There are many complex reasons that make fat loss a challenge, reasons that go deeper than simply calories-in versus calories-out.
I’m talking about the life issues that get in the way of your success.
Here are 5 things that block fitness results along with the solutions to unlock your best body.
1. You are crazy busy.
Let’s face it, you work too much, commit yourself to too much and don’t even get enough sleep most of the time. The fast-paced way you live leaves you exhausted, stressed and hungry for comfort food. You even begin to feel too busy to take care of your health.
It’s time to reprioritize. Let go of your perfectionist standards and remove a few commitments from your schedule so that you are able to cook healthy meals, exercise and get a good night’s sleep. Remind yourself that taking care of your health is not a luxury—it’s a necessity.
2. You don’t want to wait for the good stuff.
Just as you wish to avoid pain, you are also an expert in seeking out pleasure—namely food. This served the cavemen well, but these days it ends up as extra pounds around your waist and thighs.
There’s good news: extra calories are not your only option to stimulate the pleasure center of your brain. Find an activity or two that make you smile and indulge in those regularly.
3. You don’t want to be bothered.
It’s in your DNA to avoid pain and seek out pleasure. Unfortunately, this works against you when trying to get fit. In your mind, it’s painful (or at least uncomfortable) to deny yourself the tasty food that you crave and to exert yourself with exercise.
There’s a simple way to work around this obstacle: Find something painful about being out of shape to motivate yourself towards healthy eating and exercise. Focus on the negative impact your current shape has on your health, self-esteem and lifestyle. Convince yourself that the pain of being out of shape is much greater than the discomfort of losing the fat.
4. You don’t deserve it.
I don’t agree with it, but you sure act like you don’t deserve to live the good life in the body of your dreams. Take a moment to think back on all the times you have self-sabotaged your weight loss efforts. If you don’t believe deep down that you are worthy, then you’ll never give yourself a chance at a fit body.
I believe that you deserve to have a healthy body—and I urge you to dig deep down to uncover why you don’t. Once you conquer your feelings of unworthiness, getting on an exercise and healthy eating plan will be easy.
Take the time to take care of yourself. You DO deserve it.
5. You are afraid.
You’re afraid to start because you just might fail, and wouldn’t that be embarrassing? You’re also afraid to start because you just might succeed, and change makes you uncomfortable – even if it’s change in the right direction.
When you decide to get fit you will need to go through a bunch of changes:
I want to personally help overcome every obstacle standing between you and your ideal body. Call or email today to get started on a program that will change your life and body forever…in the best way!
Originally printed in the Springs Magazine May 2019
No internet. Forced quiet hours. Howling monkeys. Is inner peace even worth pursuing to a Costa Rican paradise?
by Warren Epstein
The first morning, we wake with a start to the roar of howler monkeys. My phone reads 4:22 a.m.
The howls, deep and resonant, sound like angry—or horny—velociraptors.
My wife and I huddle in our bed behind thin mosquito netting in an open-air cabin in the middle of a Costa Rican rainforest. We came here for inner peace. A yoga retreat. Ommmmmm. Seriously?
Neither Jane nor I were that into yoga, but when friends invited us on a yoga retreat in Costa Rica, we thought, That’s just far enough from our comfort zones to sound exciting.
The trip would be led by our mutual friend David Corder, who runs Perfect Fit Wellness Center in Falcon. He regularly takes groups to the prettiest places on the planet to practice their Angry Cat or Pissed Off Possum, or whatever you call those yoga poses. (Next trip Peru, http://www.perfectfitwc.com/yoga-retreats.html )
David is an alum of the traveling singing troupe Up With People, and he has retained that too-much-enthusiasm-to-be-contained-in-one-body thing. His high-pitched laugh sounds like something out of a Warner Brothers cartoon.
We caught up with David and the rest of our yoga team after a long flight to San Jose, Costa Rica; a white-knuckle puddle-jumper flight to the Osa Peninsula; then a tooth-rattling drive to the resort, Blue Osa. (Costa Rica really should get a GoFundMe page for some road paving.)
If you’re into the tropical paradise thing, it doesn’t get much more paradisiacal than this: You can sit on the Adirondack chairs framed by coconut palms overlooking the beach, as squirrel monkeys chatter and toucans right out of a Fruit Loops commercial fly by.
The Blue Osa want guests to disconnect. I discovered they take this literally, turning off the internet in the morning. That would be a real problem for me, as I like to plug into all the national news first thing, so I have stuff to fume about all day.
There’s even a “silent time” rule here; you’re not supposed to talk before 7:30 a.m. This was tough. In fact, Beth, a soft-spoken staffer from NBC News, rebuked more than a couple of my hearty “good mornings!” with a finger to her lips.
“Oh, yeah, forgot,” I said, which earned me another stern look.
This was going to be a long week. Here’s the thing I learned about yoga retreats, and it may come as a bit of a shock. There’s actually the expectation that you’ll be doing yoga. David would ring a bell, and we were all expected to grab our mats and head for the yoga studio, yet another slice of paradise in the center of the resort compound: shiny natural wood floors, floor to ceiling open-air windows overlooking swaying palms and surf. Again, if you like that kind of thing...
There were about two dozen of us, mostly women, mostly from the Springs, sitting in a circle. David welcomed us and asked what we hoped to get out of the retreat. Most said something about peace of mind or greater self-awareness. I said, essentially, I was here for a vacation. More stern looks.
Then David walked us through the theme for the week, based on Aesop’s fable The Tortoise and the Hare. Interesting. I’ve always identified with the rabbit. Sure, he lost the race, but he ended up rested and well fed.
Still, I got what David was saying. The yoga, the idyllic setting and even the excursions he had planned were designed to put us in a different frame of mind, to slow down our racing thoughts. Not a problem for me. I had very few worries—except, maybe, some upcoming work deadlines, a strange sound the car had started making, that strange ache in my neck and shoulder, and did I leave on the Nespresso machine when we left? The neighbors would have called if the house burned down, right? And did anybody respond to my latest Facebook post? OK, my mind tends to race a bit. I’m from New York.
After yoga on those first few days, I tried to practice my meditation in one of the many idyllic shrines around the property. Focus on your breath. Breathe in. I think I heard a fly come in, and my breath is kind of shallow. Breathe out. Should it be that shallow?
It was hard to sit still that long. Fortunately, David had some activities planned to keep my must-do-stuff mind and body busy. We went on zip lines over the jungle canopy (getting in touch with our inner rabbit). We participated in a turtle rescue (getting in touch with our tortoise sides), which turned out to be much more emotional than I’d anticipated, watching those baby turtles waddle to the surf.
Every day, yoga became easier, less of a chore and more like what my body actually wanted to do. Meditation also got easier. Breathe in. Breathe out. Even the howler monkeys became less annoying.
I also felt a bond with the fabulous people who were on this journey with us. As we took turns jumping off a ledge into a jungle swimming hole, the cheers for one another was about more than the courage of the leap. It was about how far we’d all come.
On the last morning, I saw a group of my fellow yogis and heartily shouted “Good morning!” Of course, I received an admonishing finger to the lips. But I swear I saw less animosity there.
When we returned to the Springs after an exhilarating but exhausting week in paradise, I slept so well in my own bed. Strangely though, I jolted awake to the roar of howler monkeys. My wife had recorded them. She laughed her head off.
I closed my eyes, thought ommmmm, and then a very un-yogi thought came to mind: I will get her back. It’s what a hare would do, after all.
Thank you Warren, for the fun review and great memories!
John Dryden famously said, “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”
Confucius said, “Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”
And Aristotle noticed that, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
It’s pretty clear that the habits you adopt will shape who you are.
What are your habits?
Do you eat the same thing for lunch, go through the same exercise routine, and fall into bed at the same time each night?
Or maybe you’ve made a habit out of eating something sweet before bed, avoiding the gym, and staying up as late as possible.
When it comes to your fitness, the two habits that define you are your eating and exercise habits. In fact, everyone that you know who is in great shape has dialed in these two important habits.
If you aren’t happy with your body, then simply adjust your eating and exercise habits.
Here’s how to adopt a habit:
1) Decide on the ONE habit that you would like to develop. It’s tempting to pick up 3 or 4 healthy habits but choosing just one new habit is realistic and doable.
Here are some healthy habit ideas:
Here’s an example:
4) Keep track of your progress. You could keep a detailed journal or simply make a check mark on each calendar day that you successfully exercise your new habit.
Once your new habit becomes second nature, usually in about 30 days, feel free to add a second habit by going through the same steps.
I’d love for my fitness program to become your new healthy habit! Call or email now to reserve your spot.
An authentic surge of motivation will change your life immediately.
The best part of my day is seeing clients just like you achieve amazing results. Whether you drop a few sizes, lose the baby weight, get off your blood pressure meds, or shrink your waist, the excitement is always contagious.
It’s hard to describe that euphoria that settles in once you’ve achieved your fitness goal. It’s one of those things that you have to experience to understand.
Every single one of my clients who have achieved massive results have ONE THING IN COMMON…
They are all highly motivated.
I am in a unique position. I know how to get you (or anyone else who walks through my door) into great shape. I can coach you through a 50-pound weight loss. I can guide you to a healthier body. I can even train you into a toned athlete.
But there is one catch.
You’ll need to be motivated.
Just saying, or even just thinking, that you want to get into great shape isn’t enough. You need motivation—and that’s just half of the equation. The other part (and the most important) is ACTION.
Nothing happens until you take action.
You can want it, think about it, mull it over, ponder it, plan it, and then re-plan it. But nothing happens until you take action.
While I may not know your story—it’s probably safe to assume that you want to drop fat and tone up. You want to look better, to have more energy, to experience fewer aches and pains, and to enjoy sweet satisfaction as you achieve your goals once and for all.
I know that all of my successful clients were once in your shoes. They wanted to change their bodies. They felt urgency. And then they did what most fail to do. They took action and contacted me.
But there is more to it than that. They then committed to a program, put in the exercise, stuck to their diet and met their goals. There’s nothing more gratifying than getting back into those jeans that now sit in the back of your closet.
People who take massive action get massive rewards. And those that simply talk about losing weight will continue to put weight on, pound after pound. I hate to put it that way, but it’s the truth.
So what do you want?
The rewards are great IF you do.
Your first step is to call or email me now to get started! Let’s do this.
Do you have a specific fitness goal that you are hoping to achieve? This goal could be a number on the scale, or a clothing size. Or maybe you are hoping to wear a certain cut or style of clothes like strappy tank tops, shorts, or a bathing suit.
While having this goal is great, it will NOT guarantee success.
You knew that, though, because this isn’t the first time that you’ve had a fitness goal. A goal that you didn’t meet. In fact, you probably know dozens of other people who also have struggled to meet their fitness goals.
Here’s the typical scenario: you get all pumped up to lose weight and get into shape by starting out completely gung-ho. Your enthusiasm lasts about two weeks, before old habits and routine slide back into place, cutting your results off before reaching your goal. Then your goal begins to fade from your mind, and life goes on.
The problem, my friend, was your initial focus on the result rather than a sustained focus on the process. Let me break this down for you…
Fitness success is not about focusing on your goal. It’s about making the fit lifestyle stick.
Of course, once you’ve gotten a fit lifestyle to stick you’ll end up meeting that goal!
This may go against everything you’ve come to believe about achieving a goal, but then, your techniques haven’t exactly been working. The number that you’re hoping to magically be one day doesn’t matter one bit, and here’s why…
IT’S ABOUT LIVING IN THE MOMENTUM.
Can you remember how it felt the last time that you ate clean, exercised hard and got adequate sleep for a few consecutive days? A feeling of momentum came over you, didn’t it?
There was a buzzing in your cells and a rhythm in your pace. You felt alive, you felt sexy, and you felt empowered. Never mind that you weren’t yet at your goal number, you were headed there!
Getting down to your goal weight, and fitting into your goal size, is the direct result of living in that state of momentum for an extended period of time. You see, the momentum can be felt immediately, once you start eating clean, exercising hard and taking care of your health, whereas that “goal number” simply can’t be felt until it is achieved, and so it’s not as powerful a motivator.
My challenge and advice to you is to find the joy of living in the momentum, and keep that momentum going until your goal number is achieved. Focus only on the momentum, not on the number.
Fitness is a way of life. Being lean is a lifestyle. Neither of which can be had by going about it halfheartedly.
You have to become the momentum.
Call or email me today and we will get your momentum started on the exercise program that will reshape your body once and for all!
You woke up this morning and began making choices.
You chose whether or not to exercise, to eat a healthy breakfast, or to do something productive. You chose whether or not to eat that donut, to sleep in, or to watch an extra hour of TV.
At the end of each day the sum of your choices pushes you in a direction.
It could be pushing you in the direction of fitness and health, if your choices were predominantly wholesome.
Or the sum of your choices could be pushing you in the direction of weight gain, health issues and problems.
I find this perspective to be helpful when it comes to making a major body transformation. It’s tempting to feel helpless in changing your body when you have so many pounds to lose and so much work to do, since you aren’t able to do it all in one day.
However, by capturing the power of each day by making wholesome choices, you will be pushed in the direction of weight loss and health day after day, week after week.
Until one day you’ll look in the mirror and see that you’ve arrived at your ultimate destination: a lean, healthy and vibrant you.
So embrace the power of each choice that you make today, and allow a momentum of good choices to push you through to your goal.
Today is a big deal. Today is all you have.
Make the most of today.
If you’re not yet one of my prized clients then make the excellent choice to call or email me today to get started on a program that will supercharge your momentum towards the best version of yourself.
Let’s do this!
I realized something important about exercise that’s worth sharing with you.
Most of the time, when encouraging you to exercise, I focus on health and fat loss. These are two significant benefits, but there’s another side effect of exercise that’s hugely important…
How you feel after doing it.
Every workout has an immediate impact on your energy, mood, body chemistry, and even mental functioning. The endorphins released are specifically designed to make you feel good.
All of these factors combined create your overall feeling of wellbeing.
Don’t you want to feel good?
The tricky part is that most of us are habit driven, and so our activity level (or lack thereof) is fairly consistent day-to-day and week-to-week. This makes the impact of each sedentary day less noticeable, since another similar day causes no obvious change. It simply perpetuates your current state of un-wellbeing, with a slow decline.
Why this matters: You could begin feeling a lot better than you do today by starting to exercise.
This could come as a surprise, especially if you believe that the way you feel today is a given, and not something that can be improved.
By maintaining a consistent, challenging exercise plan:
Making regular exercise part of your routine is a foolproof method for improving your overall wellbeing. It’s a gift that you give to yourself with each workout.
Ready to really feel good? Sign up for my latest fitness program. Call or email today to get started!
You realize that you want to lose the weight and to get into phenomenal shape. You believe that your health is important to you, and that you want to improve the quality of your life through diet and exercise. You feel that this time it will be different, that this time the changes will stick and you’ll become the best version of yourself.
Starting out with great intentions and high expectations, the first few days go well. You’re making the time to exercise. You’re eating vegetables and proteins. You’re avoiding sugar, packaged snacks, and soda.
After day 3, you step on the scale and find that the number has gone down! You’re making progress towards your goal and that feels good.
The next day something unexpected happens. You catch a cold. It would only aggravate your illness to exercise in this condition, so you wisely take the day off. That night you find yourself eating comfort food for dinner. You are feeling sick, so it seems justified.
A week later you think about returning to the gym, but your cousin is graduating from the police academy and there’s a family celebration. A slice of graduation cake later, and you’re in no condition to exercise. As your insulin levels soar and your energy dips, you tell yourself that tomorrow is the day that you get back on track.
Tomorrow brings with it more unexpected turns, pushing your healthy lifestyle just out of reach.
There’s a very simple reason for this phenomenon: If you’re looking for an excuse the universe will provide you with one. Every. Single. Time.
But I’m not looking for an excuse. Those things were out of my control. I wanted to stick with the program, but I caught a cold and then life got busy.
If someone offered you a million dollars to stick with your diet and exercise program for 6 months could you do it?
You bet you could! And you’d probably even do it for 100 thousand dollars.
This means that if you had a great enough incentive then you’d stick with your program and get results. So right now the incentive, the motive, the desire just isn’t great enough to protect you against all of the excuses that the universe has to throw at you.
Find your incentive. Results will follow.
What’s more important to you than excuses?
What I can and will do is get you into the best shape of your life! All you need to do now is give me a call or reply to this email to get started. Let’s do this!
Your mindset plays a big role when it comes to getting and staying fit.
In the same way that an app on your phone is limited by the functions that have been programmed into it, your body is limited by the messages sent by your mind.
If you have the goal of changing your body for the better by dropping pounds and increasing your muscle tone, the first thing to do is to begin with your mindset. It’s a step that far too many well-meaning folks skip in their quest for an improved, sexier body.
My experience has led me to observe that my successful clients who experience the most amazing body transformation results are the ones that abide by the following Positive Mindset Habits…
Positive Mindset Habit #1: Stop Beating Yourself Up
Most of us compare where we are today with where we ultimately want to be.
If you’re a size 18 with the goal of one day being a size 6, what runs through your mind when you look in the mirror?
With a positive mindset you would look in the mirror and notice the improvements and progress that you’ve made towards your ultimate goal, no matter how subtle.
With a negative mindset you would look in the mirror and only see the gap between what you are today and what you ultimately want to be, and you’d beat yourself up about it.
To be successful with your body transformation, focus on positive improvements and every small step towards your bigger goal.
Positive Mindset Habit #2: Do not EVER consider what others think of You
My best clients don’t give one hoot what others think of them. They are focused on their own journey and realize that the only opinion that matters about them is their own.
This small mental shift makes a huge difference when it comes to getting results.
Maintain your focus and energy on your daily fitness goals and resist the urge to compare your progress with others. Do not attempt to decipher what others are thinking about you, because the only opinion about you that really matters is your own.
Positive Mindset Habit #3: ONLY Think Positive Thoughts About Yourself
Nothing good ever comes from thinking poorly of yourself. I simply can’t emphasize this point enough: Negative self-talk is one of the reasons that most attempts at weight loss fail.
On the flip side, those who make a daily practice of positive self-talk, by encouraging themselves and focusing on every small step made towards their goal, see incredible results.
Keeping a positive attitude about yourself will not only help you lose the weight, it also helps you to keep it off in the long run.
Remember that an effective exercise plan is vital to getting and staying in phenomenal shape – and I’m here to help you do just that. Call or email me now to get started on my best fitness plan.
Let’s get you into the best shape of your life!
Being Positive Pays Off
Since negative thoughts have been proven to reduce fitness results, make it a practice to reject any negative thought about yourself that comes into your head.
When a negative thought floats into your mind immediately respond with, “That’s simply not true,” and then remind yourself of the last positive goal that you accomplished.
Once you do this enough times your mind will stop coming up with negative thoughts to send you, making positive progress quicker and easier.
You have so many demands on you. Your family relies on you for money, food, transportation, and a myriad of permission slips, bills and paperwork. You hardly get a moment to yourself at the end of each day, and even less now that school is back in session. It’s hard not to feel guilty about taking a moment to care for yourself.
From the moment that your day starts, with making meals, getting ready for work, and getting the kids to school on time and yourself to work on time, you have demands on you minute-by-minute. It’s easy to start feeling like there’s nothing left for yourself, even though the benefits of self-care are well known.
How important is self-care?
Every time that we board an airplane to jet to another city, we are reminded of the importance of caring for ourselves before attempting to care for others.
“In case of emergency, air masks will drop the ceiling. If you are traveling with a minor, please put on your own mask before helping the minor.”
The reasoning is simple: if you are not in good working condition (i.e. gasping for air) then you will not be as effective when attempting to assist others around you in getting their air secured.
This concept applies to everyday life, not just while soaring at 39,000 feet. Everyday you have the ability to put your air mask on first before assisting others. Now it’s easy to feel like putting your air mask on first isn’t even an option – since the dependents in your life are so good at making their needs known, and your own needs are quieter and easier to shove aside.
Let’s take this moment to assess what your self-care needs are…
Sleep: Getting adequate sleep is essential for good health, and doubly essential when you lead a busy, demanding life. Unfortunately, sleep is one of the easiest things to skip out on, as you attempt to get everything done each day.
A normal, healthy adult needs at least seven hours of consistent sleep each night in order to function well. And while allowing yourself time to sleep may feel like a luxury, remind yourself that it is a necessity.
Nutrition: Keeping your body well fed with nutritious meals throughout the day is another key component to functioning as your best self. Most of us tend to let meal-planning slide, in order to meet the immediate demands in front of us, and end up scrambling to piece together less-than-nutritious meals.
Making the habit to pack a few meals that are rich in protein and veggies doesn’t actually take that much time out of your morning, and the benefit is extreme. The funny thing about meal planning is that it ends up saving you time in the long run, since it removes the need to scramble around for food throughout the day. And the steady energy that you’ll experience once your body is being consistently fueled with good nutrition is priceless.
Hydration: The number of adults that are suffering from chronic dehydration is staggering. Part of the problem is that we are drinking fluids throughout the day that are filled with caffeine and calories rather than plain old water.
That plain old water is what your body really needs to thrive, so remind yourself that proper self-care includes making hydration a priority. You could jazz your water up by adding in a few slices of lemon, some fresh herbs or a piece of fruit.
Relaxation: Relaxation!?! Have I gone mad? Here is where you may feel the urge to tune out of my little talk on self-care. How in the world are you going to find the time to relax with everything that you have going on in your life?
I know it’s not popular to talk about giving yourself time off to relax, but the benefits of reducing your stress levels are too huge to ignore. I want to suggest that you try the technique of relaxing throughout your day by giving yourself a mental break. This doesn’t mean that you walk away from your desk at work or skip out on your responsibilities, just that you consciously take moments throughout your day to focus on deep breathing and to clear any cluttered or stressful thoughts from your mind.
There is also something to be said for making a practice of relaxing when you do have time off from work. Rather than trying to do a million things on your day off, make the effort to take some of the time to simply be. Deep breathing and calming thoughts will do plenty to help reduce your stress level.
Exercise: I walked you right into this one! Yes, exercise is self-care. Exercise is NOT indulgent, or optional, rather it’s absolutely necessary for taking good care of yourself. Some of my clients will tell you that their exercise time is also their relaxation time, which might not make sense when you first hear it. But when you walk into your workout with the worries of your day on your mind, and you walk out with a clear mind and the incredible rush of endorphins then you’ll understand perfectly what they’re talking about!
I’m here to help you make the most of your exercise time, and also to support you as you begin to consciously practice better self-care. Remember all of your loved ones who rely on you and your stamina every single day. You’re needed, and you owe it to them to keep yourself in the best shape possible.
Call or email me now if you’d like help getting there.
Owner and Lead Personal Trainer at Perfect Fit Wellness Center.