My tendency is to be an “all or nothing” person. Because of this, my last couple of years have been all about work. As a result, by the end of 2017, in addition to realizing I was at the highest weight I had ever been, I also achieved my worst ever worse physical results from my doctor. Changes had to be made and I wanted to find a balanced approach to improving my physical health, something that I could sustain long term.
I started making incremental changes to my diet, including reducing alcohol consumption to start. From these dietary changes alone, I was able to lose 15lbs, with 50lbs being my overall weight loss goal.
In March 2018, my progress had plateaued and I knew it was time for phase 2 – working exercise back into my schedule and taking a far more serious look at my diet. The opportunity to “kickstart” phase 2 came thanks to bathroom repairs at home, which forced me to shower at the Club for several mornings. A friend recommended working with Mike Savage and, so, I connected with him.
Mike has been training me since April 13, 2018, and, in that time, I have lost an additional 34 lbs.
We began with workouts 3-4 times a week, which has now increased to 4-5 per week. My week regularly consists of 2-3 days of weight training, and 2 days of cardio, with swimming being my cardio activity of choice. On my “off” days, I focus on walking and achieving 10,000 steps.
To help me focus on my dietary needs, Mike introduced me to the app “My Fitness Pal” and we created customized targets, including: daily calorie intake, protein, carbs, fat, and sugar. This method resonated with me because it offered a balanced approach to eating and, by using the app, it allowed me to feel like I was playing a game to hit my targets.
I believe the keys, thus far, to my success have been:
- Knowing myself. Because I know myself, I understood that I needed help to direct my motivation.
- Consistency. If I happen to not reach my goal on a given day or week, I brush it off and get back on track. Included in this, is making room for “me time” during the day, for me it’s the morning, when I’m able to go to the Club.
- Trust. For me, it was important to find someone, like Mike, who I could trust and easily connect with.
- Believe in myself. Perhaps, most importantly, I have always believed that I could (and can) do this and that the results I want are possible.
It’s been an incredible six months, but I’m so excited to see where this journey will take me.
It has been such a pleasure working with Cheryl over the past six months, her goal-focused approach to training is truly inspirational.
Cheryl’s relentless hard work during each session, along with her dedication and training consistency, are definitely paying off, as she is only 1lb away from her 50lb weight-loss target.
Since April 2018, Cheryl has made many nutritional and physical changes to her daily life, which are reflected in her accomplishments:
- 34lbs reduction in body weight
- 11% reduction in body fat
I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of Cheryl’s journey and to work with like-minded individuals who are fully committed to making a positive impact on their lives. I was drawn to this profession for that exact reason, to make a difference in people’s lives, helping them to achieve their training goals. Cheryl and I are a team; I offer my knowledge and advice, while she actively applies it to her training and nutrition.
If you’re interested in making additional positive changes in your life today, I recommend focusing on the following areas:
- Your nutrition. This is a key player. Without providing your body with the right amount of proteins, carbs, and fats to support your training goal(s), you may never quite get your desired results.
- Workout consistency. Try to schedule your workouts like you do your business meetings. If your work schedule doesn’t cooperate (and at times it won’t), still try to prioritize “you” time. That will feel like a win for you personally.
- Strength training. This may just be the missing metabolic ingredient when your primary goal is improving body composition. Not only will lifting weights help to increase your metabolism and help you fit better into your jeans, but it also has the power to improve your performance on cardio focused training days. Seriously, I’m not kidding – try it!
- Sleep: Very few of us seem to get enough shut-eye. Many benefits come from getting 7-8 hours of quality undisturbed sleep per night. It’s during sleep that your body recovers from your training session. So, the next time you think to yourself, “I’ll just watch one more episode of Game of Thrones before bed,” think again, and send yourself to the land of nod.
Mike Savage, CSCS, MES, RTS 123, FMS
Personal Trainer & Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Toronto Athletic Club