Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tom Venuto - 8 Reasons

Hi all, I wanted to share an email I received the other day.

This comes from Tom Venuto at I've followed him for quite a while and he is always pretty well right on with his information. You can subscribe to get his email updates on his web site. I think i have them all pretty much in check for now with maybe the exception of number 5, but I am working on it...

Clearly, we have an obesity problem in America and many other countries across our planet. Yet, I propose that we do not have a weight loss problem today. In case you're confused at this apparent contradiction, consider these statistics: According to a study from Oxford University published in The International Journal of Obesity, within 3 to 5 years, about 80 percent of all 'weight losers' have regained the lost weight, and often gained back a little extra. According to research by the National Weight Control Registry, that relapse rate may be as high as 95 percent. For comparison, relapse rates for drug, alcohol and tobacco dependency have been reported in the range of 50-90%. This means that lots and lots of people have "successfully"
lost weight. But not many have kept it off. Therefore, we don't have a weight loss problem, we have a weight-relapse problem; we have a "not sticking with it" problem, wouldn't you agree?
In fact, the fall and subsequent weight-regain usually doesn't take years. Many people have abandoned their new year's resolutions within weeks. By the time the Super Bowl party rolls around, their diet is history! If this is true, then shouldn't we put more of our attention onto figuring out why you haven't been sticking with your program, and what you should do about it? That's what I've been doing recently, and I made that a prime focus of my newest book, The Body Fat Solution I also put together this new list (below) of the top 8 reasons why you fall off the wagon. Rather than worrying about the minutiae of your diet plan, like whether you should be on low carb or high carb, Mediterranean or Okinawan, vegetarian or meat eater, I propose that if you simply focus on these 8 issues, you'll start getting more lasting results. How? By being able to stick with whichever plan you decided was best for you! After all, even if you have the best nutrition program in the world - on paper - it doesn't do you much good if you can't stick with it in practice!

1. NO FOCUS: you didn't set goals, you didn't put your goals in writing, and or you didn't stay focused on your goals daily (by reading them, affirming them, looking at a vision board, etc.)
2. NO PRIORITIES: you may have set a goal, but you didn't put it on or near the top of your priorities list. For example, your goal is six pack abs, but drinking beer and eating fast food on the weekend is higher on your priorities list than having a flat stomach.
3. NO SUPPORT SYSTEM: you tried to go at it alone; no buddy system, training partners, family, spouse, friends, mentors or coaches to turn to for information and emotional support when the going got tough.
4. NO ACCOUNTABILITY - you didn't keep score for your own accountability - with a progress chart, weight record, measurements, food journal, training journal, and you didn't set up external accountability (ie, report to someone else or show your results to someone else)
5. NO PATIENCE: you were only thinking short term and had unrealistic expectations. You expected 10 pounds a week or
5 pounds a week or 3 pounds a week, so the first week you lost "only" 1 or 2 pounds or hit a plateau, you gave up.
6. NO PLANNING: you winged it. You walked into the gym without having a workout in hand, on paper, you didn't plan your workouts into your weekly schedule; you didn't have a menu on paper, you didn't make time (so instead you made excuses, like "I'm too busy")
7. NO BALANCE: your diet or training program was too extreme.
You went the all or nothing, "I want it now" route instead of the moderate, slow-and-steady wins the race route.
8. NO PERSONALIZATION: your nutrition or training program was the wrong one for you. It might have worked for someone else, but it didn't suit your schedule, personality, lifestyle, disposition or body type.

So there you have it - 8 reasons why most people to fall off the wagon! Have you been making these mistakes? If so, the solutions are clear and simple: focus, prioritize, get support, be accountable, be patient, plan, balance and personalize.
Train hard & Expect success,
Tom Venuto

Monday, January 26, 2009

2009 Week THREE - Perseverance

Today's Weight - 335 (-6.2/-25.8)

I averaged 1918 calories last week with the following breakdown; Carbs - 48%, Fat - 28%, Protein - 24% and Alcohol - 0%. Returning to a full week with only a couple minor "Nutritional and Health Distractions" (NAHD for further reference :-) ) was nice. I'd like to move the Fat down 8% and the protein up 8% and then I'd feel REAL good about it. I remain motivated and upbeat about this process and I feel a little different this time as opposed to any other time. Its kind of like I am at piece with the process and feel more "EVEN KEEL" with it. I worked out three times last week with two workouts being very good and one was kind of "Half Assed".

Perseverance - The dictionary has the following definition for perseverance:
1. steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

NAHD = "Nutritional and Health Distractions", my new catch phrase for times when you could be swayed to the "dark" side. In all seriousness these are "opportunities" for failure where you need to remain focused and get your guard up a little bit. I had a couple of these instances this week and handled them VERY WELL.

NAHD #1 - Poker night last Monday. This is always an opportunity to go off the deep end and if I ever wanted to just GIVE UP poker night would afford the opportunity to do it. Now, with that being said, it was held at Matt's last week and Matt and Michelle did a great job providing a healthy option which was AWESOME, some cantaloupe, turkey, wheat bread, grapes and other healthy options. When the healthy option is there its much easier to stay focused. I will admit I had a couple of chocolate chip cookies in addition to the other healthy options but I WONT beat myself up about that at all.

NAHD #2 - Sunday Baptism. This was more about control and discipline than anything else. Pulled pork, taco salad, macaroni salad and french bread. I had some of each and even went back for a little extra taco salad (it was SO awesome - one of my favorites) but remained disciplined throughout the rest of the day to balance off the entire day and still stay under my 2000 calories goal. I passed on what looked like the BEST cake in the world. I wont KID you, I REALLY wanted some of that cake and ice cream and I also wanted to take the ENTIRE BOWL of taco salad and go hide in some closet somewhere and devour it ALL.

These type of things (NAHD) are going to happen and they aren't things you can just NOT go too so you have to practice keeping it together "between the ears". MENTAL TOUGHNESS and "Perseverance" really the key to my success right now and probably forever.

I look to make it another 6.2 pound week this week, that would put me at an even 32 pounds off for January - I'll take it baby. Think of the 5 pound bag of sugar you buy at the grocery store, 6 of those = WOW that is a lot... Better yet think of that 30 pound dumbbell you use for curls or shoulder presses. It really puts 30 pounds into perspective.

PS: My clothes are fitting much looser than before YEA...

Until next time - Keep the Faith and FIGHT THE FAT

Friday, January 23, 2009

Twice the Man NAILS IT

I found this blog entry by TWICE the MAN very inspirational and just had to share. The talk of KILLING THE FAT man hit a home run with me...

Donut FRIDAY's - People are great.

Well, you see we have this tradition, as do most office settings, of someone bringing treats on Friday's. Usually donuts or bagels and cream cheese or coffee cakes or something similar. The last time it was my turn I brouht a dozen donuts for the team and also brought Oranges, I had the orange. Well it seems to have caught on and at one point I was going to bow out of the rotation but as the manger for the team I just hadn't yet. It continued today, Leonard was in charge and he brought donuts, bagels and a FRESH FRUIT tray with pineapple, canteloupe and grapes. Now thats awesome, I can easly bypass the donuts for fresh fruit when that is an option and it seems to be becoming the norm now... YAY...

Monday, January 19, 2009

2009 - Week TWO - PRACTICING Nutritional Discipline

Today's Weight - 341.2 (-3.2/-19.8)

I averaged 1980 calories last week with the following breakdown; Carbs - 51%, Fat - 25%, Protein - 24% and Alcohol - 0%. (I cant tell you this is 100% exact this week but it is VERY close) A decent balance and I am very excited about the Alcohol balance remaining at ZERO. I had a high day of over 2700 calories on Saturday but had planned ahead and made the MOST of the early part of the week by being EXTRA "Good" and focused on my nutrition.

The BOYS Trip - We had one our bi-annual boys fishing trip this past weekend (I mentioned it previously) and I knew it would be a challenge on several fronts but I made a promise to myself and I planned on keeping it.

I did pack a cooler and ate VERY well during this trip. I had oatmeal and bananas for breakfast while some others were having scrambled eggs, cheese, sausage ETC. I had a bowl of soup at the restaurant while others ate burgers and sandwiches etc. I had grilled chicken breasts and a chef salad for dinner while others ate Steaks, and other less healthy stuff. You kind of get the idea. One stop was one of our traditional stops, the GENOA Tavern for red beers and the best pizza in that part of the state. Usually TWO large MEAT LOVERS split between three or four of us, this time it was ONE large split four ways which essentially amounted to one of those personal pizza's you see at the pizza joints. It was SOOOOOO Good, I had to fight myself to not devour more and order more but discipline is good sometimes, I think it helps build changes in one's mentality.

I will say nobody even tempted me with food as they all know what I am trying to accomplish and they were very supportive. Actually, its not like we are a bunch of "FOOD Heathens" and in all reality this group of guys is all pretty much focused on being healthier in general too. None other than one is very LARGE like me and he's probably 260ish but a bit taller than me too. Most of the guys are 230ish trying to be 190ish and that is a GREAT challenge for them as well. Then there are the last two skinny bastards, (JUST KIDDING) naturally more slender and fit but they both work at it as well, running and push ups and and stuff like that to keep them where they are. And one more fella who was a 230ies guy for a LONG time and HAS SUCCESSFULLY changed hiself of the last several years and now maintains the 170 ish he is at and looks GREAT and hasn't looked back. (you kind of are a roll model even if I haven't told you that as of late)...

Now, on the drinking front, it was a little more challenging. You see, I am generally the one who can be counted on the "Liven" up things, shotgunning beers and taking shots and generally getting a little "LOOSE" at times. Its been well documented that the hangovers installed on our weekends are sometimes the stuff of legend. At one point in time we were keeping "Records" of items of interest, kind of a fun thing to help recollect some of the history of our trips. You know like "Most Fish Caught in a Weekend" or "Longest roadtrip to get to destination" etc. We'll we once set a record of almost 270 beers drank in a weekend, I think this weekend we may have set a record for LEAST beers drank in a weekend, I'd be very surprised if there were 50 or 60 drank over the entire weekend this time. I am not quite positive but I am "pretty" sure not ONE guy was hung over during our trip - I guess it SUCKS getting old.

I have to SAY there were a couple of points in the weekend where I wanted to grab a pitcher of red beer and SLAM it, or a can of beer and shotgun it BUT, I REALIZE discipline is good sometimes, is DEFINATELY helps to build changes in ones mentality.

I have to give KUDOS to my friend Eric who has very recently quit smoking and did AWESOME over this weekend. I know he had a bigger challenge than I had to face this weekend and really did well.

This week will include more working out and another good balance of nutrition, I look for 6 pounds this week. Until next time...

Keep the Faith and FIGHT THE FAT...

Monday, January 12, 2009

2009 Week ONE - "A New Hope"

We've got a little something going on with Matt and Eric, you see we are taking a trip and leaving on April 3rd and we want to lose a hundred between the three of us by then. I am responsible for the first 50 and they'll get the other 50 so we are OFF.

Today's weight - 344.4

I averaged 1870 calories a day over the last week with the following breakdown. Carbs - 55%, Protein - 20%, Fat 25%, and Alcohol - 0%. - Not a perfect balance but a whole heck of a lot better than the previous month. I've gone on the WAGON until April 1st so that Alcohol count ill be ZERO until then if all goes well.

I feel really focused on good nutrition this round, it needs to become second nature and a lifetime change. Moderation has never been something I have had the ability to focus on when it comes to eating and drinking, it seems like its always PEDAL TO THE METAL when it comes to both. I once set a record at the Godfathers pizza buffet in college, 17 pieces of pizza eaten. I also have been know ( back in the day ) to order 12 Cheeseburgers, a Big Deluxe and a small diet coke at the local fast food choke and puke. So its never been anything I was any good at, oh yea in spurts I could get focused but its never been LIFELONG as of yet, so that's one thing I am really keying on. There is a difference between being in weight loss mode and being in maintenance mode and I haven't quite figured out the maintenance mode thing yet BUT, I WILL.

I did work out 4 times last week which was obviously huge and I also had a lot of water weight to lose due to gorging myself over the holidays. HELL I sat my FAT ass in the basement one night over the holidays and ate a whole bag of Hershey's kisses, the thing was, I wasn't even hungry when doing it. I know I've got to get it right "between the ears" this time, no more eating whole bags of potato chips, 25 boneless wings with cheesy potato's at BWW, and no more 20 drink nights partying.

I am gearing up for a challenge this week, we've got our boys trip next weekend and that's usually not a nutritional balance BUT we'll make it work this time. I am planning a menu and packing a cooler with my own food. NO, I wont get all messed up and eat and drink like a HOG this weekend, this I promise (I promise it to myself most importantly).

Obviously the first week is always a SHOCKING week to your system when you start to focus on your health and I know there will be challenges, there will be weeks when I struggle and post a GAIN for the week and I also know this is a LONG process, I didn't get here overnight. BUT I am tired of losing the same 50 pounds over and over again. I want to get to the point where I am in new and uncharted territories. Under 300 for one would be a new and uncharted territory not reached since probably 1985. Enough blabbing for now...

Keep the Faith and FIGHT THE FAT - B

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I've been BAD

We'll with the new year comes a new set of goals. I've been bad over the holidays and my weight is ugly... 361 Sunday night and feeling really big and TIRED all the time. BUT I have spirit and dammit I am going after it, making 2009 my year to make it happen. I know I can take off the pounds as I have done it in the past and will do it again, the thing I have to work out somehow is staying motivated and making this a lifestyle change. I always get to the point where I am feeling good and making good progress then let it slip. To lose 110 pounds in 2007 basically and gain 50 pounds in 2008 really pisses me off. If I had kept focus in 2008 I'd be where I want to be by now - SO focus it is. I've got to fight through the fatigue I am experiencing right now and once I get stronger that should become less of an issue. I mean I WAKE UP TIRED right now.

Eric, Matt and I are working at supporting each other as they are ready for a change too, Being obese very tiring and its got to be a lifestyle change. I know Travis is on the journey too so there should be plenty of support around here.

I am not going to get so wrapped up in the numbers as much as the action, I will use the scale to measure progress but wont be fanatical about it. I am going to take monthly pictures too so I can see where I was once I get where I want to be.

I got a small workout in yesterday and kept my calories at 2000 for the day, we'll get another one in today and go from there. AND OH, by the way I am on a personal journey to go on the WAGON for 90 days, if nothing else to see if I can do it and also to eliminate ALL of those empty calories.

Regaining the Faith and FIGHTING THE FAT again....

PS: I am calling out Matt Martin to get back on it again too as well as my brother Richard, make no excuses baby if a slacker like me can do it you surely can.

Be afraid, be very afraid...