A key objective for my clients is to sustain their health and fitness gains for life.
As I’ve noted before, the Fitness Industry’s business goals are not aligned with your long term success.
So its always worth learning from busy leaders who have found ways to lose weight and increase strength, and
most importantly how they stay fit and productive.
Here Is Anthony’s Story…
Last year you wrote about your success in achieving your health objectives: namely losing fat and gaining fitness. Tell us which habits did you develop that allowed you to sustain your success?
Nutrition was probably the main habit that helped me. A key area was to control the social influences from my friends, and insist I had to stick to my diet and not constantly break it “just the once”.
Establishing my actual diet was also important. I mainly stuck to a routine which was cereal, fruit drink then evening meal. I used smaller bowls to shrink the sizes of the meals.
I monitored my exercise via a spreadsheet which prompted me into keeping up with my fitness program.
Describe how easy or hard is it to stick with your healthy habits?
My will was stronger at first, which helped me establish the patterns. Especially when resisting the social demands of my friends.
Later, Jeff helped encourage me when my will was dropping. e.g. if I did not lose weight for several weeks.
I made the mistake of easing off on myself when I got close to my ideal weight. I should have held firm until after I hit it.
Weekly weigh-ins which I track via a spreadsheet chart.
And I still discipline myself to do a certain amount of exercise each month. General exercise like walking and cycling (19 hours), some lifting exercise several times a week (press ups, pull ups, squats, planking. And some cardio exercise, which is currently tennis 3 times a month.
You’ve traveled plus had guests stay with you. How did you maintain your progress when entertaining and eating out?
It was difficult, and typically it would be a backward step.
I kept reminding myself to not let it all go and binge. That the odd meal out does not mean I should also drop my health goals.
So, while I might have had a meal out (which I made as healthy as possible), the next morning I would go back to a small cereal, and fruit drinks.
What nutrition or habit changes did you make in terms of how you socialize?
Most of the time I declined to eat out. And still do. I eat at home before meeting friends.
Also, I added moderation days. e.g. only one glass of wine at lunch.
I’ve scheduled in personal stuff as if it was client work. e.g. doing 19 hours exercise is just as important as doing 19 hours work for a client. I also schedule in days off in the same way.
Otherwise my competitive nature would make me just work, work, work. Now I feel a pang if I’m behind on exercise, so I’ll walk to the markets.
And I can kill two birds with one stone. Taking a day of to cycle to the beach gives me double time.
Just under half my “work” time is allocated to personal time off and exercise.
If you could go back and do anything different about improving your nutrition or fitness, what would it be?
Reach my ideal weight before slacking off. I’m still bouncing around just over it.
I think I need to make more notes on what I learned. Especially when it comes to what to eat and why.
The social habits of my friends & family.
What do you enjoy the most about your healthy lifestyle? What inspires you to keep it day after day?
I now look in the mirror and feel good.
I actually like my diet. I like finishing a meal feeling nice. Not stuffed or bloated.
I’m glad I got back into some sport. A hip injury in the past pushed me away. Exercising has got me back in.
Compare how you feel now compared to when you first started out?
I was very motivated at first, which was required.
Now, I can relax more, as long as I respond to triggers like exceeding a certain weight. I then start my disciplines again.
I’m happier with myself, and maybe that shows.
What has surprised you most about the health changes you’ve made?
I think it’s what my body and mind wanted (wants) me to do all along.
It was more about getting the obstacles out of the way and to get myself comfortable with exercising again.
There are tons of people who are in your “Day 1” shoes. Do you have any words of advice for those folks? What can you say to those people to help themselves make changes?
Make sure your family and friends know you are serious about your goals. If they try and get you to break your rules, make it your battle to show them how to be healthy.
Stick at it until you pass the finish line.
And make sure you have routines you enjoy and keep going!