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Change Yourself… From The Inside Out

Posted in Crazy Wisdom,Workout on Monday, July 4, 2005 at 5:19 pm by flerly.

July 4, 2005

By Raphael Calzadilla, BA, CPT, ACE
eDiets Chief Fitness Pro

“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”
— Arthur C. Clarke

This article is dedicated to one of the most important people in my life. This person is one of those who consistently struggle with weight loss. They somewhat dislike exercise, occasionally partake in binges and constantly hear that societal message that screams, “Your body’s not good enough.”

This person is immensely successful and well respected. However, my friend encounters daily battles with the great issue of weight loss. As some of you know, I take my profession very seriously and am intensely passionate about it. If one of my clients doesn’t achieve success with his or her fitness goals, I frantically and strategically search for a solution.

If you are like this person, I hope that this article will give you some solutions, however minimal, to your own weight loss goals. My approach is going to be different than most of my articles, because it will attempt to focus on a solution that coaxes you closer to your goal.

I’m going to outline six points that are designed to help you from the inside out. I don’t pretend to be a therapist or psychologist, but I have worked with many clients and have observed many similar patterns related to the struggle to lose weight. The solutions I am outlining work, but it is up to you to make them successful.

1. HARNESS YOUR EMOTIONS! This is where it all begins. It doesn’t start with detailing the proper amount of weight training one should do, or providing the correct nutrition plan you should be on. Many of you are using food for comfort. You know it and I know it! Life gets stressful and you simply want to feel better.

Let’s face it, food does a marvelous job of making us feel better. Unfortunately, the feeling is temporary. After the binge, we start to feel guilty, twice as fat and absolutely awful.

How do we solve the problem?

When things feel like they are about to cave in and you want to stand over the kitchen counter and partake in a potato chip party, simply tell yourself that just for today, you’re not going to do it. Don’t worry about tomorrow and make no promises for tomorrow.

On this particular day, you’re not going to fall prey to your emotions. This concept is very much like a 12-step program, and I’ve found it to be immensely powerful and easy. Do it four consecutive times, and it will start to become a habit. Every client I’ve ever trained, male or female, attests to the power of this technique.

2. VISUALIZE! Never underestimate the power of positive imagery. Every night when you go to bed, visualize exactly what you want your body to look like. See the finished product and view the detail in it. Don’t let the visualization last more than one minute.

Don’t turn it into a meditation retreat, just visualize the body you really want and then let the thought go. Keep things short and sweet. I used this technique when competing in the Mr. Connecticut bodybuilding championships and found it extremely motivating. I’ve recommended this technique to those who wanted to lose 50 pounds and those who wanted to compete in an event. It works because you keep sending visual imagery to your brain of what the finished product looks like. The possibility of what you can look like begins to take a shape and form that is real to your mind.

3. MAKE THE PHONE CALL! Listen, you’re going to weaken. It’s OK. I want you to have a back-up plan. When you think you’re not going to maintain discipline on your nutrition program, or you’re going to skip a workout, I want you to have a support system to call upon. Tell your wife, girlfriend, partner or best friend that you are going to call them when you weaken.

You will hold off on the decision to pig out or skip your workout until you speak to them. It will be necessary for you to coach this person before you begin this process. Just in case you think you’re too macho to use this technique, I want you to know that my most successful male client used it with outstanding success. He had two levels of support: first he would call me and then he would call his wife. He used this technique only about five to six times, but it worked and it made him even stronger and more disciplined. He ultimately lost 35 pounds and also put on some significant muscle.

4. REST EVERY SIXTH WEEK! Design a workout plan that lasts five weeks. The plan should be realistic based on the time you have available. Then, take the sixth week off from any exercise, but stay on your nutrition program. During the sixth week, take some time to change the parameters of your exercise program, such as weight training exercises and cardio routine. When people see light at the end of the tunnel, they are able to better perform an activity that has not been the most inspiring for them through the course of their life.

At the conclusion of this week, go on another five-week program, again taking off week number six to rest and revise your program. In training circles, you will hear of trainers suggesting taking a break every 12 weeks. However, this program length plan does not take into consideration the person who finds exercise a chore. You will find my method to be both physically and psychologically stimulating. However, you must be consistent during the five-week program.

5. DUST YOURSELF OFF! If you drastically go off your diet or miss a workout session one day, don’t hate yourself! Get back on track and ignore those dumb voices in your head that tell you you’re a mental weakling. We have all experienced them! Tell yourself that it was a minor setback and that you will immediately get back on track.

Approach it very systematically. You will be proud of yourself for getting right back on track and not letting a one-day slip turn into a year-long slip up. This is an extremely self-empowering method. You will send a message to your mind that you can’t be stopped and that you will succeed.

6. EAT! Forget about calories. Eat 4-5 times a day and keep your meals healthy and light. Take in some protein, some carbohydrates and some monounsaturated fat at your meals and go a bit easier on the starches. You don’t have to eliminate them; just go a bit easier with the portions. Do I really need to tell you to stop eating when you’re getting full?

We live in a culture that allows us to let ourselves “off the hook” pretty easily. Ultimately, only you can make the changes you desire. Take personal accountability for your health and believe that you can find joy in the discipline of exercise. These methods are quite simple, but amazingly effective. Use one or all of them, but please use them. Vow to make the Summer of 2005 the healthiest of your life — from the inside out.


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