Thursday, November 1, 2012

"Good" goodbyes...

It was a sad day indeed. All I could think about was the days running and playing in the sun; the smell of sweet summer honeysuckle in the air. Back in those days I hardly seemed to have a care in the world. Summers seemed long, the ice cream truck was always on time and life was good. As these memories flashed through my mind, I watched as they took box after box out to sell at a garage sale or to donate to charity…piece by piece they were emptying the house where I had grown up. Needless to say, I was blurry eyed and the lump in my throat was there to stay.

When it was all done, the buyers signed the papers and within days crews started showing up to put in new carpet, apply fresh paint and even remove my favorite tree out front. Amid all of the commotion of selling the house, finding closure after my grandmother’s funeral and such, I went back to the old house. No one was around and maybe that’s a good thing. I sat in my car and revisited those old memories one last time. It was amazing. What a fantastic childhood that house gave me. The best Christmases and family gatherings were held within her walls. After a short while, I smiled and said goodbye. I put the car in gear and slowly pulled away with such strong mixed feelings.

That’s been nearly 18 years ago now and even still I have moments where I flash back to that old house and those days. I have moved on though. In fact, as I write this, I am having a brand new house built and I am hopeful for many amazing memories there. I look so forward with anticipation to this Christmas…and summer…and new memories. Needless to say, that old house taught me a lot, but one thing in particular stands out. Oddly enough, it taught me the importance of ending things well, of having "good" goodbye's.

Looking back, I realize that sometimes, in order to move forward and truly live life well, you have to have “good” goodbyes. That’s right, you have to end things well. How does this relate to your health and fitness? Like this: you have to take the YOU that you are right now and spend a little time remembering the good times. Your life has been a measure of amazement to say the least. You’ve lived a unique, good, bad and everything-in-between kind of life. Most people, I believe, tend to hate themselves. While I understand this, I can't agree with it. You see, while you may hate aspects of who you are and what you have become, NEVER discount all of the good within you as well. I promise you, there is more good than bad! So now,  when you are ready to move forward, do so...but, do it well!

We are facing a new year and with that come amazing opportunities for you to live life on your own terms. Think about the possibilities. By simply eating healthy and exercising you can enjoy a super happy, super healthy life. Smaller clothes, tons of energy and just fantastic health can all be yours. But, remember, end each chapter of your life well. By doing so, you will be well served going into your new future!
If you happen to be out for a healthy walk soon and happen to see me in my new yard, stop and say hello and smell the honeysuckle!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Transformation Blueprint

A while back this lady came to the studio to "consider" joining. When she came in, she seemed so fearful and worried. She looked at the machines in a way that made me think they were about to bite her. In talking to her, she had a dozen reasons for being overweight, none of them her own fault. It was her husband, her job and her schedule. She had done Weight Watchers, several of the local fitness classes, hired a trainer and now she was in my studio. After finally getting her into the program she got focused on pounds lost. If she didn't lose a pound each day, she wasn't transforming. Once, she ate some candy and told me that she "deserved" it because she had come to work out three days in a row.

Every time I challenged her to do more weight or to face some new obstacle, she never, ever stepped up to the challenge. Now, mind you she was all "into" the whole workout thing. She bought all the gadgets, had all the apps and talked a great talk. I recall one time when her class was going for a cheat meal together, she refused to go saying that she was too committed to have a cheat meal. Every time that I spoke to her and tried to help her with anything, it was a MAJOR production. She could never just talk. Everything was connected to something from her past and had some major familial dysfunctional element to it. After 20 weeks, this lady had lost lots of weight. But, to me, she had not "transformed" herself. My concern was validated recently when I saw this lady again. She's bigger than ever, looked sad and avoided me like I was from the IRS.

Unfortunately, this was not the first time I've experienced this. You see, for years and years I have been training people in the gym. In every case there is a certain amount of teaching people to use machines, free weights, cardio equipment and such. Quite candidly, any trainer can do that. And, from the perspective of the trainee, there is a certainly a requirement of performing sets of reps, grouped into workouts, mixed with cardio in order to get the job done.

To a particular point, this effort will produce results. Absolutely true. However, if you want to know the REAL truth of personal transformation, then here it is. Real transformation occurs in your head, or more specifically, your mindset. Transformation is not losing some pounds on the scale. It isn't pushing out some reps on the leg extension machine. Instead, transformation occurs on the inside. It has so little to do with how you work out, what method you follow etc. and EVERYTHING to do with your attitude towards all of it.

I’m certain that there are multitudes of psychologists and other "specialists" that can talk circles around me when it comes to this subject and clearly there are an unlimited number of books that claim to be able to "fix you", but I could care less about any of them. I know what I know and what I know is what it takes to transform yourself. If you are not interested, Dr. Phil comes on at 4:00 and Bob Greene has a new book coming out soon. If you ARE interested, keep reading.

First of all, get past the concept that there is some "special' combination of weights or some "special' DVD system or whatever that is magic. Not true. Almost all of them will work. I will agree that there are better and worse, but my point is that you should get passed the thought that there is only ONE way, better than all the rest. Even my UB program isn't the best there is (it's just way up the list.)

Next, get over yourself. The biggest obstacle that we all face is ourselves. How do you get over yourself? First, man or woman up. Take responsibility for being where & what you are and the fact that there is NO ONE else to blame for this. Every extra ounce of weight that you carry around, YOU put there. Also, stop blaming circumstances. I know people who to this very day are going through some hellacious situations, yet they fight on, day by day in spite of them. So, if you blame a lack of success on something as silly as "the schedule just didn't work' or "the front desk girl is just rude" then I am talking to you. Get over yourself. For some, that will be the toughest work out they have had in a long time!

Third on the list is developing a 'warrior' mindset. I don't mean that you have to be some tough guy and kick Chuck Norris's ass to be a warrior. What I mean is that you have to face your fears. I mean eye to eye, face to face, you vs. your fears. THAT is being a warrior. You see, when you are willing to face your fears, then nothing that comes against you will ever prevail. Sure, you will face some things and at times they will gain some ground on you. However, they will not win. Once you have that "warrior" mentality, donuts, chips, beer, laziness, depression...they haven't a chance against you.

Next, get out of your own head. Seriously, for the love of God, please get out of your own head. For some people, completely by choice, they over think and over-analyze even the most basic elements of personal transformation. For them, and maybe you, every step of the way has some PROFOUND meaning attached to it... "Well, my mom was overweight and she made me feel blah blah blah and therefore I've just always seen myself as a loser and so blah blah blah, now I'm overweight."  Just stop all that. Ya, your mom messed you up in some ways. Now flush that nonsense out of your head and get your butt to the gym and throw around some weights instead of all that mental weight. There is no re-do with your mom. It is what it is and it always will be, so you can choose to always be a victim of these things or you can choose to overcome them, and preferably without pie charts and graphs on how to do it.

Along with getting out of your own head comes divorcing every negative piece of self-perception that you hold on to right now. Here's what I mean: thoughts such as 'I'm fat," "I can never succeed," "I'm just not good at this or that" and so on. If you cannot accept the fact that you are an amazing creation of God, a complex and fantastic combination of intelligence and emotions and physiological miracles, then you simply don't get it and never likely will. The farthest that some people can see is to their own limitations. Their world is full of  "I can't" and that’s precisely where the whole show stops. "I can't" might as well be re-written to say: THE END. Open your mind. See what you truly are and accept THAT truth. Unlock this door. It is critical.

Next, be disciplined. What? BE disciplined? Yes, BE DISCIPLINED. We can all practice discipline and that certainly makes us better at it, but the fact is that discipline is a CHOICE for us in the matter of personal transformation. By now, you have lived enough life. You are not a child anymore. Therefore, the concept of "Well, I ate those Oreo's because I just don't have any discipline" holds zero water with me. You ate them because you CHOSE to. Period. How do I know that you already have discipline? Because, you don't shoplift, use drugs, recklessly damage other people's property, and assault people even when you are angry. You have discipline. You know better. Those of you who are the over-thinkers are busy RIGHT NOW over thinking that concept. Those of you who will likely succeed soon just read that statement, accepted it and are now moving on.

Finally, know when to let go. Not let go for good, but let go temporarily. Some people grip it so tight, hold on so hard that it's like the old fistful of sand...the harder you squeeze trying to hold onto it, the more of it you lose. Don't live your every single moment thinking or obsessing over your transformation. There are so many important things in your life that you will miss if you do. Family and friends will be overlooked. Experiences and opportunities will be passed up. So don't.

I often do something that many people would consider silly. Per my desire for even me to get over myself when needed, I will let my guard down and do just that. I love looking up at the "just before sunset" sky and seeing the amazing, blazing orange and purple and blue sky that God puts above us. It is simply breathtaking at times and there are never two alike. It's like a free masterpiece of art painted on the biggest canvas that's just given to us to enjoy. Sadly, I tend to point these out when I see them and most people, not all, but most, just glance up and say "ya, cool" and then put their mind right back into whatever was going on moments before. I do the same with rainbows. Want to see me get excited? Show me a rainbow. For a short time, anything in my life gets put on hold while I enjoy these life moments. This is one example of letting go, even if just for a short time.

In the end, transformation NEVER happens on the outside. It is ALWAYS on the inside. Your blueprint for success is here. Re-read it several times and honestly make the changes that you need to make. I'm not in the business of patting people on the back and telling them "good job" just to make them feel good. I am in the business of helping people succeed at one of life's hardest endeavors. So, please understand my desire. It is one of transformation. YOUR transformation, finally.

If you need more help or want to discuss, you know how to find me.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Buying Designer Jeans

“You are fat!” he said. Right there, right then! I couldn’t believe it. You see, me and a guy I’ve known for what seems like forever were at Stonebriar Mall shopping for new jeans. I found this really awesome pair at my favorite department store. “Just right” I thought. They were really cool: dark blue with some heavy stitching and an awesome design on the back pockets. Mind you, I own two fitness studios in the area and I’m no stranger to healthy eating and working out. Maybe that’s why his words hit me so hard.

As I stepped out of the dressing room and stood in front of the mirror looking at the jeans, the guy I was with all of a sudden says “You are fat!” Not only that but he went on to point out that I had a little extra here and there as well. I wondered to myself if what he had said was really true. Could it be? I didn’t argue with him. In fact, I just accepted what he said as fact. There were many more negative things that he threw in for good measure like how old I am looking these days.

I felt really hurt and depressed by his words. I walked over and put the jeans back on the rack and invited him to come join me for something unhealthy to eat, you know, to relieve some of the pain I was feeling. Surprisingly, he didn’t put up a fight. Instead, he just said hurled one more bad comment at me. “Go ahead” he said. “You’re not going to change anything anyways; you might as well eat that junk.”

You may wonder why I choose to hang out with this guy. Well, the simple truth is that I can’t shake him. He’s always there with me. In fact, he IS me. Get that? He is that “negative inner voice” that we all have and that we all listen to all too often. You and that negative inner person are like twins, but, not identical twins.

So how do you deal with this? Simple. What you may not realize is that YOU control this voice. It is up to YOU to decide whether this voice speaks negative un-truths or if it speaks positive, uplifting messages to you! Think about it.

I would recommend learning to do two things. First, when the negative voice speaks and starts pointing out every negative detail about you, respond to it in the nicest, most friendly way possible. It goes something like this: SHUT UP! Next, turn on the positive and listen closely. Those words go like this “You may not be perfect, but you are perfect enough. You are strong and capable and if you decide that you want to change something about yourself, you can and will!”

Listen friends, it’s all up to us. It always has been. There is simply not another single person in the world that can do it for you. But, if you decide to change yourself for the better, there isn’t another single person in the world that can stop you.  Need a little push start? Go find a mirror and read these words to yourself: You are awesome and capable of anything. You are unique and special. You have strength and determination to accomplish great things!
See you in the designer jean section soon!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Party Like This...

Years ago while I was still a police officer, I hosted a party with lots of good, good friends. Most all of my friends were cops too. The night was full of laughing, eating and telling stories that would make most people either sick or at least wince. There was great music and plenty of places to just sit around and relax with good company.

As I sat there, I noticed that there was a face I had never seen before. Someone new was at the party and let me tell you, he was no cop. You see, cops know when a cop walks in a room and cops definitely know when a bad guy walks in... so anyways, this dude walks thru my party with some really pretty girl in tow. No one seemed to know him but someone did mention that he was a "friend of a friend" so I didn't say anything...

A little later, there was a loud commotion in my house and all of a sudden this unknown face goes running through the backyard and heads towards my fence. Someone yelled that he had just assaulted his girlfriend inside and to stop him. Let me just tell you, you NEVER want to assault your girl at a cops house, during a party with a bunch of pumped up, beer drinking off duty cops! Definitely, definitely DO NOT SHOUT EXPLETIVES AND FLIP THEM OFF AS YOU RUN.

I'm pretty sure that he believed he was home free as he made the fence headed to the street. Long about the time that my buddy grabbed him he probably started doubting that whole home free concept. Once he met the ground face first, the concept of home free stood about the chance a ball of butter has dancing on the sun. All I know for sure is that at about .02 seconds later when the rest of us landed on him, he probably wished he was just on his own couch smoking a dube and listening to the Beastie Boys CD he stole the day before.

Within moments the somewhat grass covered, very silent and respectful bad guy was being placed in a Dallas Police car and on his way to where all good 'bad guys" go...and well, the party went on and life was good. The girlfriend left the party to go bond him out of jail and now they are probably married, divorced and God knows what else.

So what does this have to do with fitness and you? Everything. It goes like are having a party. Life is good. You are surrounded by good things and people. You have a workout plan, you have eating under control and you have people who expect you to follow your plan everyday. Its all good! What is there to fear? How could anything go wrong?

Then it happens. Just as you lift that Syntha 6 shake for one more round, in walks someone you don't know. Well, you don't "know" him (or her), but just like cops know bad guys, you KNOW this dude ain't supposed to be there.  So who is this stranger? Well, a "friend of a friend" is who.  It's some variation of yourself that you don't like. Its old bad habits, it's eating foods that are not acceptable and not recording's you when you've added 10 ponds. It's you feeling sorry for yourself or justifying eating some garbage that you shouldn't or missing a workout when you COULD have made it...

Look familiar? Let me say this. These creeps will show up to ruin your party, that's a fact. Accept it. The difference is that you can either choose to let them come in, ruin it then run away leaving you broken and defeated OR you can respond asap and WHIP THEIR ASS.

I still have parties and every so often some chump comes walking in to ruin it for me. My standard response is still the same. As soon as I identify the problem, I'm on it...I don't mess around. I don't pull my punches. I grab it, slam it to the ground and send it off so that I can get back to what I want to do...which is P-A-R-T-Y...

How about you? Had a few parties ruined? Let's see how the NEXT punk ends up. On to success baby!!! It's yours to get.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

You, again.

There are multiple versions of you. Well, there are at least two that I know of. There are two of me too. Confusing isn't it? What you may not know right now is that one version of me is speaking very directly to one version of you. When I see you and speak to you in person, I tend to believe that there is just one of you...but that's not true...there's two. And when one of you speak to me in person, you have always thought that there was only one Ron Lyons. But, again, there's two. Scary huh?

So you think I'm nuts? or are you slightly intrigued and want to see where I go with this? Either way, keep reading...there's something here for you, or should I say, for "both" of you. Whomever of the two of you is reading right now, keep reading. I promise you, before you read the last words of this agglomeration, I will help set you free; both of you.

Have you ever noticed that you have the ability to do really well at something? Take, for instance, eating right and working out on a regular basis. Somehow, through the myriad of fantastical details that we call "life" you find your way into a healthy eating regimen. Amazing. But not only are you eating healthy -you are also working out consistently! Now that's even more amazing. Everyday you are mindful of what you are eating, you follow the plan and you see results! Soon you begin to believe that maybe this is it. Maybe this is the time that it sticks. Many times in the past you have started off well, only to crumble and fall back into old habits, but maybe, just maybe, you got it now!

The sad reality is that before long you find yourself eating food that just maybe a week before you would have sworn you would never eat again. Sometimes, it's not just a little bite of this or that, sometimes it's alot of this or that. Sometimes it's so much that you may wonder if you have an eating disorder or some major defect. Let me just tell you right now, you don't. You are not broken, you are not defective and you do not have an eating disorder. Just stop reading right now if you take offense to me "diagnosing" you like this. I know Dr. Oz told you different last Tuesday and a year ago Oprah disagreed with my diagnosis that you are NORMAL too. On the other hand, if you are open to the idea that maybe you are just like the rest of us, then keep on reading.

So here's the deal. When you are "on plan" and doing everything right with food and exercise, that's but ONE version of you. When life starts kicking your ass and Bluebell becomes your midnight best friend, that's another version of you. Don't you even start to deny that both of you exist now. I know you do. In fact, I spend my life trying to bring more of one of you into the light and push the other one back. But be clear about one thing. I do not and will not ever try to get rid of the Bluebell loving version of you. I can't, and, neither can you.

If you have children, I want you to think of them right now. If you do not have kids, then imagine a relationship with someone that you love deeply. As sure as I sit here typing this, the child or the person that you are thinking of will (and likely has) let you down before. Chances are beyond excellent that they have even hurt you before with their words or actions. At the same time, whomever you are thinking of has been a Godsend to you too. Happiness, joy, love, smiles...these are the things that this person has given you.

Let me ask you, if this person had to be perfect all the time, could they be? What would happen if the first time this person hurt your feelings, made a mistake or did something wrong, you had to forget all about them. No chance huh? Wouldn't happen. Thank you. You are right. Truth is, we all have people in our lives that hurt us or do us wrong at times. I'll tell you this much, if you are looking at me, you won't have to look far at all to find many faults. That's me, imperfect. Or, I should say, that's ONE of me. The other one of me gets it right fairly often.

Do you know that the greatest gift you have to give is love? Sounds silly coming from me, I know. But I'm doing you no service if I'm not straight on honest with you. Think about it. Love is what motivates us, love is what we live for. Love is an amazing, God made emotion that fuels life. You love people, you love food, you love sunsets and love so many things except for that ONE thing. Well, except for that one OTHER thing. That other version of you, baby.

Wow. Let that sink in just a bit. If you missed it, reread it until you get it. If you still don't get it, call me. It's that important. I believe that you LOVE the you that does right...eats healthy, works out like a crazy person and gets results. But, I believe that you likely hate the you that drowns in a container of ice-cream or Whataburger or Crown Royal...or whatever. It's all nearly the same, isn't it?

If you would disown your own child the person you love for doing wrong then I say you are one hundred percent correct in hating the other version of yourself! But, if you would never do that...never walk away from those you love so much, then learn something from me now. Love yourself the same way. Did you just get that? Love yourself, the bad, Twinkee eating, Dr. Pepper drinking, Cheeto crunching version of you. It's time to make your peace. You have spent entirely too long hating yourself.

Start by acknowledging that there are two versions of you. One that's squared away and gets it right almost all the time and one that simply doesn't. One that makes you smile and one that makes you cry. One you are proud of and one that you are ashamed of. Just admitting that both exists brings major healing where you have needed it for a long, long time.

Next, make peace with yourself. It goes like this. Me, mirror, quiet. Long pause, deep breath, then "Hello." That's the start. Next is "It's good to finally acknowledge you. You know that I have always hated you, despised you and wished you were not a part of me. But, you are and therefore I will no longer hate you. In fact, I accept you. You are as much a part of me as my own breath is. But, know this. As much as I accept you, you are not ALL that I am. I am more. I am capable and I am strong. I am not defeated, nor will I ever be. I have grasped success today simply because I accept you and will no longer hate you."

Do it. When you make peace with yourself, YOU will succeed in ways that you never thought possible. Please take the time to learn to love yourself, -successes, failures, good, bad and everything in-between. I have faith in you and believe in you. Now do that for yourself and don't hesitate to ask me for help if you need it. It's what I do....

Writers note: I want to dedicate this to someone who has made a profound impact on my life with her own. Recently, this person whom I have known "of" for years but never truly taken the time to get to know has had a tremendous tragedy in her life. This person has faced something that no one should ever have to face. Every day I see her stand with strength and determination that is amazing and can only come from one thing, the love she has for God and for the man and children He blessed her with. Her family is one less now, but her impact on those of us who know her is undeniable. Thank you for reminding the rest of us what it means to love. God bless you W.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Still A Kid

I am 44 years old and to this day I still like to watch old cartoons, I still collect Star Wars toys, I would prefer to ride a $69 Huffy over some 23 oz. $6300 mountain bike and I still have the urge to buy those Snap-N-Pops that pop when you throw them on the ground every time I see them. And, if I’m being honest, I’d buy a pack of candy cigarettes in a heartbeat, if you could find them.

Truth is, I’m still very much like a kid, and so are you. Think about this. If you can remember back to your childhood, certainly you can recall all of the fun things you used to do. All of those warm summer days spent outdoors, running and playing with your friends. How about getting to buy a toy? Remember how fun that was? You probably had some limit, maybe a dollar or two. But, that never mattered. You didn’t let the fact that you could only buy a cheap toy stop you from excitedly choosing one and playing with it for a long time.

Now, it wasn’t all fun and games growing up though.  Remember having to clean your room? I remember hating cleaning so much that I would rather be doing almost anything else, including slamming my head in a sliding glass door. It wasn’t that it was so hard, just that it was not fun! Then there were other things too. I remember going shopping with my mom for her work outfits and such. There was no greater drain on a young boy’s life than being dragged from department store to department store. I still shudder thinking about Sanger Harris or Joske's.

Now that we’re all grown up, things have changed, right? I mean you just LOVE to clean house, don’t you? How about super exciting things like filing your taxes? Isn’t that just the best? I look forward to doing that each and every year. In fact, I like to meet with my CPA and file early.
Wait. That's not true. I STILL hate cleaning. And, sorry to all of my IRS friends and CPA buddies out there, but filing taxes just isn’t my idea of a great day. On the other hand, send me outside to play with my friends (we call them cook-outs and day’s at the pool now) and I am ALL IN! I love doing that. Or how about buying a toy (new car, computer, TV) –again, I’m ALL IN.

The bottom line is this: we are all still just like kids. We love doing what we enjoy and protest doing what we don’t enjoy. So let me ask you, when was the last time you “loved” to work out or eat healthy? -Probably not in a long time, if ever. Why? Simply stated, we just don’t “enjoy” it. Guess what? I think you may have just started to unlock the door to something great. Let’s call it Pandora’s Box. You know how that goes, open the box and everything comes out. The difference is that in YOUR Pandora’s Box awaits a whole new, healthy, happy, energetic and full-of-life version of you.

Think about it like this: If you want to change yourself, lose weight and get very healthy, learn to “enjoy” the process.  If you hate going to the gym then learn to love the sense of accomplishment you feel once done. Enjoy the friends that you will make at the gym and enjoy the process of change. Learn to love the flavors of truly healthy foods and more importantly, learn to love the great way they make you feel from the inside out. In the end, if you will work at “enjoying” the journey, you will in fact “complete” the journey.  Go grab a pack of “Big League Chew” and put way too much in your mouth. Then, sit there and figure out how you can make working out and eating clean just as fun. Soon, you will LOVE the new you!

Writer's Note: The above was written for people who live in Starwood in their local magazine. I would like to add that if you belong to UB now, then guess what, YOU HAVE ALREADY FIGURED THIS OUT! The teams (classes) are very strong and actually make working out FUN. I would encourage you to join the UB Facebook page then from there join the UB Food/Recipe Exchange, the UBChallenge page and the UB Team page. It's amazing where you will find yourself woven into the very thread of everything UB is and will be. Thank you to each and every UB'er for making this place ROCK!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Oversized Mirrors

What do you feel when you look at someone who is in horrible shape? You know the ones, so big, so overweight that they have multiple rolls of fat around their mid section. Or the ones who are so large that they literally "waddle" when they walk. Surely you have seen the people who are so morbidly obese that they have to buy their clothes in a specialty shop.

So what do you think? Be honest with yourself for a moment. Do you look at them in disgust? Do you feel deep sorrow for them? Maybe you even hate them? Strong word, hate. But, do you? Do you look at them and wonder with nothing but one word questions like "why?" or "how?"

Many times I have looked at folks like this and felt much like I'm sure you do. But here's what's interesting about these feelings. It's not that you have any personal negative feelings towards the people themselves, it's that you have these feelings towards what these people represent. You see, they are in many ways like large, over sized mirrors, reflecting everything that we hate or feel sorrow for within ourselves. When you see a person who is obese, you see a little bit of yourself. Not good huh? But true. Bottom line is these folks have had made the decision to get fit and lose weight many times over. Unfortunately, they didn't make the wrong decision, they made the decision wrong. Re-read that last sentence and "get it" before you read on.

In all of my years of training and helping people lose weight, I have met every possible situation, I have heard every possible story and I have seen every kind of success and, sadly, failure. In all these years, I have learned an awful lot of truths about weight loss and such. I was reminded of one of these truths the other day when my friend Paul Miller sent me some information on decision making.

When I read over his materials, I realized that someone had taken the time to detail and perfect what we have been seeing for years. I'll kind of boil it down for you. Basically, there are two different kinds of decisions. The kind that are not earth shattering and can be changed with ease. What you are going to have for dinner, what shoes you are going to wear today, what you are going to watch on TV, etc. are examples of these decisions. Unfortunately, many people make the decision to get healthy at this level.

"I'm starting P-90X with my friend Monday..." or "Well, I think I'm going to try Adkins again, that worked well for me before..." blah, blah, blah. I hear this nonsense all the time. And it is just that, nonsense. You're probably sitting there right now thinking I'm a little harsh for feeling this way and you are right, I am. Know why? Because PEOPLE DON'T FREAKING SUCCEED LIKE THIS. These casual namby pamby weak little "decisions" to change will never get the job done. Heck, they hardly are capable of helping you decide what you're having for dinner.

The other level of decision making is the one that IS life changing. It's the one that can't be easily changed. Decisions such as getting married, buying a house, changing careers, having kids, joining the military... these are big decisions that require a large dose of thought before diving into them. That doesn't mean that everyone DOES think, but we aren't wasting our time talking about those people. We are talking about people like you, good, honest, squared away people.

So the decision to get fit and lose weight is typically made at the "what's for dinner' level but should be made at the "do you want to marry me" level. Huge difference. Massive in fact.

So here's the deal. If you are in the midst of a fitness effort based on a decision made in a manner that can be easily changed yet is not life changing, you are on a path to fail. Yes, even in my own UB program, you are set to fail. Stop right now and reassess. Spend some serious time re-evaluating your decision. If you can bring it up to the level of life changing, yet not easily changed, then my words have not been wasted. You are likely to succeed. If you have already made the decision and it was a huge, can't be changed decision, thank you. You just made my life easier because now we can accomplish great things together.

If you are one of the ones who gets it and who has made the decision and who is committed, then you are special. You possess something that so many wish for but may never experience. You see, the Ultimate Body is not the great gift. The great gift, the one you have and the one they only wish for is the ability to create change for yourself within your life. Its the ABILITY to change that they long for. You, my friends, have it.

So here's what I would like to ask those of you who have it. Let's put it to good use. Good use for more than just ourselves that is. I would like to challenge you to make a goal of helping someone who doesn't get it, who hasn't got it and yet who desperately needs it. Real help made from real personal sacrifice on some level. Find someone who is suffering from being overweight and poor health and do something for them. Teach them something. Pay for them to come to UB for a month. Take them to dinner or lunch once a week and spend time getting to know them, then, when the time is right, teach them about healthy eating or exercise. Find a way. Spend some time. Mainly, just try.

Everything that we know and everything that we have experienced is wasted if used just for ourselves. Reach out to someone in need and try your hardest to help them. Don't be disappointed if you don't save them though. Some people don't want to be saved. Remember, my challenge to you is to go and try. You and I both know that success is up to them.

When you see a very overweight person in the future, I want you to do something. From now on, don't see the negative reflections of who you used to be. Instead, I want you to see who you truly are -the person that God created to be used as part of the change. You can make a difference, if you decide to... 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I'm Not Changing

So what if I never left the 80’s? The 80's were radical man. Or was it knarley. No, wait, it was "awesome, totally awesome." Anyways, as a holdover from that era, I still play video games. No more Pong or Space invaders, but Skyrim instead. So there I was, searching YouTube for some help with my game when I found a video called “Skyrim meets metal.” Metal as in “heavy metal” I wondered? I had to listen.

Within moments I was taken back to my younger days when I used to live on this stuff. Parachute pants, winged hair and loud heavy metal! Mind you, this is nothing like the 20 year older version of me now. These days I’m more KVIL than Motley Crue. So, clearly, things have changed, and change is good, right?

Fast forward to today. I attended a local bridal show as a vender for my Body Transformation studios and had a little booth set up. One sign offered “Free Body Fat Testing” and the other said “Enter to win 10 free personal training sessions.” So I sat there and watched dozens upon dozens of soon to be brides walking right past my booth and stopping instead at the cake booth, the coffee bar and such. Did you know that over 30 percent of Texans are literally obese? Let that word sink in a bit. Obese. Not over weight, not chubby but rather OBESE. From what I saw today, I think that number may be understated.

What I did see was absolutely disheartening. These overweight women would look at my table, see that it was nutrition and fitness then walk away as fast as they could. A few gave a really ugly look as if I were selling cow manure at the show. It just hurt me inside to see this happening over and over as if they were following a script or directions from someone in the hall.

So I began thinking, remember when it was a stigma to be overweight? Remember when you wanted to look good and feel good and being overweight was less “accepted” than it is now? Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying that people who are overweight are flawed or bad people; Quite the contrary in fact. What I am saying is that because it is so “socially acceptable” to be overweight now, we are headed down a dead end road that ends with strokes, heart attacks and diabetes. And, don’t forget the fact that you feel horrible, have no energy and are generally prone to depression on the way!

So, maybe I am not “hip” by still believing that we should try to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. I’ll admit it. I hate this new change, and more importantly, I hate what it is doing to our kids. They are actually beating every generation before them in the race to be obese and that is OUR fault.

If you are like me and do not agree with being “PC” when it comes to your own health and that of your family, then make a commitment with me right now to be a leader in the fight to be healthy. You and I both grew up watching Rocky movies. We know what it takes. Get back in the fight and adopt your old mindset again. Turn up the Twisted Sister “We’re Not Gonna Take It” on your jam box and let’s do this. Just leave the old Jordache in the closet, ok?


Writers Note: All the above went into my article for Starwood Newsletter which is really a magazine for Starwood. Now, heres the rest: seeing those people today made me appreciate to a new, higher level the people that we have training at UB. Every single day I see people kicking serious A in the gym, making a HUGE difference. It is beyond me to think that there are really such lazy, un-motivated, overweight people out there as what I saw today. How do they do it? How do they wake up each day and face the mirror? How can you have roll upon roll of deady fat on your body and not want to do a single thing about it?

More importantly, how do I reach them? How can I help them? Maybe the better question is this. Since we GET IT, how can WE help them?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

How To Fit In A Bikini

It might have been the perfect day at the pool. The temperature was in the mid 80’s, the sun was warm on her skin yet there was a touch of perfect coolness in the air. “I wish every day could be this good” she thought to herself. When she breathed in she smelled the sweetness of Honeysuckle, the kind that takes you back to when you were a kid on an amazing summer day. Her friends were all there too, laughing and taking turns sharing tidbits of their lives with each other. One of those little waterfalls was alive with the sounds of cascading water nearby and the husbands and boyfriends were all laughing and hanging out by the grill.

As she lay there stretched out on the lounge chair, she remembered spending nearly a whole Saturday at Stonebriar Mall shopping for a bikini. Luckily she had found the perfect one. Black, tasteful and super cute, it fit her better than she remembers them fitting back in the 80’s. The bikini might be better today than back then, but as she flips through her playlists on her iPhone, she stops on the 80’s music she has downloaded and begins to tap her fingers to Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey.

“Perfect!” she thought.

Then the alarm went off. Slowly she rolled over and hit the snooze button as she does every morning. In her mind it’s just another day of stress just waiting to happen. Soon she will be up and trying like mad to get the kids to wake up. No real time for a healthy breakfast, she knows that there will be a donut (or three) along with a cup of coffee (or three) waiting for her at work. After avoiding the mirror while getting in the shower, she reluctantly searches through her closet for the one outfit that will make her “look” thinner, even though she knows she simply isn’t. Truth is, she hasn’t been thin for long time now.

Today she feels terrible. She may have a smile on the outside, at times, but on the inside, she’s depressed and hates what she looks like and how she feels about herself. Sadly, she even feels pretty hopeless to change it. So, like most people, she simply gives up on the possibility that she can ever have the life she has always wanted. Instead she spends her time chasing her kid’s homework assignments, sports practices and their messes all over the house. Her life is hectic and her best two friends are sweets and high fat foods these days.

“Not perfect” she thought. Not even close.

Let me explain something to you as you read this. I am a door opener. Granted, my title is Fitness Specialist, but in reality, I’m a door opener. Here’s what I mean. We all want something, something fantastic. We want to go to the pool and we want to look good. Not only that but we want to feel good. We want energy, focus and above all else, we want to be happy. Here’s what I know: all of those things that you want are there for you, waiting on the other side of a door. They aren’t far off, they aren’t far-fetched but they are one thing that is far, -far from impossible!

In your world you have been blessed with many abilities; the ability to think, the ability to love and the ability to change. That’s right, to change. Hold that thought and let me tell you something. Every single person who reads this from the editor to you yourself will be in one of three groups. One group is the ones who stay right where they are. No success, no change, lots of moo-moo’s at the pool and excuses for not enjoying life. The second group is those who make “some” effort and end up changing “some.” You know, half effort and half results. These folks will live a little better life, but not an amazing life -sometimes the pool sometimes Oreo’s and frustration. Then the final group: those of us who will not settle any longer, those who will reach out and take the life that we want so badly for. This group smiles, this group has hope, this group lives! The hard reality is that YOU WILL BE IN ONE OF THESE THREE GROUPS. You can’t avoid it. Even if you say “I’m not participating in your group thing” then guess what? Group one.

The good news is that you can change which group you are in. There are “doors” separating them to be sure. Remember me saying I’m a door opener? Hello. Want the key to open your door? I call it your mindset. Some would call it your attitude, but either way it’s the same thing, and, that my friend, is your key. It’s one of the greatest things you possess and it is uniquely and unmistakably yours to use.

Unlock the door with your positive, can win, won’t lose attitude. Decide right now that you are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Decide that you are ready for change. Decide that the life you live is up to you and then simply reach out and get it. It’s nothing more complicated than healthy food and exercise. No pills, no surgeries, no fad or gimmicky shortcuts. Your journey won’t be perfect, but it will be perfect enough.

Pool time is soon at hand. Will you be there? I will. You bring the bikini and hot new body and I’ll bring “Journey’s Greatest Hits” and the Coppertone. See you there!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Have A Question For You...

You know who they are, right? It seems that from the beginning everything falls into place for them. They come into the program all gung-ho and regardless of the fact that they are overweight and out of shape, they push like no one’s business... they are the ones who sit there and stare at me almost as if in a trance when I am speaking in a motivational way to the group as a whole. I know that they are getting every single word that I am saying and, more importantly, they are taking it to heart.

These folks seem to "drink the Kool-Aid" when it comes to the Ultimate Body Program. They learn everything they can about it, they breathe it and they LIVE it. In their spare time, they read all that they can about improving health and increasing their fitness levels. It seems that in every conversation that they have the subject of working out and eating healthy comes up. Much of the time, these people tend to irritate their friends by NEVER shutting up about the program. I guess the most important thing that these people have in common with each other is that they absolutely BELIEVE they can and will succeed.

So, who are these people? They are the "Ones Who Will Succeed." I can almost guarantee it. We roll dozens of them out of the program. They are the ones who decided at some point to actually change their lives for the better and then followed through. Annoying as they can be if you are not one of them, they truly are the ones who have it together.

Then, of course there’s the other group out there too. You know them: they talk a big talk about how they "used" to be something special and looked awesome. They tell you about how they are "going to" do it again, someday -maybe this day. But, something just hits you all wrong about their sincerity. These folks show up strong -for a week or two. Soon the stack of excuses gets so high, nothing can overcome them. This happens, that happens and ultimately the only thing that we all KNOW and can SEE happens is that their back side gets bigger and bigger.

These people have "crutch foods" down to an art. You know, 100 calorie snack packs here, low fat something there, blah blah blah. Bottom line is they aren't fooling anyone, especially themselves. These folks are the same ones that have talked to you time in and time out telling you about this diet, that diet supplement, this boot camp or that new fat loss book and on and on and on until you just smile and feel bad about how pathetic these people have become.

Know who these folks are? You guessed it; they are the "Ones Who Won't Succeed." They are all over and at times you may wish, as I do, that you could just grab them and shake the nonsense out of them. But, you can't. The only thing that would come out of them is some Diet Coke and the few little chocolate candies that they snatched off someone’s desk when no one was looking, except themselves.

My question is this: Who are you? Seriously. Imagine me sitting right in front of you looking you straight in the eyes and asking, "Who are you?" This is a critical question and one that demands a straight answer. You see, I already KNOW who I am. But, DO YOU?

There is but one tiny bit of hope for you if you have found yourself in the lagging, horrible, self-hating, self-deprecating, depressed place of which I speak. Stop. Yep, that's about it. Freaking STOP. You are in either one of these groups by YOUR OWN CHOICE. Exercise that choice that God gave you and fix it. Right now, right here, before you hit the end of this silly little message. Say to yourself "That's it. It's over. No more nonsense." Then, live it. Like I’ve said before, no magical Disney music is going to start playing, no fireworks are going to go off, nothing. It’s just you, your soon to be skinny ass and this new decision. That’s it, but, that’s enough.

I would be more than happy if you were to go into your kitchen and throw away anything that you can't handle. I would be more impressed if you would go to someone you care about and someone who cares about you either in person or by phone and tell them what you just decided. Tell them with conviction. The healing starts here.

The article is almost over. Just a few more sentences and it's done. If you just decided to change from the bad to the good group, welcome to the rest of your life in a new way -healthier and happier than you could possibly have expected. If you decided not to change (which is a nice way of saying you read the article but didn’t actually do anything about it), then I hope there’s a Twinkee or two left. You’re going to need them.

Hello new you. Nice to meet you...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's January. How Much Weight Have You Lost?

Hey, you. Ya, you. Sitting there reading this right now. I know you. Well, more importantly, I know ABOUT you. "Who am I then Mr. trainer?" Well, let me tell you. You are one of two people that I know. You are either perfectly content and happy with how you look and feel, or, more likely, you aren't. Let me tell you, if you are happy with how you look and feel, stop reading this now and instead, click on this link and enjoy a special just for you. On the other hand, if you are NOT happy with how you look and feel, then I am talking to YOU. Read on.

So tell me, how much weight have you lost? A fair amount so far, right? I mean, it is mid January. Actually more towards the end of the month. By now you should have pulled off at least 5 pounds; probably more like 12. You haven't though, have you? How does that feel? Really good? Make you want to jump for joy? Are you just thrilled with where you are headed? I thought not.

So it's really easy to sit here and bash you for failing to get your act together so far this year. But, truth be known, we are all really good at doing that to ourselves. No need for me to join the ass kicking that you either have or soon will have going on.

Actually I've got my mind set on something else. I want to help you overcome your biggest obstacle. Yourself. How do I know you are your own biggest obstacle? Because I am my own as well. We have that in common.

Now then, it's time to get serious. You've been waiting on someone to walk up and say "Hey man" or "Hey girl" shake off all the BS that you've collected and get your head our of your ass." Guess what. I'm here and I'll say it again. Hey, you, it's time to get your head out of your ass and let's get control of this thing, now!'

Seriously, do you like being overweight? Love that muffin freakin top? Are you a huge fan of dimples up an down your thighs? Heck no! You hate that crap. So do I. But somehow we want our cookies, chips, 100 calorie snack packs, wine, ice cream, cheese burgers etc. more. Right? Wrong. It's just that the junk crap is NOW and your results seem so far off. I know. I get it.

Let me tell you this. In order to overcome all these bad choices that keep us from our goal bodies, we have to draw a line in the sand. I mean a real, honest to God line in the sand and take off the boxing gloves. It's WAY past time to fight this fight. Way past. You know, if you had drawn this line back on your last effort just months back, you would be D-O-N-E done!

Know what you are about to miss? The swimming pool, cook outs, smaller awesome clothes, amazing health, much more energy, way less of the blues and depression, and most of all, just a better way to live your life. Ill put my size 31 jeans, my ability to take off my shirt at the pool in a few months and the compliments on how I look up against your glass of wine and cheese any day.

Please draw the line right now. Not later, not tomorrow, not next Monday, but NOW. I know, you may just die if you don't get your Hohos tonight, but I doubt it. Most likely, tonight will be the night that started the change that is currently just a dream.

In a couple of months I'm going to ask you again. "So, it's March. How much weight have you lost?"

Current client, former client, never a client: Call or text me now and just say hey, I need your help. If you are sincere, I will go to the ends of this little planet to help you. 214-783-5440.