See your future

I like some of the comments being posted behind my posts by users of this site. They are positive, they are helpful, and full of real life experience. In a way, you are all practicing a very important habit, you are trying to see where you are going before you even get there, this is not nonsense or jumping the gun, it does really help to visualise your future, and the way you want to look.

Some of the ways you can do this is remember the way you used to be at your very best, dig out the old photo’s of when you looked great, or even in you don’t have them to hand, you can get inspired by someone else’s transformation and cut that photo out, on how you want to look. All you women do it all the time, you pick out a photo of a woman with the hair you want and take it to the hairdresser don’t you?

Using this site and being constantly reminded of what is possible will be proof to you every day that transformations are really possible. The new energetic healthy you is not that far away as long as you fully adopt a healthy lifestyle, and hit your workouts with purpose, and simply do not “go through the motions”! The more you imagine and visualise your future body, the stronger your mind will become, as well as the drive and determination you’re going to need to get there. Apart from good eating and good training, this will fuel your ultimate success more than anything.


Simple “under control” habits

Ways to make sure you are not consuming extra calories would be the following;

1. Eating while you’re going things. If you eat while you are on the phone, on the computer or just watching TV, your normal (i’m full signals) feelings of knowing when you’re full are not recognized. This is an easy way of eating more calories than you should. A simple way of rectifying this is to go back to basics, eating by the kitchen table will focus yourself on the meal again, and you will not overeat, and your brain will recognise those all important “i’m full” signals.

2. Are you still in the low-fat culture. You may believe that foods are low in fat, so you can eat as much as you want of them. Portion control is still relevant to keep your calories sensible, and what about the extra calories in these so called low-fat meals. Remember what i always say about sugar, and that frosties are a “low-fat” food! Don’t just look at the saturated fat, check your sugar intake! No more than 40g of refined sugar a day please.

3. How big are your plates? I go in many different houses, and most of their plate sizes are different. If you serve your food on huge plates, your will most likely be overeating. Scale them down and buy some smaller plates. It will be tough for the first week but you will soon get used to your new portion size, which will be much healthier and help with fat-loss too!

4. Keep the excess christmas stuff out the way, or better still throw it out! We have all been there, it’s there in front of us so we pick on it all day long because “it’s there”! This continues into the new year because we are keeping our sugary taste buds satisfied for rich food. The sooner you throw it out in the rubbish and buy some good food in, the sooner you get back to normal and get back in shape (and feel better)!!

5. Use your taller glasses for orange/apple juice. I have a thick rounded glass in the house and believe it or not it’s a pint glass! It only looks like half a pint honestly! The taller glassed meanwhile can look good but contain less, plus remember to dillute those juices with water, which means you consume less sugar and calories.

Have a go at these and see if they help!


New Year resolutions

New year’s eve is a great night to make promises and resolutions to yourself, if you are one of the 97%, those promises will fail according to statistics in the paper today. That’s why a lot of people don’t make any resolutions anymore. It seems that people are defeated even before they start.

Personally, I still make resolutions but they have changed over the years into more meaningful ones. Every year now and I want to help more and more people, and that’s what the idea of this blog is. More and more people are reading, and I’m getting more and more feedback thanks to people sharing their experiences.

This site is not about me, far from it, it’s about the people who ask for help, and I will do my best to help. Instead of responding to people I see out by lengthy text messages, or lengthy chats in a supermarket, that information is right here, and users feedback is vital. More people are registering, but most are afraid to post yet, it can be scary posting for the first time, but once you do it, you will enjoy it and learn a lot, AND benefit from the encouragement of others which is number one in my book.

My advice to you all is make those resolutions about being in your best ever shape, because this year you ARE going to do it, register, take part and I’m thinking of starting our challenge on the 17th January. Contrary to popular belief, I find this a good starting point because by the time everyone gets back to work, schools are back etc, this is the true time of year when people really feel like “getting back into it”!!

Happy new year and promise to make it your best!


Body mass index (BMI)-everyone’s favourite measurement?

This measurement causes much confusion, can make athletes seem like they should be in the obese range, and scare the living daylights out of some people who exericse regularly. If i told you that Johnny Wilkinson is classed as overweight and has been in the obese range, would you believe me? What about martin johnson, former england rugby captain, always lean and in great shape? Yep, he’s obese too! And the list goes on and on of athletes who are classed in the obese and overweight range. I have done my test today and i come out as 27.7, which is comfortably in the overweight range.

To explain it all, you have to dig beneath a bit and in the smaller print, it does say it does overestimate those who have more lean muscle tissue than “normal” people. Since it is desirable to get a leaner, more muscular build, not only for appearance, but to raise your metabolism and burn more fat, the BMI may not be a true reflection for you.

On another scale, some of the senior’s i train have another issue. It may UNDERESTIMATE body fat in older people and others who have lost muscle mass.

In fairness to the BMI, it tries to assess the average person, and unfortunately, it will be the untrained individual who may or may not have a healthy diet. So if you are weight training/using resistance, your results may be a touch inaccurate.

This is no excuse to write the  BMI  scale off though, you will know if your body fat is too high simply by looking in the mirror some of you, if your clothes don’t fit, if you have no energy, you have no drive/enthuisasm, does everything wobble when you shake yourself, it’s important to be honest and all i was doing was clearing up a frequently asked question.

Your new year efforts will be dramatic if you want them to be, and you know that many of you will look an amazingly amount better 20 pounds lighter. As debbie said in a post, you may lose 20 pounds of body fat, yet gain 8 pounds of muscle, so the total weight loss of 12 pounds on the scale may not reflect your true efforts. Don’t always rely on the scales, a before  and after photo is good, your clothes not fitting anymore is fantastic,  your waist being less than half your height in inches, and you know if your efforts have been fantastic, you will FEEL fantastic too, simple as that.


Do i need to work more than 20 mins to burn fat?

Jean brought up a very interesting point today, she said that she always took it that you needed to work for at least 20 minutes before she starting burning fat. In theory, she is right and your body will start burning it’s carbohydrate and simple sugars first, then after the 20 minutes stage depending on energy levels in the body, fat can then be used as a fuel source so that does work-in a perfect world.

What happens if nothing is going to plan that day, we need a quick workout and we can only fit in a 15 minute run, is it worth it? We can only do 20 press ups, 20 arm dips. 20 squats, and 70 squat thrusts, is it worth it? What if you can only get a 10 minute walk in with the dog as you have to go back to work, is it worth going even you put in a light jog? Is it worth going for 15 minute bike ride when we usually do 45 mins? Will we burn fat if we do any of these things?

The answer must be a resounding “yes”! Of course, we would spend a little more time warming up and getting into the workout, it’s not good to rush in and go 200% all the time! What i am saying is that any exercise is good, and i have had some of my best workouts in under 10 mins. Breaking 9 minutes for the first time whilst doing 2500 metres on a rowing machine nearly half killed me! Usain bolt does his best workouts in under 10 seconds! What about the guys and girls who do the run up the stairs every february in the empire state building in new york? There are 1575 stairs and the women’s record is 13 minutes 12 seconds, the men’s rec0rd is 9 minutes and thirty three seconds.

Do you think that any of these workouts/events burnt any body fat or not? Of course they did and often pushed our bodies to new levels of achievement and conditioning.

The key is you are pressed for time is to raise the intensity to suit the workout. For instance, if you are used to running for 30 minutes on a flat surface and that gives you an effort of 8 out of 10 then great. Do make a workout of 15 minutes much more intense, incorporate hills or interval training, do some sprints with minimal rest, in fact do anything that makes it harder and really try and take rest out of the equation.

P.S. To clear up my home workouts post yesterday, my example workout was exactly that, an example. For instance if your best test on your own was 20 press ups, 30 arm dips, 60 squat thrusts etc, your circuit you do 3 times should be half of that. Therefore, it would be 10 press ups, 15 arm dips and 30 squat thrusts. Effectively, you are halving your personal best totals but doing them a total of 3 times instead of once. This will make a very effective workout indeed. Any problems let me know.