As i always say, another beautiful morning in Queensland. Whenever my family call from country Victoria and they ask me what the weather has been like (we tend to talk a lot about the weather back home) i always tell them its another day in paradise.
Some great questions this week. A lot of them have a very similar tone and the expected tone of this time of the year.
Can you guess what? Its weight loss.
Summer is around the corner, its the social season of the year and this is when most people want to be looking their best. Unfortunately this time of year can be a time of a little embarrassment.
My goal of helping 100,000 always gets a tremendous boost in the months leading up to summer. I find that my numbers rise which of coarse makes me excited.
So on that note and with a BIG smile on my face lets look at the questions from this weeks 60 Sec with James.
“To lose body fat, do you reckon it’s better to eat carbs or stick with vegies fruit and meat!?” – Darcy
When you say carbs i presume you’re talking about refined carbs like bread, pasta’s and rices because the natural source of carbs is actually veggies. So my answer Darcy is stick to eating lean meats and veg and keep your fruit intake minimal. Fruit is obviously a natural food but it does contain fructose which is a sugar and it will spike your insulin levels which make susceptible to weight loss.
Protein & Almonds
“Hi James. What are some healthy pre dinner snacks?” – Karen
Hi karen. I presume you’re talking about mid-afternoon snacks as this is a popular question. What i recommend is a handful of raw nuts or a protein shake. The nut choice is yours just make sure they’re not salted or covered in seasoning and that you have no more than 15 – 20.
“I’m on 2 different medications and I am unable to come off without side affects of weight gain, I’m a bigger girl, 87kg, bmi should be 75kg. I exercise regularly, eat healthy and portion right. What more can I do to shake this weight?” – Mel
I’m going to go ahead and presume that you have spoke to your Dr about your options. Now what i recommend
High Intensity Interval Training
is finding someone to go over your current diet. You’ll be surprised about some of the changes you can make that will make a difference in the mirror.
For your exercise routine avoid any forms of long cardio but opt for high intensity interval training (HIIT) and a weight based circuit training.
The aim here is to increase the rate your metabolism operates so you can burn more calories at rest. Change your workout every 4 weeks and aim to exercise 4 – 5 times per week. Ideally speak to a local professional that can point your clearly in the right direction and keep you on track.
“I eat every 2 hours (fruits or small servings of carbs & proteins) i work out (mainly heavy cardio) and still i feel lazy (my metabolism is not going up) and I am not loosing fat from my body. Pls help.” – Rishi
Cut out fruits from your diet, continue with eating small amounts of carbs and proteins, i presume the carbs are veggies not refined carbs and quit doing long cardio.
Opt for lifting heavy weights with minimal rest. Train 4 – 5 times per week. The more lean muscle you have in your body the higher your resting metabolism will be and the more body fat you will burn.
“How do you lose weight?” – Jason
What a direct question i love it! Jason abs are made in the kitchen. So firstly avoid refined carbs immediately. Eat more veg and lean meats. Reduce your intake of sugary and alcoholic drinks and drink more water. Visit your local gym and speak to a trainer about what exercise is best for you.
“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” – Ashley Smith
Please click this link and follow me to the Facebook page to leave your question for next week.
To a beautiful weekend,
P.S – If you enjoyed this weeks QnA then you can the most recent titled 70/30 here
How have you enjoyed the recipe book i sent the other week? Tried any yet?
If you’re not on my mailing list in the top right hand corner of this page you will see an opt-in box. Chuck your email in there and ill send the 52 delicious low carb recipe book and my 13 secrets to a sexy sculpted stomach.
The world is full of people out there that think that exercise is the answer to weight loss, and there right for about 30%.
I mean i don’t blame anyone for thinking like this. I mean all you have to do is stay up past 11pm, flick on the telly and see dozens of weight loss machines promising you this and that. No wonder people are so miss informed.
Check out this ‘cheeky’ pic i found? I posted this on my FastFatLoss4Life Facebook wall and its been the most popular pic I’ve posted all year!
Buns are made in the kitchen
Now the question is did heaps of people click on it because they agree or because they really like that brand of flour?
Enough of my lame jokes lets start this weeks 60sec with James.
“Hi James, just wondering about the benefits/disadvantages of compression type clothing like ‘skins’ or ‘slyx’?” - Pauline
When you apply tight clothing to a body part it accelerates the blood flow in that area. This gets more oxygen to your muscles and boosts performance.
The disadvantages of these clothes is you may find them a little uncomfortable and you may look a little silly Im a fan though.
“I have a torn muscle and ligament in my right hip that about two years old, pain from lupus in my joints, sciatica and Im using Visalus diet shakes and I need to do some exercise. Can you tell me the best low impact exercise thats not going to play up with my arms and back. When I try to do anything too strenuous I get pain in those areas. Thanks.” - Leesa
Congratulations on taking these steps to get in shape, thats one of the best things you could do.For exercise i would simply recommend the stationary recumbent bike, you can find these at any decent gym. Zero impact on your joints and also supports your back.You can also try a slow moving yoga. Yoga is low impact and will build your strength and if you can do it in a hot room, the temperature is usually around 35 degrees your flexibility improves and is less strenuous on your joints.
“I need 2 lose at least 30kgs but i get very bored with diets and i cant stick 2 some of the diets as it makes me more hungry” - Eva
Eva I’m going to give you some tough love. Suck it up. Don’t think eating healthy as a diet. Think of it as your new way of eating. Use my 52 low carb recipes to get started or at least get some ideas to get started. Avoid weight loss shakes, magic pills and all that crap.
Start cutting refined carbs from your diet, avoid soft drinks and alcohol and eat more fruit, vegetables, meats, nuts and seeds. Eat until you feel comfortable, don’t eat until your plate is empty if your feeling full.
What you eat is 70 – 80% what you will see in the mirror. If you’re serious about losing 30kg’s then you really have to go after it. Losing that much weight will NOT be easy and you need to start sooner rather rather than later. You need 21 days to form a habit, so go do it.
“Can you tell me some high protein foods please?” - Belinda
Belinda try, chicken, turkey, beef, fish, kangaroo, lamb is also great but don’t eat it every day and finally juicy pork. Grab organic if you can to avoid all the hormone crap that gets pumped into most farming animals.
Thanks for reading.
Let me leave you with a quote from the Dalai Lama
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions”
Have a great weekend.
Yours in health,James Ramage
P.S - Oh yea!! We decided on a name for my training system, its called the 28 Day Total Body Turnaround. Thanks for all your votes
P.P.S – Recently i had the pleasure on interviewing a young bloke named Josh. You can read his story here -> Josh in Real Life
P.P.S – Here is the YouTube club of these questions
What can make you gain weight? is a question i will always get asked and its the actual reason behind todays post.
Earlier this week i was asked this question and for the first time it really made sit back and think, “Geez it
What Can Make You Gain Weight?
amazes me how many people out there DON’T KNOW what makes them gain weight.”
I obviously take this for granted because i live and great a healthy life style.
Friends of mine think that personal trainers and dieticians are a dime a dozen but when i think about how many people out there that don’t know how to live a healthy lifestyle i personally thing that there’s not enough!
Today I’m going to cover 3 factors that will make you gain weight.
What Can Make You Gain Weight? – What You Eat
Obviously what comes straight to mind is the old calories in and calories out. For example If you eat 4000 calories but you only burn off 3000 calories what happens to the remaining 1000? It gets stored right?
Usually stored for women around the butt and thighs, gents its usually stored around the belly.
Is nutrition the answer to gaining weight?
Well always remember the phrase that abs are made in the kitchen. What you see in the mirror is 70% nutrition and 30% exercise.
Pretty amazing hey? So i hear a few of you saying “great! No more gym for me!” well no. I’ll cover that shortly.
You can find these in fried foods, peanut butter, pop corn, margarine and the icing on your favourite cakes. Yep all the delicious things you love.
Now the sneaky food manufactures have come up with a way to have ZERO transfats on the labels of products and its by having less than 1 gram. If you read the back of a food label the lowest it goes is 1 gram.
what can make you gain weight
Now you may think that less than 1 gram is not much but some of the side effects of eating these bad fats are inflammation in your joints and disruption of the way your body uses the essential fats like omega 3′s. Just avoid these bad boys please.
Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
To lose weight successfully is to keep your insulin or blood sugar consistent. Meaning you don’t want any spikes. Ever had the feeling of increased energy then really tired and sluggish shortly after you’ve eating something sugary? Well thats your blood sugar spiking then dropping rapidly.
Sugar is seen by many as an actual drug. Cravings and the highs are accustomed to hardcore drugs and our body has the same dependents on sugar as it would have with harder drugs.
Sugar also provides your body with empty calories and drains your body of essential vitamins and minerals used to process real foods to energy.
What Can Make You Gain Weight – The Wrong Types of Exercise
The aim of the weight loss game is to to do exercises that will BOOST your metabolism. That way your body can burn fat faster and also burn fat while your resting.
Now how do you boost your metabolism with exercise? The answer is NOT long boring cardio. Its weight training. If its bodyweight or dumbbells just get lifting and get your muscles pumping.
If you love cardio so much and can’t bear not doing it then try HIIT. Perform an exercise at 80% of your maximum speed for upwards of 30sec then at a comfortable pace for upwards of 60sec. Repeat 6 – 10 times.
What Can Make you Gain Weight – Your Liver
Your liver is the hardest working organ you have in your body.
If your liver is not working at an optimal level then that means the good foods you eat are not being converted properly to energy. So instead of being used as an energy source it gets stored as fat.
Your liver has a tough job cleansing our system, especially when you consider how many toxins you put in and ON your body. For example just think about the junk foods, alcohol, sunscreens and even make ups. The list is almost endless.
What you should do is look for an organic, natural way to cleanse your liver every 6 months. This can usually be done with juices, teas and natural supplements.
So Lets put a check list together for you.
1. Cleanse your liver with a natural detox formula every 6 months. Start now
2. Plan your nutrition weekly and avoid trans, hydrogenated fats & sugar as much as you can
3. Lift weights and boost your metabolism. Speak to a professional asap
There’s no time like the present so make a move on this today.
I hope i helped you answer the popular question what can make you gain weight?
“Lost time is never found again” - Benjamin Franklin
Yours in health,
P.S – If you think your friends or family would get a lot out of this post please be sure to ‘Like’ it below.
Well I’ve been at it again, outdoor workouts i do love!
Today I’ve got one that i call the Kettlebell Sleeper. No I’m not going to tell you why i call it the sleeper, you’ll just have to watch and find out.
What did you think? Ive got another kettlebell outdoor workout called the Shot Put. Hit the link.
Now if you are one of my loyal followers you will know that i love kettlebells. For all those new readers i want to talk to you about why you can’t ignore kettlebells any longer.
Believe it or not, kettlebells have been used in outdoor workouts for close to 300 years and actually originated in Mother Russia (I’m putting on my best Ivan Drago voice). Since KB’s have been discovered there has never been a Russian army deployed without taking kettlebells for training.
A good friend of mine is in the Australian Air Force and he was recently deployed with his team and KB’s where included with the gear.
You may be thinking, “but I’ve never heard of KB’s and only recently have i seen them in the gym” Yea thats correct. The western world is finally catching up.
Outdoor Workouts & Steve Cotter
A world famous KB instructor named Steve Cotter has an extremely impressive back ground in martial arts and several years ago he decided to travel to Russia and learn about these iron cannon balls with handles.
Steve considered himself a pretty fit guy and everyone else considered him an extremely fit guy. Anyway long story short Steve entered into a Girevoy competition. Now this is a sport used with kettlebells. A little hard to explain in writing so ill include a video below so you can see what I’m talking about.
So the sport of girevoy goes for 10min and the idea is simply to get as many reps out as possible in that 10min.
Away Steve went. When he got to the 30 or so rep mark he relised he was pretty ‘stuffed’ and couldn’t go any further. When he put his KB’s down and caught his breath he turned around to see men half his size and what appeared to be no where near his strength push out 40, 50, 60 ,70, over 100 reps.
Steve knew right then that something was up with these kettlebell and there was something he needed to learn. Now Steve Cotter is certainly one man who was had a major influence in bring kettlebells to the western world but there has been other, Pavel Tsatsouline who is know as the ‘Evil Russin’ for is sickening KB workouts. His books are very comical but at no time is he joking. I recommend you check them out.
So the reason why I’m an avid user in kettlebells is because they are so versatile and make them the outdoor workout must have piece of equipment.
So many people tell me that they are bored of the gym and ask me what else can they do and my reply is always, “grab that kettlebell and come with me”.
Now if you want to build muscle mass, then KB’s are not for you. KB’s are designed to build endurance strength and benefit the cardiovascular system. Say good bye to boring cardio for ever.
One of my colleagues went as far as say that running is for pussies, stick with kettlebells. Lets just say he had every runner in Asia Pacific at his door, but you get the idea.
What kind of kettlebell is best for me?
Ladies and Gents, stick with pro-grade KB’s. These are what they use in competition but they are also much easier to handle. The weight is distributed very evenly, its easier on the hands and is made of steel so it won’t break.
Ladies i recommend starting with an 8kg KB and gents grab yourself a 12kg KB.
No. There is nothing stopping you from from making 1 circuit with 20 exercises. Obviously you would be careful of how many sets you would make it but there is no reason why you can’t do this.
Circuit training is great for a full body workout and you can set your circuit up to work upper body then lower body and repeat that all the way through. Why not do upper then lower then abs?
See how versatile a circuit training session can be?
“Now whats the benefits of circuit training over cardio and weight training?”
Ok so HIIT session burns belly fat long after you have finished your workout. For you who don’t know what HIIT is it stands for High Intensity Interval Training. So that means you perform an exercise at a high intensity then you rest then you repeat it.
Check out Burn Belly Fatwith HIIT. This explains HIIT workouts in more detail
Circuit training is the exact same thing. You perform your exercises one after the other as fast as you can at a high intensity then you rest. Rest period should be 60 – 90 seconds.
To make things a little clearer. Imagine the body of an athletic sprinter? What do they look like? ripped to shreds right? Plenty of muscles right? Now what does a marathon runner look like? Lean? Yes, muscular? NO WAY! The body of your dreams? Well I’m not here to tell you what you want.
So as you can see circuit training is something that shouldn’t be over looked.
You don’t need to be a member of a gym or own fancy gym equipment to give yourself a circuit training workout.
If you scroll up above this post you will see a tab that says Circuit Training Exercises. Now when you hover your mouse over that tab you’ll see a drop down of around 20 circuit training exercises that you can do at home or in the park.
Each exercise comes with a short YouTube clip showing you exactly how to do the exercise properly.
There are some circuit training exercise there that you will need a kettlebell for but plenty are just bodyweight. Now if you can get yourself a kettlebell, which i highly recommend then your circuit training options will multiply 10 fold! Kettlebells are extremely versatile and increase the HIIT dimension.
So don’t ever think that circuit training is just for the elderly and people who make a terrible decisions and join Curves.
Grab a friend, check out the circuit training exercises above and start designing the body of your dreams.
To circuit training,
P.S – Keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming kettlebell series. These workouts will revolutionise your training.
This beautiful morning i had the pleasure of wandering down to my local park and filming some of my new kettlebell outdoor workouts.
Now this one i have for you today is a little advanced. Its designed for men and women who have used kettlebells before, preferably for at least 3 – 6 months. You should be competent to handle a heavy kettlebell ranging from 16 – 24kg for men and 12 – 16kg’s for women.
This workout will build strength and power in your upper body while shredding fat of your belly. Watch how tired i am afterwards and you’ll see how taxing this is.
If you think maybe this maybe a little too much for you then i have a perfect kettlebell outdoor workout for beginners. Click the link
Well without further a due here is an advanced outdoor workout i call the Kettlebell Shot Put.
What did you think?
Do you think you can handle it? The go for it! Let me know how you go.
Checkout this outdoor workout i recently designed called the Juggler. Its another kettlebell based workout.
I love kettlebells!!
I love kettlebells so much because no only are they so versatile but you can honestly develop the body of your dreams with them. Also who doesn’t love training outside like that? Better than a stinky gym full of unfriendly people checking themselves out in the mirror.
If you have an outdoor workout or a circuit training exercise you would like me to feature then please leave me a comment below.
To the Russians for developing the kettlebell,
P.S – If you like the thought of training outside but aren’t yet accustomed to kettlebell then i have something for you. The outdoor workout 3 point shuttle.
P.P.S – Keep your eyes peeled for more fat melting outdoor workouts coming soon.
So today I’ve got you a real fun circuit training workout for you, this one i call the Daisy Duke.
Why do i call it the Daisy Duke?
Yea good question but i suppose i had better ask if you ever saw the remake of the Dukes of hazard? I think it was in the 00′s it came out.
Anyway i was reading that Jessica Simpson who played the part of Daisy Duke got that sensational body she flaunted by doing a circuit training based workout targeting all the problem lady areas. You know the back of the arms, the lower belly, bum and thighs.
So I’m pretty sure you’ve already picked up on this but this workout is designed for women. Sorry gents.
This workout is designed to develop muscle definition and to achieve this through this circuit you want to perform a high level of repetitions.
15 (each leg)
Close Grip Push Ups
10 (each side)
Perform circuit 2 – 4 times depending on your fitness and strength level. Do not have a rest between exercises and rest 1 minute between sets.
There you have it. What do you think?
Circuit training is close to my heart and if your looking at leaning down, improving your muscular endurance, toning the problem areas then circuit training is the way to go.
Earlier this year i posted a MASSIVE article on the Top 20 circuit training exercises voted by you. Click that link to see them all. Ive attached short videos for all of the circuit training exercises so you can follow along with no issues.
Thats it for me today.
Yours in health,
-You must look at what could be, not what is. You can change. Things can be different. It’s up to you. So much can be accomplished with a long-term vision and resilience to short-term setbacks.
Today I’ve got the very first FastFatLoss4Life’s 60 sec with James. Or in other words its a short Q&A session.
Its 60 Sec with James
This is an opportunity for anyone to ask me any questions they may have about there health and fitness.
Regularly i get asked questions such as,
“how much water should i be drinking” and “what are the best supplements for weight loss”
So I thought this may be the best solution because if one person is wanting to ask this question then I’m sure someone else is thinking the same.
I posted on my FastFatLoss4Life Facebook page that i had planned an up and coming Q&A and i got a response from a lovely lady by the name of Dannielle.
This is Dannielle’s questions
“What is the food that should you most avoided when aiming for fat loss and what foods assist in burning fat? With a lumbar spinal injury and limited mobility for the most part what exercises would you recommend to assist in fat loss? Are their any vitamins that assist in fat loss or raise the metabolic rate?”
Hit the play button below and see what i have to say
Let me know your thoughts.
If you have a question for me then please leave a comment below and ill answer it next Thursday.
To you health,
P.S – Every Thursday i post 60 Sec with James on the Facebook page and shortly after it goes live i’ll post it here. If you can’t wait that long (I’m sure you can’t, haha) then please like ‘Like’ the Facebook page.
P.P.S – Also i recently go the chance to interview to amazing people who have lost an incredible amount of weight and one of them has even started a charity! You can read their great stories here -> Jen in Real Life and Josh in Real Life
What did you think of part 1 of Josh in Real Life? What an amazing story hey?
Today i’ve got the rest of the interview with Josh.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
So Josh what’s the greatest part of your new lifestyle?
We can tell that you love running Josh
I’ve become completely addicted to running. I love running, because it’s a competition against yourself. I love hitting the pavement and trying to beat my time from a previous race. I don’t have to be faster than everyone else, just me.
But, it is very rewarding to finish a race and know that you are doing something that most people don’t dare to begin.
That is one reason why I am trying to run a marathon. But, even more than that, I love proving to myself that I can do hard things. That’s probably the root of my addiction.
So Josh did you have someone help you along the way?
I have two great trainers who I both consider great friends, Kevin and Jason. Kevin was the trainer I needed to jump start my weight loss and Jason is the person that is the trainer I need to keep my fitness on track and improving.
But, my whole family has been a great support to me throughout the whole process. My parents have always been my biggest fans. Whether it was celebrating a weight-loss goal, me crossing the finish line of a race or giving me compliments about how good I look … they’ve always been there for me.
That’s invaluable to anyone’s fitness journey.
If you could only give one piece of advice to the people reading this what would it be?
Respect and love yourself enough to never give up. Small changes do add up and you will see results. It took me many years to work at it. Yes, I lost about 175lbs. in 2 ½ years, but I had to lay that foundation down first.
So Josh what used to be your favourite meal?
Probably fast food. I can tell you stories of some of the nastiness I used to eat in one sitting. I would buy about five McDonald’s burgers for my three hour drive home from college. The burgers would sometimes not last half way into my trip. I would sometimes follow up my Mom’s dinner with Wendy’s, Burger King or whatever sounded good.
I also had a pretty significant sweet tooth. I loved (still love) ice cream. But, I would eat a bowl almost every day. Sometimes even putting it in my cereal in the morning.
And what’s your favourite meal now?
I love my oatmeal. It’s almost kind of sad how excited I get about my oatmeal. But, I have a specific way of making it that is just the best. It’s a ½ cup of oatmeal, scoop of flaxseed and then about 4 tbsp. of egg whites and a couple packets of Stevia. I mix that with some water and microwave it for about 2 minutes. Then pour in some almond milk before eating it.
The whole trick is to add enough water so the egg whites don’t make your oatmeal into a brick. I’ve had to cut my oatmeal a couple times. But, if you get it right it’s a great way to start your morning.
Mate talk about a complete 180 turn.
Can you describe to us what a typical workout looks like for you?
I have about 2-3 workouts per week. I have a session of personal training with Jason which usually consists of weight training. We alternate each week between lifting and legs. I like the concentrated attention I get in these workouts before they affect my other workouts and running.
Then twice a week I attend Jason’s boot camp workouts. These workouts are about an hour long and vary from burpees, tire lunges, block runs, TRX exercises and a lot other non-traditional gym workouts. There are usually 3-5 other people in these workouts.
You don’t get the same attention as one on one workouts, but you get pushed and everyone else encourages you along, which I absolutely love.
Then three times a week I run. I usually run 3-5 miles on Mondays, 6-8 miles on Wednesdays and then 8+ miles (depending on my training schedule) on Saturdays.
Right now I am training for my first marathon so I am running between 25-30 miles a week.
Congrats Josh, thats a massive feat.
What about a typical week for you now? Can you tell us about your diet, your training and any planning you do.
Well I explained a lot of it in the post above, but my diet is pretty uniform as well.
I am very much a creature of habit now. Monday through Friday, I have oatmeal for breakfast and a sandwich (either tuna or sliced meat) for lunch. I have protein shakes or bars between those meals. For dinner I usually have broccoli or another vegetable with chicken or fish.
I do have flexibility with my meals, because I am basically trying to eat a protein, carbohydrate and fat in every meal. This makes eating out a bit easier, because I can base my diet on that standard. But, I make my lunch and breakfast the night before so I don’t have to worry about eating out.
I always say in you fail to prepare then prepare to fail. Its just so vital to success.
Now mate we all know that you love running. What are your fitness plans for the future?
Love the outfit
I’m planning on to keep running. I’ve started making goals for 2013. Instead of just focusing on running goals I am attempting 13 challenges in 2013.
I have signed up for the Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World (Half Marathon and Marathon on back to back days) as one of those goals. I am also going to attempt to do the Utah Grand Slam (four marathons within the state of Utah).
More than anything I want to continue to prove to myself I can do hard things. I also really want to continue my fundraising efforts through my running. I’m not sure how I will go about next year, but there’s something special about running to honour others in need.
Well Josh on behalf of the team here at FastFatLoss4Life and all the readers i just want to say a big thanks and a massive congratulations on your achievements.
Recently i was lucky……. hang on I meant privileged enough to interview a young man who not only has lost an incredible amount of weight but has also helped and inspired many others.
Josh at 402lbs and Josh at 225lbs
His name is Joshua Hansen and at one time he weighed 400lb (182kg)
This is a little about Josher’s story (Josher was a nickname given to him by his dear mum)
So Josh lets start with a little intro. Can you tell all the readers where you’re from and what do you do for a living?
My name is Josh Hansen, I’m from Salt Lake City, Utah. I work for the University of Utah in the College of Engineering as an Office Clerk.
I’m actually taking steps to going back to school to either become a Personal Trainer or Nutritionist so I can pursue a job in the health industry.
Thats great! The health and fitness industry is amazing and the main reason why i got into this business is because i wanted to help people.
Now Josh you’re here because you made some incredible changes in your life and you ARE a man of inspiration. So lets start at the beginning. Can you tell us when you realised it was time for you to make a change in your life?
Years ago. I was always a big kid. If I wasn’t the tallest in my school class, I was always the largest. I made some great changes in my early 20s and lost over 60lbs., but the weight came back (plus, more) when I stopped doing what I did to lose the weight.
Throughout my remaining years in college my weight was always on my mind. I knew I could lose the weight, but I just never wanted to put in the effort. I felt like I had more important things to do (ie-school, friends and involvement).
I focused on everything else except myself.
The turning point was my graduation day. In what was supposed to be one of my happiest days, it was quite the opposite. I felt disgusting. I looked disgusting.
My graduation gown barely fit and I actually ripped my gown’s backside. Sure, I laughed about it, but it hurt.
I realized that day that I wasn’t being the person I felt like I was. I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t living. I just existed.
Wow. Can i ask why do you think you ended up like this?
A lot of it was my lack of knowledge about how food works. I was a yo-yo dieter. I’d try something for a few days or weeks and then go back to eating a bag of burgers. Plus, the gym was a frightening place for me. The only thing I knew how to do confidently was the treadmill and still I wanted to hide.
In my career i often speak to people who have had an ‘Ah-ha’ moment. Did you have a similar moment?
Graduation day was a huge ah-ha moment. But, going to the doctors and being diagnosed with a hypothyroid, high blood pressure and given cautions on my asthma, knees and overall health was an eye opener.
I didn’t have health insurance, because I didn’t have a job yet. Faced with that reality I soon realized that it was ME who was going to have to make the changes.
No magic little pill or doctor was going to do it for me. It had to be me. That realization is by far the best medical coverage I’ve ever had.
Thats a powerful moment isn’t it? I think a lot of readers will resonate with that. Ok so Josh tell us about your very first step towards your new life?
I made the decision for change on Thursday, November 11, 2009. Why Thursday? Because, I didn’t want this to be yet another diet. This time I had to start a new lifestyle. It was my way of telling myself this is different, this isn’t an all or nothing diet. There’s no set beginning or ending.
Thats awesome mate.
I started with a simple food journal. I actually didn’t change my diet at all. I just wrote down what I ate during the day. Each day for about a week I looked at it and then made changes I thought I should make. Like less cheese on my sandwiches, more water with my meals or less snacks at night.
I refined my diet day by day to the point that after a couple of weeks I was in a routine of eating five meals a day (three larger and two smaller).
The gym was the same way. I just started walking more consistently. I walked more places at work. I took walks during lunch. I walked on the treadmill at the gym. Then I worked up from there.
I also got connected with an old friend, Kevin, who was a personal trainer. I bought some sessions with him and we started training.
I will always remember our first workout. He pushed me harder than I ever thought possible. I remember doing sitting squats and just feeling the weight of my body strain my whole frame. It was in that moment that I knew I had to get rid of the fat. I had to make the changes for the better.
But, I worked on just being consistent. Kevin helped me get rid of a lot of psychological road blocks in the gym and in the kitchen. I think an effective trainer focuses on this more than just results. Because being a 400lbs guy in the gym is not easy.
Mate what an incredible story. Ok so you’re on your way to your new life. Can you tell us a more about your journey from then until now?
Denim for a Cure
Last year I made a goal to run a half-marathon. I ran one and … well … kind of got addicted. I ended up running an additional four before the end of the year. For this year I initially made a goal to run 12 half marathons in 2012. I thought that was a great goal.
Well, when you’re addicted you can kind of let things get out of hand. I just ran my 10th half marathon this past week and plan on running an additional 14. This includes two marathons. So instead of 12 in 2012, I ended up doubling it to 24 in 2012!
But, running has been such a great blessing in my life. Earlier this year my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The day that I got the news the first thing I did was run. It was one of the most powerful and healing runs I’ve ever done. All I did was just myself onto cruise control and work through my thoughts and feelings. After that run I felt such at peace and that everything would be okay that I often run on the days of her chemotherapy and other treatments.
I also started raising money for the hospital she gets her treatments at, Huntsman Cancer Institute here in Salt Lake City. They have a program called Huntsman Hometown Heroes that solicits donations through run and bike races.
Thats awesome Josh. A massive congratulations! Your mum must be really proud of you.
Josh & his dear mum
I initially made a goal to raise $1,000 to run the Salt Lake Half Marathon in full-denim. That’s denim pants, vest and other accessories. I quickly raised that money and ran a whole race in denim. It was hot, but well worth it!
I continue to run in denim, except instead of pants I run in denim shorts along with my vest and usually a pink headband and shoes. I have raised over $1,600 for the hospital and I am still taking donations.
Right now we are forming a team to raise money leading up to a race in October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month).
The fundraising efforts are a lot of fun. Plus, I love the looks I get for running in denim. But, it’s for a good cause. It’s a way for me to honor my mom and the countless others who battle cancer every day. I think if my Mom was diagnosed a couple years ago I would probably eat my way through the pain. I probably wouldn’t have such a good outlook.
Who knows what I would have done? I just know that running has been a blessing to me. That I’m very grateful for!
Its great that you can see that and your choice to exercise was the right choice.
So Josh what did you find harder, the diet or the exercise?
The diet has always been the hardest for me. It took me a bit to get rid of my all or nothing mentality, especially when I refined my diet. But, I didn’t let that defeat me. If I caved and let myself go for a day or weekend, I got right back up and worked a little harder in the gym and just looked forward.
But, I’ve found a blessing in the 80/20 approach. I stick to my diet Monday through Friday closely then on Saturday (also my running days) I allow myself a free meal, whatever I want to eat. Whether its pizza, a burger or pie, I allow myself to not feel guilty about what I’m eating for that one meal.
This approach has kept me on track and I love preparing for my free meal of the week. I’ve tried to discover new places and food around Salt Lake City.
Ladies and Gents that was part 1 of the interview with Josh. Next week Josh talks to us about his life now and he also gives us some great advice so be sure not to miss out.