I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head, let me see if I can make sense with this post. This is the time of year that we see a lot of people head to the gym. I know for 20 years, I was one of those people. I have been over 200 pounds for more than 20 years. I think the biggest myth buster is the following: I always felt like people thought I must want to be fat. I must not be doing anything about it. In my case, it was quite the contrary. I joined Weight Watchers at least 10 times during those 20 years. I tried the Protein Power Diet, the Atkins diet, the Juicing diet, the vegetarian diet, the Nutri System diet, the Metabolic Center plan; I joined Curves, I met with trainers three or four times at the local gym — NOTHING WORKED!
So two years ago, it was with GREAT skepticism that I agreed to let Ryan Teal, a trainer at Gold’s Gym Clifton, help me. What did he do different than all the others? First of all his desire was not money-driven. I told him right away it HAD to be available to lose weight with diet and exercise — no supplements. So he was NOT making any money off of me buying supplements because I refused to entertain the thought. He immediately said, You will not be on a “Diet.” We will work out a “Nutrition Plan.” Do you see that subtle shift in thinking? To me “diet” indicates something you go on and then you get tired of so you go off. I was not on a “diet.” I was following a nutrition plan.
He had me log everything I ate and right away told me I was NOT eating enough based on how much exercise I was getting. How many people have ever told you that when you are trying to drop weight? A large percentage of the fitness industry believe in low calorie DIETS and less time in the gym. I’ve even been told with one of the previous plans mentioned above, “Don’t exercise. That will just make you hungry.” I just know for me, if I feel like I’m always starving, I’m not going to stay on a plan very long.
Next I remember sometime during the first two weeks, I had done an hour class and then stayed and done some cardio afterwards. On my way home, I was starving so I went to the McDonalds drive thru and got an Egg White Delight. According to Fitbit an Egg White Delight is only 250 calories. I remember proudly telling him that the next day. Oh yesterday, I got an Egg White Delight on the way home. It’s only 250 calories. I will never forget his response. He said, “Could you have not gone home and made eggs?” Huh? I was always for the fast and convenient way of eating and now I had to make eggs? There have been teaching points like this for me on food for two years now. Every week I send him my food log and if he sees something that is questionable we have a conversation about it. In the beginning he showed me Pinterest. At the time he had a Pinterest board on Clean Eating. I started there and then searched on my own.
I could go on and on, but in two years with his help I have dropped 75 pounds. Yes I know some people drop 75 pounds in 6 months. That’s not me and there is NO room for comparison. More importantly I’ve learned a lot about nutrition and exercise and maintaining a “STRONG” body as I continue to age.
I NEVER wanted to be heavy. I did not know HOW to not be heavy. So when you see those people in the gym in January, encourage them. Talk to them. If you know how to help them or can point them to someone who can help them, see if that door is open to talk to them. My friend Marivel probably brought up “Ryan wants to help you” 20 times before I said, “OKAY!!!! I’ll talk to the guy.”
I am constantly amazed when you – my readers – give me feedback about how I have helped you. And then I think of the impact ONE person has on so many. Because Ryan taught me and because I have the gift of gab, I can help others. It all started with Ryan. I often tell him if the only reason he went to school and the only reason he was at Gold’s Gym was to help me, it was worth it.
Who will you reach today? Whose life will you change causing a ripple effect?