Your Weight Loss Journey: How to Make a Change

By Rita Larsen, Elite Dietian & Nutrition Counselor

There are “Stages of Change” that each person must go through in order to actually do anything new. The Academy of Nutrition has the following listing of processes for every person’s development towards change in behavior:

  • Pre-contemplation: Stage before any thought is given to modify any behaviors.
  • Contemplation: Subject is aware they have a change they would like to make, but have not made the commitment.
  • Preparation: Decision-making has arrived; and the person will take action within about 30 days. They are already making small behavioral changes.
  • Action: Subjects make notable overt efforts to change; and have targeted behavior they want to be different.
  • Maintenance: Persons stabilize behavioral changes to avoid relapse.

All in all, everyone must go through these steps in order to arrive at a good outcome.

One other excellent source of input on this matter of change is the work at the University of Pennsylvania Foundation for Positive Psychology. Dr. Martin Seligman, is a world renowned expert on the “positive approach” and its necessity in the change process. The Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program has been used by the military, workforce development, and many other social institutions that benefited greatly by the use of this process.

So, with that said, I challenge you to approach everything as though it is a new and wonderful day of experience.

  • Go to the gym with renewed energy and excitement.
  • Plan to meet friends at the gym and use teamwork to obtain a positive outcome for all.
  • Each day eat the best nutritious foods that you can find. Learn that perhaps a full feeling at all times throughout the day is not needed, and that waiting for the next meal is a positive experience.
  • Make the scale your friend and, for sure, your scorecard to success!

Energy and persistence conquer all things. -Benjamin Franklin

For more detailed information on the topics discussed above and how they can help you, let us know more about your goals and what you would like to change.

Where are you in the stages of change? Do you use positive emotions & psychology to get through your change process?

Member Spotlight: Dan Buss “I decided I needed to make a change”

We’re extremely proud of our members. Over the years their work out agendas and sporting endeavors serve as healthy examples of how it feels to be Elite, and how exercise not only adds years to your life, but life to your years! Today we’d like to highlight another member’s accomplishments:

Photo of Elite Member Dan Buss My name is Dan Buss and I’ve been a member of Elite for about two years now. I’ve never been someone who lived a very active lifestyle and have been overweight most of my life. Two years ago, it all came to a head. I hit an all-time high weight, the result of bad eating habits and no exercise while I juggled getting my MBA and frequent travel for work. I decided I needed to make a change!

That’s where Elite comes in. I decided to join the club on the recommendation of a coworker. It was a great experience from day one. Since I was so new to the fitness scene, I took advantage of a promotion the club was running for a package of personal trainer sessions. I worked with Ariel to do a fitness assessment and come up with a base workout plan that I could build on. What I appreciated most was how comfortable everyone made me feel. Ariel would offer encouragement whenever she saw me, and other trainers like Rob and Sue would stop and give me pointers when they saw me trying something new. While the facilities at Elite are wonderful, it really is all the great people that make it such an outstanding experience!

Today, I’m happy to say that I’m down over 100 lbs from my peak! That’s a goal I thought was impossible two years ago. I’m working out six days a week doing strength training and some running. I’ve participated in several 5K races, including the Warrior Dash and have even started taking swimming lessons with Laura, for a new challenge. My time at Elite has become part of my routine and I look forward to it every day. Thanks for helping me completely change my life!

We are so proud of Dan for reaching his goal and exceeding his own expectations. We are happy our staff could be there to help you on your fitness and health journey! You are truly an “elite” member!

If you have an “elite” story to share about your own personal accomplishment or someone else’s please share it with us at MyStory@eliteclubs.com or tweet it to us @MyEliteStory! We’d love to hear from you too!

Congratulations to our Weight Loss Challenge Participants & Winners!

We are so proud of all of our Weight Loss Challenge participants & winners! You guys did an amazing job of taking (and keeping) the weight off! Here’s some stats to show how all the clubs did:

Weight Loss Challenge Congratulations

All Club Totals:
81 winners (lost 8 or more pounds)
896.7 pounds lost between all participants (who weighed out)

Brookfield Totals:
23 winners (lost 8 or more pounds)
244.5 pounds lost between all participants (who weighed out)

Mequon Totals:
21 winners (lost 8 or more pounds)
247 pounds lost between all participants (who weighed out)

North Shore Totals:
14 winners (lost 8 or more pounds)
167 pounds lost between all participants (who weighed out)

River Glen Totals:
14 winners (lost 8 or more pounds)
153.4 pounds lost between all participants (who weighed out)

West Brookfield Totals:
9 winners (lost 8 or more pounds)
84.8 pounds lost between all participants (who weighed out)

Using Rates of Perceived Exertion to Help You Determine Your Exercise Zones

Everyone is unique when they exercise and the use of standardized formulas to determine your target heart rate zones can often lead you to exercise at either higher or lower than your actual effective rate. By combining the “Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale” with “Target Heart Rate Zones” you can more effectively estimate how hard your heart should be working while you are exercising.

Exercise can be divided into three different intensity zones:

  • Zone 1 Light Intensity Zone (heart beating at 60 to 70% of Heart Rate Max)
    Helps in weight control, improves endurance, and improves aerobic fitness.
  • Zone 2 Moderate Intensity Zone (70 to 80% of Heart Rate Max)
    Improves aerobic fitness, improves endurance, helps in weight control, accustoms your body to exercising at a faster pace, and begins to raise the speed that you can maintain without building up lactic acid.
  • Zone 3 Hard Intensity Zone (80 to 90% of Heart Rate Max)
    Increases muscles’ tolerance to lactic acid and improves hard, short effort ability.

There are tests available that can accurately determine your heart rate ranges but they can be beyond the reach of many people. So, how can you start to figure out your heart rate ranges and then begin to vary your workouts to achieve the results you want?

While you are exercising, picture a scale from 0 to 10 and ask yourself “how hard am I working?” Use the following descriptions to figure out how hard you are working and then convert that number to a %. For example, if you choose level 6 it roughly corresponds to 60% of your heart rate max. Measure your heart rate at that point and plug your number into the ranges above. It’s a start at heart rate training.

If your answer is 0 to 5 you may not be working hard enough to accomplish your goals or you are just beginning an exercise program.

Perceived Exertion Chart

Level 6: This is the feeling you might get when you are walking somewhere and are very late for an appointment. You know you can maintain this level for your exercise session. Your breathing is somewhat deep and you are aware of it.

Level 7: You are exercising vigorously. There is a definite feeling of fatigue, but you are quite sure you can maintain this level through your exercise session. Your breathing is deep. You can carry on a conversation but you would probably prefer not to.

Level 8: You are exercising very vigorously. There is a definite feeling of fatigue. You think you can maintain this pace for your exercise session but you are not completely sure. You can carry on a conversation but you definitely don’t want to.

Level 9: You are exercising very, very vigorously. You can’t maintain this level for a whole exercise session. Your breathing is labored and you can’t carry on a conversation. Be cautious before trying this level and have a significant aerobic training base.

Use these ranges as a guideline and get to know YOUR BODY and YOUR HEART as you workout. If you need additional help measuring your ranges, or would just like some advice on exercises for each zone, visit us in the Fitness Center! One of our certified personal trainers would be happy to give you advice on how to use the fitness center equipment or our training services to better reach your goals.

Prepared by Anne Tremel
Certified Personal Trainer
Exercise Is Medicine Program Director
Elite Sports Clubs-Brookfield
www.eliteclubs.com

Choosing the Right Goal & Finding Success

Everyone works out for different reasons.  Whether it is to lose weight, get stronger, to lean up and tone the body, help prevent health issues or fight against family history, it is important that whatever your reason or objective is that you first define your goal and make sure that it is right for you to help you find success.  Setting a goal that is unrealistic or purely based on an urge, no matter how well intentioned it may be, is only going to set you up for failure and ultimately lead you to stop working out.  So when you decide that you want to get started in an exercise program or start leading a healthy lifestyle, there are six simple steps that you can take to make sure that your goal is right for you.

The first step that you need to take is to make the goal personal and share it with someone you trust and feel comfortable with.  If you aren’t starting an exercise program for yourself, whether it’s to look better, feel better or to get healthy, there isn’t anything binding you to it.  We always know that there is an out.  When we make the goal about us and it is something that we feel passionately about and when someone else knows about it, we are going to do anything and everything we can to make sure that we succeed.

The second step in making sure that your goal is right for you and a success is to make it specific.  Losing weight is the number one goal that I hear.  And while that is a worthy goal, it isn’t specific enough to make you feel satisfied.  A one pound weight deficit is still losing weight, but I doubt that was your goal.  So the questions is, how much weight do you want to lose?

The next step is to make sure that the goal is measurable.  To get healthier is a very commendable goal, but how can you tell if you are reaching your goal?  You want the goal to be measurable so that you can get baseline numbers that can be compared against throughout your training.  What was your initial weight?  What was your initial blood pressure and resting heart rate?  Where are you starting at with your aerobic capacity?  All of these factors can be measured so that 3 months, 6 months, 12 months down the road, you can go back and check them to determine your progress and if no progress is being made, to make adjustments so that you can.

The fourth step to deciding the appropriate goal is to make it action oriented.  This means to determine a plan that is going to get you to reach your goal in the safest, most efficient way possible.  Often, the best way to go about this is to set up an appointment with a personal trainer or physician to have them set up a program for you.  You want to make sure that you are working at the proper intensities based upon your current fitness level and then progress your workout at the proper moment to maximize your results.  It is important that this program works within your everyday lifestyle so that adherence to the program is easier where it can be scheduled into your day so that there aren’t any excuses.

The fifth step is to make your goal realistic.  This may sound simple enough but more often than not, perception and reality don’t match.  Again, if weight loss is your goal, determining how much weight you can expect to lose or is a healthy amount to lose is not an easy task, but is also crucial in determining your success and eventual happiness.  Again, here is another time with this particular goal that making an appointment with a personal trainer or physician is an integral part of the process.  These individuals will be able to determine your current body composition, factor in any health risks, and determine what is realistic and safe and then help guide you through the process.

The sixth and final step is to make your goal timed.  This means simply when do you want to achieve your goal by?  Putting an end date to your goal gives you something to work toward, as opposed to leaving it open ended where there is no real rush to achieving it.
So by following these steps, not only will you find success in achieving your goal, but you will also know that it is truly the right goal for you.  And when that happens, you feel better about yourself, you are happier, feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, and are more likely to keep exercise a part of your life!

Sincerely,
Luke Lewitzke
A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer
Elite Sports Clubs
(262) 241-4250