My #1 Tip to Get More Active

When I first started my weight loss journey, I started applying a very simple principle without realizing it.  It has been put many different ways by many people, but simply put it is this:

“You become most like the people you spend your time with”

Getting INSANE with some awesome people!

After I joined Weight Watchers every week I would go to a meeting with other people who had big dreams, people who had lost some weight, and people who were living success stories.   I slowly started to realize that the more time I spent in these meetings, the more success I had and when I missed them I felt pretty derailed.  Just being around people who care about their success and your success changes how hard you’re willing to work.

I don’t still attend the meetings but I absolutely love Weight Watchers for everything they have done for me, especially getting me started on this principle.  I din’t realize it then, but it was the first stop on a long journey to embracing this wonderful idea.  You see a little bit further down the road, when I became a group-exercise instructor, I began to use this exact principle to keep me motivated to stay happy and healthy!

I absolutely love teach people, Turbo Kick, INSANITY, PiYo, you name it and I love to teach it!  I finally realized the reason I love it so much is that for a sweat soaked hour I’m in a room with people who are trying to be their best.  Some may have lost weight, some never had to and are just their for an awesome workout, and other are just starting, but they all care about their health and having a great time getting in shape.  I want to be like THAT!  I want to be someone who cares about health and fitness, who inspires people, who pushes past the hard work and during class I’m in a room with people just like that.

We Turbo Kicked Butt that Day!

 

If you’ve ever been a part of a group, a club, or even a Facebook group that you are actively involved in, what’s the reason?  It’s more than likely because you like the people, you like the atmosphere, and you like the activity!  The more time you spend with those people, the more you find common interests, form bonds and make new friends – because your in a group of people who are what you want to be!

For those of you who are searching for an environment full of people that care, go to your local gym and try a group-exercise class.  You get a dimension of accountability because – trust me – the instructors remember who you are and when you miss.  But you also get to immerse yourself in  a health world full of people who are.

You may disagree with me, but I would venture to say that the fitness industry is full of some of the most positive, uplifting, and wonderful people who care about YOU.

So my #1 Tip for people trying to get more active, get in a group exercise class or find a running group – find a group of people most like what you want to be and join it!

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on your Facebook page!  Let’s get the word out about the amazing power of group exercise!

Until Next Time,

Zach Spuckler

Headshot

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

It’s Time to Start Dreaming Again

Business Man

I’ve got an avid love for quarky independent movies – hey a man can watch movies when he’s not working out no? – and I happened to watch an incredibly amazing one this weekend.

The movie follows the story of a teen that truly despises the high school experience; he feels that he is bound for things much greater than his small town.  There is one scene however that was so amazing and so touching that it prompted me to change my blog topic for the day and write about it instead.

In this particular scene, the main character talking to a girl who is a Cheerleader, and he tells her (I’m paraphrasing):

Why are you trying so hard to be the perfect cheerleader and making that you big goal? I remember in the second grade you wanted to be a ballerina why didn’t you keep trying?

She responds by saying that everyone laughed at her dreams, so she moved on.

The main character goes on to explain that he didn’t laugh at her; there is always someone that believes in your dreams – even if it’s just you! There have to be ballerinas in the world and Nobel peace prizewinners so why can’t the next one be you?

If that wasn’t profound enough to blow your mind, the main character finished on a profoundly strong note, asking some questions that you really need to start thinking about:

When do we hit the age that we stop believing in our dreams?  At what age during the human experience do we stop trying to do the things that are unconventional?

That scene was strong and it really spoke to me, so here’s what I took from it and what I want to pass on to you.

Right now there are thousands of people, working for themselves, living their dreams, or traveling the world.  What in your heart of hearts is making you think that you can do whatever it is that you want to do?  Really?

Most of the people who are living their dreams were not born into a privileged life they worked hard to earn it.  They took their dreams and they put them in action and when people told them they were crazy they just kept pressing forward, only looking back to see how far they had come.

What I am hoping you take away from this is that people are going to question you and what you do.  When I lost weight I had people question me, when I went vegan I had people question me, when I started teaching classes I had people question me!  Stop trying to fit other people’s molds, you are a unique person and you can live a unique life, start living it now!

Let nothing hold you back from reaching great heights.  There are obstacles that may come along and try to slow you down, but as of right now the only thing stopping you is that small voice in your head that doubts you.

Have a funeral today, let that voice in your head cross over and start dreaming again, it’s the age of dreamers and we’re changing the world.

I believe in you,

Zach Spuckler

Headshot

Resolution Burnout – It’s Real!

Resolution Burnout

Wow, its already 1/2/14 I can’t believe how fast 2014 got here!

Today I wanted to share something important with you about New Years Resolutions!  I don’t think that there is anything wrong with make them, but how you carry out these resolutions can lead to what I have decided to call Resolution Burnout!

One of the most common resolutions is to lose weight, so I’m going to use that as an example throughout this post.

If it was the middle of the winter and you decided you wanted to lose weight, you wouldn’t suddenly expect your life to change. You wouldn’t go to bed Sunday a junk food addict with 30 lbs to lose and wake up Monday a green smoothie drinking health buff with six-pack abs.  When the New Year rolls around a lot of us act this way, we wake up January first we pack up all the junk food and we hit the gym for 3 hours.  By the end of January we have taken on so much we become overwhelmed and we burn out.

The biggest life changes start with small-calculated decisions, not large drastic ones.  If you go to the gym for the first time in months on January 1st and you stay for 2 hours because you really want to shed this weight, you will wake up the next day sore and sorry.  After a few cycles of this, you just burnout.  By the time February rolls around, you are paying for a membership you don’t use and you’ve given up on healthy eating.

So how can you avoid Resolution Burnout?  It’s actually pretty simple – start making small changes that will lead to greater results.  In a recent book I read – The Compound Effect – I learned that it’s the small things we do each day that make the big changes.   Start by going to the gym 2-3 times a week, even if the end goal is 5-6 times a week.  Allow small things you can commit to know to lead to large life changes later.

The other common goal is to wake up early and workout, instead of setting the alarm back 2 hours on day 1, trying setting it back 5 minutes earlier everyday until you get to 2 hours.   The pattern I am trying to point out is this – don’t make a new life starting January 1st!  Aim to have a new life at the end of 2014 starting with small doable habit changes that start right now!

If you are looking to lose weight or get in better shape and want to avoid Resolution Burn out, I will be running a 30-day challenge to help you stay accountable and get the results you want!  Come over to my Facebook Page and send me a message or Comment on the post below so I can get you more details!

 

HeadshotHave a Great New Year!

Zach Spuckler

It’s All About Perspective

Perspective

Today I was reading an article on The Huffington Post about the qualities that happy people have.  I said to myself, “I would like to think that I’m happy, let’s see what kinds of qualities they have!”

After reading a few of them, I felt like I had hit most of the points but life decided to put me to the test, as it sometimes does, and I learned a couple of lessons that I wanted to share with you.

One of the biggest things that I took away from the post was, happy people try to spend their time being happy.  I know it sounds crazy, but we tend to think that happy people are just happy – but most of them actually work at being happy!

Now, let me share my story with you and my revelation.  During lunch today, I decided to drive over to Subway and grab a sandwich for lunch, I usually pack but I had forgotten my lunch in the fridge!  As I went to start my car, I couldn’t get it to start, uh-oh!

Luckily, I have AAA so I got towed to a garage, however my tow truck took over 2 hours to arrive and I had to miss one of my classes!  After the 2 hour delay, the cost of the repair was about twice what I had estimated, and my ride home couldn’t make it to pick me up.

According to most people, I was having a pretty bad day, but as the tow truck was picking up my car and towing it, I took a picture on Instagram.  I captioned that photo, “Getting towed staying positive! #itcouldbeworse”

I was a little upset but just before I took this picture, I realized – happy people work on being happy so just stay positive!

The reason I share this story with you is that I want you to realize something very key to happiness.  Life is going to suck sometimes – harsh but true – but if you want to be happy you have to make that choice!  Most things in life take work and happiness is no exception!

I have a challenge for you this weekend!  Odds are pretty darn good that something isn’t going to go as according to plan.  When it happens brush it of, put a smile on your face, and move on!  You owe that to yourself!

Until Next Time,

Zach Spuckler

Headshot

How Long Until I’m Skinny

How Long?

A few days ago some one asked me, “how long until I’m skinny?”  That question really hit home for me and it told me that it was time to open up to you and share a part of my journey that I have always stayed quiet about; something that I haven’t really shared with anyone until right now.

The fact of the matter is I mentally strive for fit over skinny, but even to this day I fight with the idea that I could be skinnier, yet my weight is ideal according to my doctor.  Now, I wouldn’t say that I am to the point where I had an eating disorder, but I am starting to see that others are feeling this! Studies are now finding that as many as 4 in 5 men have body issues (and around 3 in 4 women!).  Those numbers are alarmingly high, and it’s time to talk about it.

Too often we think about body image as a female problem.  The fact is lots of men are facing this and I want to stand up and say it’s okay, it’s normal, but let’s start fighting those negative thoughts!  (P.S. Women read on there’s some good info here either way!)  I’m here to tell you that I have felt fat, inferior and ugly even after hitting my goal weight.  Hitting that goal isn’t always the immediate makeover we hope for!

Ninety pounds ago, I though I would feel “thin” at 50 pounds gone.  When I lost 50 pounds I though the last 40 would help me feel thin.  Needless to say that wasn’t quite the case. I don’t have a six pack, I don’t have ripped muscles, but by most measures I am above average, yet the mirror seems to make me feel like I’m not fit.  I am working on myself everyday, and I have learned to take that voice and tell it shut up when it pops up, and you can too!

Sure we all want to be “skinny” but if that is where you place your focus, the road ahead may be long and treacherous! Being comfortable with yourself can take a long time if you are not currently comfortable, you can work on it!  Here are some of the things I have learned on my journey that I can share with you:

  • Loose skin and stretch marks are battle scars and reminders of the sweat and determination you have poured in to get to your current level of health!
  • Stop trying to get skinny and start trying to get healthy, you don’t need to look like a model to be healthy and beat chronic disease, and that’s what I’m doing.
  • Your weight, your fat, your lose skin, your stretch marks, any quality that you are self-conscious about does not define you or what I you have been able to achieve!

Now I know what you are thinking, “Zach, that’s great but it sounds like you are struggling after you got thin, I’ve still got some weight to lose!”   Would you be happy to know that you have an advantage that I didn’t?  Right now decide that you are going to focus on healthy over skinny and watch how much more enjoyable the journey can be.  Stop looking for the “dest-thin-ation” and think about how great it will feel to be active and health.

I know that I have some extra skin, but I don’t want that to define me.  I don’t want to run to a cheeseburger because I feel like I’m fat or that all the work I have done up to this point is a waste.  I know that I am being a little reparative here, but I think this is a message that needs to get out there!

Skinny is an ideal that you may never reach, fit is a journey you can work on your whole life and be pleased with progress!

My deepest desire is to reach at least one person who is struggling with the way they look and to let them know it’s okay and you’re not alone.  You need to stop focusing on that little bit of fat, that extra skin, or those stretch marks.  I won’t sit here and say you can’t get six pack abs – because you can – but please stop hating yourself and your body because you don’t have them.  If you choose to work towards muscle that’s okay, but don’t obsess to the point that you can never meet your own standards, it really hurts my heart to see people who can’t love themselves.

Let me close by saying this, we all face our own demons but I would rather have a little extra fat and have good health than a six pack with an obsession about how I look.  When you focus on how long until I’m skinny, you will never get there.  Focus on how long until I can run a mile, how long until I can lift a 30 pounds weight, how long until I know how to eat right – choose measurable goal that puts physical appearances out the window!

Please Like and Share this story so that we can get the word out there!  Let’s help people get comfortable in their own skin again!

You are perfect just the way you are,

Zach Spuckler

Headshot