind to it NOW, you can safely lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. It won’t require any pills, expensive diet foods, or even gym memberships, but it will require your commitment and dedication. Sound good? Great! Let’s get started….

In order to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks it’s going to require that you eat 500 less calories per day than you burn. And while that may seem like a lot, there’s a short-cut…exercise! Let’s say that your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is 1,800 calories per day…eating 1,300 calories a day is pretty tough. But now let’s say that you do 15 minutes of calisthenics in the morning (-100 calories) and walk for 30 minutes at lunch (-200 calories)…you can now eat 1,600 calories and still meet your goal. Try jogging or some evening work-outs and you might just surpass your goal!

Losing weight can be so frustrating because results takes time, and slight fluctuations in hydration can mask our short-term weight loss. The key is to stay the course. It’s only 10 weeks. If you honestly record all of your food in a food log and your exercise with it…you can lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks without starving yourself or creating too much discomfort. The other benefit of losing weight gradually, is that after 10 weeks you’ll probably keep going with your new habits and new exercise routine and have a few healthier habits for life!

So…what should you do on those party weekends or special occasions? Does that mark the end of the effort? It doesn’t have to…just plan ahead! If you know that you’re going out to dinner, have a few pieces of fruit and some crackers for lunch. Another way to cut down on calories…Get out of the kitchen! I can easily devour hundreds of calories while setting the table for dinner when I come from work (I know…I know…I get an earful from “the cook” every time that I do it ;-). Another tip: pack a lunch if you usually eat out…this alone can save money and pounds!

If you’re committed to really making this work, you’ll write down every morsel and snack. This will eventually make the snacking subside and the pounds will disappear with it. It will also cause you to make better choices like, water instead of soda, one cookie instead of three, etc... You’ll notice lots of creative ways to cut down on calories…and you’ll also find that most of these ways are healthy (fruits, vegetables, foods high in fiber, etc…). Be patient, though - it does take time to see results….but it’s well worth the wait. Take it one day at a time and before you know it…you’ll be 10 pounds lighter, sitting by the pool! See the Fitness Resource page for the calculators, nutritional data, templates, and all the tools that you need to get started. Here’s to a great summertime!

Where do you want to be?

History is filled with examples of visions that have become reality. JFK had a vision to put a man on the moon; Martin Luther King had a vision to end segregation; and 500 years after the fact, the vision of Michelangelo can still be seen today in the frescos that majestically adorn the Sistine Chapel. Dreams become visions…visions become goals….and goals can become reality if we act. This is the path we need to take to our health & fitness goals if we truly want to succeed.

This may sound overly simple, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. What’s your dream? What do you really want? Are you taking any steps towards achieving it? Let’s say you want to lose weight before your summer vacation. Do you have a plan to get there? What’s your actual goal? Can it be defined, tracked, and measured? Is it realistic? These are the points where many of us shy away because it’s hard to face reality, and thinking about change. But these habit changes are necessary if we truly want to get where we want to be.

A few years ago, I took a class where the teacher’s first assignment was this: Write down your life mission statement. Whoa….talk about re-calibrating your perspective. It forced me to mentally sift through all of the meaningless details in life to get to what really mattered to me, and then figure out where I wanted to be. How many things in your life are clouding what really matters? Take a minute to write down what you really want to accomplish with your health or fitness goals and be specific. Here are some examples of how to narrow down a broad vision to a specific goal:

  • ”Lose weight”:
    Lose 10 pounds & get BMI under 25.
  • ”Eat Right”:
    Eat less than what I burn – start food log and exercise log.
  • ”Tone upper Body”:
    Start morning exercise routine – post plan on closet door today.
  • ”Start walking”:
    Call a friend today and make walking dates for Mon, Wed, & Fri.
  • ”Run a marathon”:
    Run the Philadelphia Marathon – register on-line now.

Take the first step, no matter how small, right now. The steps will get easier and progress will result from weeks and months of these small steps. Take your goal and write it down, share it with others, and if you fall short…get back on your feet and try, try again. The difference between the dreams and success stories is action…not earth-shattering leaps…just small steps of continuous action. If you want to succeed, picture yourself training for your goal; meeting your goal; and then go out and take the steps to make it a reality. Put your workout clothes out at the foot of your bed for your morning workout…pack a healthy lunch…put a note-to-self on the cookie jar…these are actions that may help fulfill your vision….these are the first steps to a success story. You can do it!!

Exercise of the Month:

Pull-ups can be done at a gym, at a playground, on a home pull-up bar, or you might have to improvise a bit (please don’t do them on your home pipes or conduits, though. ;-). This exercise works out your back, chest, and arm muscles. It also can help strengthen your grip. The wider grip will work more back and lat muscles, while the narrow grip will work your tricep muscles. Start with a few sets of a manageable number of repetitions. Just doing one set each day for a few weeks will give you some noticeable results. They’re tough at first, but everything gets easier with practice.

New Pages!!

Every month, The Fitness Motivator adds new pages and helpful resources to assist you in meeting your fitness goals. Some of these pages came about from YOUR ideas (thank you!), while others are based on personal lessons-learned. If you haven’t been on the site in awhile, here are some of the pages added since the last newsletter:

Fast Food Calories: Some tips and facts to help you make good choices when on the go.
Fitness Memphis:
Going to Memphis? Here are some tips to stay fit in this neat city.
Half Marathon Training Plan:
The training plan, tips, and resources you'll need to conquer 13.1 miles.
Garmin Forerunner Product Review:
Here's an in-depth look at the runner’s GPS super-gadget.
Treadmill Buying Tips:
Thinking about buying a treadmill? Here are some factors to consider.
High Fiber Foods:
These foods can lower your cholesterol and help you to lose weight.
Weight Loss Tips:
Some creative ideas and tips to lose a few pounds…every bit helps!

Sound Off!

If you have any feedback (positive or negative), success stories to share, or suggestions for future articles, please feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you and we take all feedback, suggestions...and yes, even criticism very seriously. We’ll use this information to improve our newsletter and The Fitness Motivator site to help you and others like you attain your fitness goals.

Keep up the great work & stay focused on your goals. Best of luck!

Encouragement to Succeed!

P.S. - Please feel free to forward this to a friend!

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