Category Archives: weight loss

Lifetime Gym Membership: $10.99. Not being able to make excuses any more: Priceless.

you are your own gymAs much as I love running and cycling, I’ve never really been a gym kind of guy. It’s not just the crazy prices, but also simply getting to the gym, and the sweaty equipment, and the lukewarm showers, etc. I bought some dumbbells a few years ago to do arm workouts at home, but they mostly sit unused under the couch.

Recently, I heard about a workout program called You Are Your Own Gym, that uses “bodyweights” (pushups, situps, etc.) and common household objects to give you a workout. I checked out the book from the library and loved it so much, I bought the book!

Yes folks you read that right, I actually bought myself a book! I can’t remember the last time I did that. The way I see it, I spent $10.99 for a lifetime gym membership, since I don’t ever see myself needing to step foot in one again.

What I like about the exercise program is that it requires creativity. No chin-up bar? Use a door. Instead of dumbbells, bicep curls are done with a towel wrapped around your foot (pulling up, against the weight of your leg, provides the resistance).

And the part of this book that I LOVE has nothing to do with exercise at all. It’s about getting rid of your excuses. The author asks you to list all your excuses for not exercising, so you can see them for what they are. After doing that, I’m very motivated and have only missed a single session since I started. The same technique could be applied to breaking through the mental barriers preventing you from making any positive change in your life!

I’ve been doing it for about 2 months and the differences in my strength and physique are noticeable. Who wouldn’t like to be a little stronger and sexier? Check it out (literally, at the library) if you’re interested in starting a workout routine but you don’t like the gym.

How to achieve anything (or: How weight loss is like personal finance)

It’s only November, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that my friend Rose wrote the best blog post of the year. It’s about how she lost almost 50% of her body weight, down from 277 lbs. Imagine shedding half of yourself!

Before and After

As I read how she did it, I realized that after the background about the weight itself, she wasn’t actually writing about losing weight. Instead, she was providing the perfect template for achieving any difficult goal. Here’s her secret recipe (as I see it):

  1. Keep metrics: you don’t know if you’re getting closer or farther away from your goal unless you identify key metrics. With losing weight, you need to track what you eat and how much you exercise. With personal finance, you need to track how much you make and how much you spend.
  2. Persistance: I’ll let Rose tackle this one in her own words: “I decided early on in this process that there was only one way that I could fail and that was to quit.  I took that option off the table and worked on just putting one foot in front of the other.”
  3. Support from loved ones: if your significant other isn’t on the same page as you with losing weight or meeting financial goals, it’s a non-starter. You need 100% unwavering support of the people in your life.
  4. Advice from a domain expert: tread carefully here, because in both weight loss and personal finance there are many false prophets. You need to find an expert that’s right for you, but since you’re keeping metrics you should know pretty quickly. I’m not ready to call myself an expert yet, but hopefully this blog helps someone out there.

You can google “weight loss” or “personal finance” and get literally millions of tips. I’m sure many of them are very helpful. But if you don’t follow the 4 guidelines above, all the tips in the world won’t get you where you want to be.

Special note to Seattleites: please join Rose, my wife Venessa, and other local food bloggers on Saturday at the U-district farmer’s market for Will Bake For Food, a bake sale with proceeds benefiting The Emergency Feeding Program.

When: Saturday, November 12th, 2011
11am-2pm (or until they run out!)

Where: University Heights Center
5031 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

Why: Because everyone needs healthy, nutritious food. The Emergency Feeding Program’s mission is to provide an emergency response to the nutritional needs of people in crisis hunger situations throughout Seattle and King County.

How: Bring your sweet tooth, along with non-perishable food items or a monetary donation. For a list of the items the Emergency Feeding Program needs most, click here (PDF).

Hope to see you there!