WESTFIELD, NJ — Tony Bianchino, owner of Westfield-based personal training and nutrition center Out Run Your Fork, has a lofty goal of educating Westfield about what it takes to be healthy,…
If You Feel Like You’ve Been Stuck For A While, Then Maybe It’s Time For A Very Simple Change.
There are lots of reasons why many of us are not quite at the level of fitness that we desire. Maybe we want to lose a few pounds around the midsection or maybe we want to tighten and tone our arms and legs. Whatever the goal is we need to keep in mind that weight management is 70% nutrition. Now, I am not discrediting exercise in the least. But as our name “Out Run Your Fork” suggests: if you exercise a lot and continue to miss step on your nutrition, then you’ll never get where you want to go. Exercise alone is not enough. You simply can’t Out Run Your Fork.
So let’s start by focusing what is in your control. If we think about it they’re only four things we can control:
- our thoughts
- our words
- our attitudes
- our actions
While there are many root causes as to why people don’t do what they’re supposed to do, we are going to leave the first three items for future articles. This article was going to focus on the final one of these: our actions.
I heard somebody say once, “It all starts with your hand.” He went on to explain that when you’re making a choice you could choose to reach for a healthy food or you can choose to reach for an unhealthy food. It’s what you reach for that’s going to determine what you put in your body. If you don’t put it in your hand, then you can’t eat it. Think about it for a minute. It’s so simple, so why is it so difficult? The answer is determined by one word: desire.
Desire: that which we fix in the foremost of our minds is what we focus on minute after minute, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. It creates a burning desire to reach that goal. But a burning desire without a plan of action will not yield results. Without a plan of action there will be no action. So, the first step is to create a goal and that an action plan on how to reach that goal. The next step is to simply move into action. The simplest action is to make better choices. The way you can make better choices is by reaching for foods that will move you closer to your goal and leaving the food alone that will prevent you from moving toward your goal. Is everyone with me so far? Good!
Let’s turn that desire into action:
- The next time you are given the choice of reaching for an apple or a muffin, choose the apple!
- When you know you’ve eaten your portion of food, don’t reach out for more!
- If given the choice of baked potato or french fries, duh!… (yes, go for the potato)!
Set friendly reminders. Write a note on your hand that says “It starts here.” Put a note on your debit card or wallet. On Your refrigerator door. On your water bottle. Anywhere you can see it prior to grabbing that piece of coffee cake and ramming it into your face. Keep healthy snacks nearby: an apple in the car or desk drawer at work. A small amount of nuts (look at the serving size!) in your purse. A protein shake in your gym bag. A low calorie protein bar in your briefcase. Sneak in healthier alternatives wherever and whenever you can. TIP: Just be sure to watch total calories!
STOP reaching for the Bad and START reaching for the Good!
It’s like an old horror movie where the vampire is hiding behind the curtain: we know he’s there. The secondary character in the movie sees him there. The main character misses all the cues that proves he’s there. Yet, with panicked sobbing and tears streaming down her face she limps forward slowly creeping up on his hiding place. We pan in on a close up of our damsel with her knife held high and shaking as she sobs even louder, choking her breathing. We flip between her close up and the villain’s. Her desperation and his evil anticipation reach a frenzied pitch as the violins and drums beat louder and faster whipping us into a heightened sense of panic and…
Cut scene. We’re brought out of the theater and into today. You’re sitting at your computer in your fuzzy slippers sipping coffee that’s gone a little cold and more bitter as you read this article.
“Me? What the heck do I have to do with this?” You think.
I’ll tell you: we’re in a horror movie. Our world is full of vampires, deceit and broken promises for our growing class of the working impoverished. Don’t think you’re part of that class? Ask yourself one question: if I lost my income today, how long before I begin to fall into debt. It doesn’t have to be massive “My house is being auctioned off and I’m going to be on the street with nary the clothes on my back.” No, it could be paying your bills with credit cards, making minimum payments, adding revolving debt or taking out a loan just to bridge the gap. If you would fall into that category within 6 months then you’re broke.
Ouch! That’s pretty harsh. Well, yeah. But so is reality. I believe our system is broken and we’ve entered into a vicious cycle. Jobs are not getting us where we want to go. College teaches us to get a job instead of starting our own business and impoverishes us in the process. We graduate and take jobs paying far less than they thought they would. And then we start to default on our student loans making taxpayers pay off the debt we left… And we are now also the taxpayers! Colleges and corporations are the vampires. We are the damsels in distress. The top 2% income earners are the supporting characters.
In my opinion the system needs an overhaul. College is a joke for many people. It doesn’t teach any skills that couldn’t be learned in 6 months on the job with a good mentor. (Now, if you’re studying medicine you’ll need some extra study time because if you’re going to open my chest and perform open heart surgery I’d prefer you to have an education level that’s better than watching a few episodes of greys anatomy). I believe instead of school we should be allowed to take a job in our field of study, even as an unpaid intern, doing the job we want as a career. We should be assigned a coach or we could hire a private business coach. Then, with the help of our coach, we can start our own business. Maybe that coach continues to help us and earns a type of franchise fee, say 5% of the business profits. Terms and further dealings are easy to figure out.
How would this help? We’d have a bunch of people who run successful businesses and coaches who want them to succeed. There’s a financial interest in both parts. The new business owner gets 95% of the profit (there’s motivation) and the mentor gets 5% (more motivation). This leaves the coach to then help another newcomer and collect an additional 5% fee from another business. The mentor would eventually earn enough residual to create financial independence. By this time the newcomer is no longer a newcomer and has started the process of mentoring new newcomers. And on and on. This could create a system of paying it forward where everyone’s success is tied together and we all live happily ever after.
It’s a dream. It’s riddled with many challenges. But as a whole who’s to say it’s not an effective alternative to what we’re doing now?
Fire away on the opinions.
What are we doing to our next generation? Saddling them with alarming amounts of debt before they have the chance to get started in life? Will this kill their confidence and diminish their desire to overcome?
This article from Bloomberg Businessweek: “The nation’s student-loan balance climbed by $31 billion last quarter to $1.16 trillion. That makes it the largest source of debt after mortgages…Student-loan delinquencies and repayment problems appear to be reducing borrowers’ ability to form their own households”
“It is no longer about the numbers, although being down more than 50 pounds is great, it is the sense of well being of mind, body and spirit … Your encouragement, drive and knowledge were as critical in my working toward the goal. (I have) been enriched by … the relationship and friendship we have forged.”
(When I first met Tony) I was a bit apprehensive and tried my best to listen as (he) explained the benefits of a structured workout program. (His) pitch and delivery were perfect, the ultimate wake-up call for me were the stats, especially my current health age of 67. The family medical history was a red flag. I was tired of being tired. Exhausted from the cycle of poor sleep and diet, inactivity other than the daily work routine. The prescriptions which were regulating and not solving the problem.
The first few sessions were painful as I wondered, could my body be transformed. Throughout, (Tony was) the one who kept me focused on the real goal, the lifestyle change, realistic yet measured. This was not a sprint but a marathon. The mind and spirit of being a winner. It dawned on me that if I did not take care of myself how could I perform at my best and be there for my loved ones.
The 10 strategies for success are just words without a mentor and a support system. (Tony’s) encouragement, drive and knowledge were as critical in my working toward the goal. Even in my early 50’s I have relearned a valuable lesson, a wise man is one who is quiet and listens. This educational process, has been enriched by the respect and admiration gained for (Tony); (his) choice to help others and the relationship and friendship we have forged.
It is no longer about the numbers, although being down more than 50 pounds is great, it is the sense of well being of mind, body and spirit that is the biggest change and continual daily focus.
All the best,
December 26, 2014