How to Get BIG Results So That You Stay Motivated! [Podcast Episode #065]
Get up early to squeeze in some exercise. Pass on dessert, even when it's chocolate cake drowning in delicious vanilla ice cream. Guzzle your water all day long. Turn off Netflix and go to bed early.
All of these activities take a fair bit of discipline, but are doable when you reap the rewards. When the number of the scale starts dropping, or your clothes start getting looser, it's easy to be excited and to stay on-track.
But, what happens when those results don't come as quickly as you'd like. What do you do when you put in the work, but your efforts seem so futile. How can you possibly stay motivated? That's what we're discussing on today's show...
Make Your Body Work Podcast: Episode #065
- Visit Diana and Micah at Hitchfit
- Follow HitchFit on Twitter and Facebook!
- How to Measure Your Progress Aside From Just Stepping On the Scale [MYBW Podcast #009]
Why Are You Eating What You're Eating? [Full Text]
Dave: Hey, thanks so much for joining in this episode of the Make Your Body Work podcast. As you know, this show is all about helping you live a healthier and happier life. Today on the show we are talking about transformations and specifically about either aiming for a huge transformation right away or taking slow and steady steps towards transformation, but if we take that road how do we stay motivated because slow and steady steps sometimes aren't as exciting as monster transformations. We have an awesome question from Lori, so let's dive right in.
Lori says, "I've been listening to a lot of your podcast and hear a similar message about taking small steps to achieve progress over a longer period of time. I think that makes sense. I know that my body has fluctuated for years. The idea of quick results hasn't worked for me. At the same time, I know that my motivation loses steam when I only lose a pound or two here or there. It's tough to put in all the work when the results come slowly. Is there a way to see progress more quickly with an aggressive plan but then settle into something that's more sustainable afterwards?"
Lori thanks again for your question, I really appreciate it because I know that's a really common problem that people are facing all the time is, and that's why there is something called yo-yo dieting, because we want to dive in, we want to see instant results, we want to see huge results, but that type of approach, that super aggressive approach is rarely sustainable over the long term.
I love, you said it very well, the flip side of that coin is, slow it down, do a baby step by baby step, but then sometimes those results don't even seem to come at all and it's hard to be working towards a program or working towards changes in your life, when the results don't seem to be there.
I've recruited two guests today. It's a husband and wife duo, Diana and Mike LaCerte. They are experts in body transformation. They've been at this for a really long time and they have some great input to share on this topic. Let's welcome Diana and Micah.
Meet Diana and Micah
Dave: Hi Diana and Micah, welcome to the show, thanks for joining us today.
Diana: Thank you Dave, we are happy to be here.
Micah: We are excited to be here.
Dave: You guys, we were talking before the show. You guys are two of the originators when it comes to online fitness. We were kind of having a laugh because Micah, you were talking about starting way back in Myspace days. That just gives me indications.
Micah: Myspace means a lot to me, not only from the business side with Hitch Fit but I actually met my wife Diana here on Myspace. Myspace holds a special place in my heart.
Dave: Maybe Micah, we'll start with you, maybe you can tell us a little bit about that history then, how did you get started into this whole online fitness coaching business?
Hitch Fit: How It All Got Started
Micah: I'll tell you what's interesting. You are up in Canada. I had a big base of people that I was working with one on one here in Kansas City. I had a big Myspace following. This girl names Mo from Canada wrote and said, "Man, I just wish I could with you. You put out so many amazing inspirational stories."
It was like a light bulb in my head, and I didn't know anyone at that point that had done online training but I was like, "What if I just create you a plan and I'll send it through email and we can kind of just go from there, and you can communicate with me weekly?" That's how it evolved and that was way back in 2006, 2005 area. It really just evolved and we got better and better with it and built Hitch Fit eventually there in February 2009.
Dave: Isn't that so neat? Because now when you mention that all, sending a program and maybe skyping or calling, whatever. That just seems so common place but ten plus years ago. That was a pretty novel concept.
Micah: It was, and we got in early and as you know with any sort of business or space there. If you can get in early, build the foundation. It can help you to stay lasting within your business, and the people that are getting into it now, it's quite a bit more saturated. Not having that foundation, it makes it a lot more difficult for them.
Dave: Diana, maybe you can tell us a little bit about both of your own fitness journeys. What kind of has been your personal involvement in fitness over the years?
Diana's Fitness Journey
Diana: Micah and I actually kind of have the opposite fitness stories. Mine is when I got out of college I was trying to figure out like what I wanted to do with my life. I had a business degree but I wasn't happy working in an office environment.
I'd always been an athlete, and active and loved the gym, and I kind of had this light bulb go off in my head one day that I was actually at a gym in Manchester New Hampshire and I was on an elliptical machine and I just had this aha moment of like, "This is the place that I love to be. This is the place that I love to come. Why wouldn't I figure out how I could get to spend my days, here in the place that is my favorite place to be?"
That was probably in 1999-2000ish. It was from that point on, I really just started pursuing. I became a personal trainer within the next year or two and started just working at gyms. I didn't know as a lot of people who are personal trainers know. You don't really know about nutrition when you first start out as a trainer. It's not part of what you learn.
You learn how to take people through workouts, but the nutrition component is not there other than, I think it was like here is the food pyramid. For me I really didn't know that piece of the puzzle and I didn't know how to teach my clients that piece of the puzzle which is obviously actually the key to transformation.
Exercise is essential, but nutrition is the key to transformation!
I started gaining weight myself and I actually got a job on a cruise ship as a fitness instructor for Norwegian Cruise Lines. I went on the cruise ship. I was teaching all these classes all the time and I gained a lot of weight. I gained about forty pounds in that year.
I was still in the thought process of, "I can workout and I can eat whatever I want to and I won't gain weight because I'm doing all this working out." Even as a trainer I still was clueless about that side of things at that point in my life. I got off the cruise ship. My little sister same for the first time after a year and her jaw dropped because she didn't recognize me, or barely recognized me.
I'd gone up to, for me I was a hundred and seventy five pounds. That was the heaviest I've ever been in my life. I was completely uncomfortable in my skin, nothing fit. I knew what I was doing and I had gotten into bad habits of binge eating at night and compulsive overeating. It was just really bad habits.
Bad habits hinder you from becoming the person you want to be. Pick one habit to overcome...start with just one.
I had always wanted to compete and I always looked at the girls in Oxygen Magazine and saw Figure competitors. Figure was a brand new thing about that point and time. It was always bodybuilders prior to that. I just was so unhappy with where I was at. I was like, "You know what? I'm so sick of making excuses.
I want to figure out how do I get my body to do that?" Literally I had a moment, it was July 5th of 2005 and I woke up that morning so disgusted, so sick and tired of feeling and looking the way that I did, that I changed everything in that day.I signed up for my very first competition. I got with someone who started teaching me the nutrition side of things and how I needed to eat in conjunction with my training so that I could change my body.
I trained for eighteen weeks and I ended up winning my first competition. That kind of changed everything for me.
The biggest thing for me wasn't just the physical change in body, it was taking control of the emotional eating and taking control of that side of my life. The food didn't have control over me and I remember for me it was the freedom that came with the discipline that I learned through that process.
For me there was no turning back. It's more than ten years later and I started my nutrition education at that point in time because I realized if I couldn't teach people how to eat, then I wasn't going to be able to transform anybody. That became my main focus.
Fast forward, a couple of years later. I had a lot of success in the fitness world and one, a lot of shows and a couple of world championships. Then Micah kind of came into the picture. We met actually at Olympia in Las Vegas in 2008. I was living in Texas and he was here in Kansas City.
We had met on Myspace but we met in person for the first time. We were going to be at the Olympia. So we were like, "Let's meet up and say hello." We met and it was one of those situations where we were like, "I think I'm going to hang out with you forever."
Dave: Love at first sight.
Diana: Yeah. It really was. I moved to Kansas City two months later and he was in the process of putting Hitch Fit together. It was really God's perfect timing. I was able to be here with him and kind of be the female component. Like he said, we launched with the online side and then we were able to open our first gym here in Kansas City, about six months after we launched the online. It's just been an incredible seven years of just doing what we absolutely love to do.
Dave: You know what's really neat about your story is? You mentioned, sort of you got to this point where you realized you are not happy with the way you look and the way you feel. It almost sounded like you flipped the switch and you said, "One day I entered my competition and I got working with the right trainer, and made all these changes." It really was that transformational moment.
When you were talking about that I thought, "That leads so well into Lori's question because she's saying for her the idea of wholesale changes and completely revolutionizing her lifestyle, that's led to the very typical yo-yo dieting and yo-yo weight gain, weight loss.
Then she goes on to say, if I do it slowly, slow and steady, sometimes it's hard to stay motivated because the gains aren't big enough, transformation isn't big enough. Micah I'll start with you. You probably hear people talk in these terms a lot, what do you say to someone who has this issue?
Living Healthy Really is a Lifestyle
Micah: The first thing I always touch on is that you need to stop looking at it as a diet or just a workout. Like, this is a lifestyle. When people look at things as doing it as a sprint, I think a lot of times they get to their goal and then what? In our world we talk a lot about, "We want you to get to that fit and healthy place but we also need to teach you the lifestyle that's going to help you sustain that body and that level of fitness."
For us it's just really educating the individual on setting realistic goals and teaching the nutrition side, why the food is fuel and not comfort, and just an overall different mindset in looking at what this all pieced together can be for you? Not only from a visual aspect of going, "I'm going to hop on the scale and if it doesn't read four pounds I'm going to be miserable all week."
It's, "Hey, I'm feeling better. I'm progressing. I'm waking up I'm less foggy, I feel more energized. I'm more confident. Yeah, it was only a few pounds but at the same time I'm progressing." That's what it's about. It's just about continuously making small goals with those large goals in mind and progressing forward.
Continuously set small goals (stepping stones) with a large goal in mind. That's how you will really succeed!
Dave: That's really important what you just said there, that idea of stepping on the scale and being disappointed if it's "only a pound, or two or three or four," because a pound or two or three or four is actually quite significant.
Micah: That's phenomenal.
Dave: I don't know if you have the same opinions. Sometimes I get frustrated with some of these extreme weight loss shows that are on TV. It's neat that they motivate people but it sets this unrealistic expectation that the average person can lose eight or twelve pounds in a week. Then when they lose one, they feel like such a failure.
Diana: To be honest, a lot of, I'm going to name shows but I don't watch them. I haven't watched them for years because it was so frustrating for us when some of the bigger shows started to become popular because people came in with those expectations of this is what's going to happen.
Now, these shows have been on for years, you are finding out what's happened to these people now where they've regained everything. It wasn't a lifestyle change and it was all about doing something completely extreme to win money and they didn't get to do it in an environment that was their true lifestyle, which doesn't really set you up for success for the long term to begin with.
We've always, the one thing about Hitch Fit is from the get go, from the beginning, it's always been about teaching people something that could be a lifestyle, that was habits that could be sustainable for the long term. We've never done quick fixes.
It's never been about trying to lose as much weight as you can in a week. We encourage for the most part for people, it's a pound or two pounds a week. If you have a hundred pounds to lose, you probably are going to have some weeks where it's a little higher than that, but generally speaking, the majority of people it's that pound to two pounds a week.
I always say, I probably say this to online clients, I probably write this a minimum of fifty times per week and I always say slow and steady is what wins the race if you are talking about a lifestyle, and something that you are going to be able to sustain, because fast losses are going to equal fast regains as soon as you go back to whatever it was you were doing before. It's not worth it.
Dave: I love, I'm going to repeat that. For all the listeners, fast losses, lead to fast regains. That's a gem right there. I wanted to touch on a specific point that Lori says. In her message she says, "It's tough to put in all the work when the results come slowly." I haven't spoken to Lori, I'm not sure she's talking about other results but she previously mentioned only losing a pound or two here and there. I assume that she is talking specifically about weight loss.
What would you guys say are some other things that someone like Lori can look for so that she starts to feel accomplished and like there is some progress, even if it is "only a pound or two?"
You Can't Control the Number on the Scale
Micah: One thing that we can't control is scale weight. Scale weight, with females they've got monthly cycles, they have fluid gain, they have fluid loss, is someone more dehydrated or hydrated more? There are so many different variables that come in. I always say, test it like this. Step on the scale, step off for about five minutes. Drink as much fluid as you can, then step back on. You'll gain two or three pounds in five minutes.
What did the scale tell you? Absolutely nothing. You didn't gain muscle, you didn't gain fat, it's fluid. A lot of times, we are focusing on two other really more important variables than scale alone and that's body fat percentage and doing it on a regular basis, either through something like calipers or batpod or a hydrostatic, something like that, and then measuring inches.
How you are fitting in your clothes. Those two things, typically with weight loss in general, I think are more important than even scale alone because if you are focusing on scale alone, 80% of people are going to live very devastated.
Diana: I think for women especially there is those things like tracking your inches and seeing how much stronger you are. I have a lot of women who are in their fifties and sixties. One of my ladies who is fifty five, one thing that she was telling me was, she was home, something fell on the floor and for a moment she was afraid because every time in the past when she, it was a challenge to just bend over and pick something up.
She bent right down and picked it right up and it was like this moment of, "Oh my gosh, I can't believe that I can do that and it's not hard for me." For women, going into a store and being able to try on clothes that maybe before you weren't confident enough to try on or trying on your skinny jeans and seeing that they fit. Those are things also that I've always been like, "Who cares what the scale says, if you are lean and your clothes are fitting well and you have confidence? Stop stressing so much over what the scale says."
Dave: It's one of those things that it's easier said than done because the scale is such a black and white. It's such a point of comparison. It's easy to say, "You weigh this much and I weight this much." Where it's just very subjective when we think about how our clothes fit or picking things up. I completely agree with you. I very much understand why the scale is that barometer that everyone seems to want to use.
Diana: I usually tell people too, this kind of goes back to what Micah just said. Remember that the scale, it's not a stagnant thing. You never get to one weight and then there, that's just what you are all the time forever and for always. It goes up and down, all throughout the day. It's different.
If I step on the scale in the morning before I have breakfast, it's one thing. After breakfast it's another, afternoon it's another, at night it's another. It's never going to be this stagnant number of here is exactly what I am. There is too much happening in our bodies for it to even be a possibility.
I think it's some of those things where you just have to change how much emphasis you are giving to the scale. It's no that you can't use it for, yes this is something that we can track progress with but just understanding it is not the end all be all, it's not the thing that should govern if you have a good day or a bad day.
Women especially I just see struggle with this so often. They get on the scale in the morning and they are going to have a bad day for the rest of the day because the scale didn't say, what they wanted it to say. I wish that they could break free from that thought process, just to have more freedom from that being a controlling force in their lives.
Micah: I also see a lot, people, we all do this, this is human beings. We compare ourselves against other people. I think what you get in trouble with that is, in Lori situation in general, we don't know exactly where she is at body fat, how much weight she's trying to lose, specifics like that where if she only has ten pounds to lose, losing a pound in a week is absolutely phenomenal.
Whereas, if she had a hundred and fifty pounds to lose, she could lose more than one to two pounds a week. We need to maybe up cardio, slightly change her nutrition around a little bit. Those are some key things. You need to look at your own specific goals, your starting point and then a course of action to get you to those goals.
Dave: I love that you said that because we are all unique, and the process that works for you is not going to be the exact process that works for me and vice versa. Lori again, she is talking about wanting some motivation when she's first getting started. I can think back to when I've tried to learn something, starting from scratch. I use this example all the time on my show just because it's something that's relatively recent. I just learnt how to swim about a year ago in order to compete in triathlons.
If I'd gone to my swimming coach and he'd coach me for two or three weeks and I was still a pathetic swimmer. I probably would have quit. He needed to show me some quick wins so that I could see, "I'm actually moving towards something that's going to benefit me long term." What would you say for someone like Lori, or anyone else who's listening, what can they do to get those quick wins or to feel good or to notice some results, relatively quickly without diving in and turning into this yo-yo diet, yo-yo weight loss thing?
Getting Results More Efficiently
Diana: What we do with Hitch Fit, it really is kind of an educational process. When we put nutrition together for people, it's never just eat this, eat that, and without there being the educational component. With what we do, we always tell people, it's going to take you ... It will take about a week kind of to get the flow but we are just setting up the foundation.
I think with people it's like, I always tell people for one, take a deep breath and relax into this. Stop thinking that everything, it's not going to, it doesn't have to be perfect and it's not going to be perfect right out the gate. The only way that you are going to set yourself up for the future is by learning those basic things and setting that foundation. It's just like with swimming, it's just like with a new job, it's just like with anything that you do.
Set up a healthy foundation NOW and reap the benefits in the FUTURE. It all starts right now.
Initially, it's okay if it feels a little awkward. It's change and change is going to be a little bit different. My biggest thing is just take a deep breath, relax and spend some time just kind of with the education component of it first because that's what sets you up.
I don't like it when people, not that I don't like it but I don't encourage people to just ... Today I'm not doing something and then today I'm just going to start doing this plan without giving it some thought, giving it some time to digest. You know what I mean?
Dave: Yeah. I think that's great advice, and not diving into a specific program right away. Maybe even looking through a couple because we just talked about that uniqueness and again, maybe taking a look at a couple of options and seeing what resonates most closely with you, your goals, your current lifestyle, what might not be the biggest leap. Something that maybe seems more sustainable, way from the get go.
Micah: That's right. I think when you are out there searching for a specific coach or what not, whatever your specific goals are, you need to go find that coach that's going to be best suited for that. For transformation world that's what we do. We are trying to help someone become the best version of themselves.
We are not a sport specific coach in general, we are going to make you better overall, but at the same time we are not focusing on, "Hey, we are going to make your running much faster and your marathon," but they will run faster in their marathon because they are going to be... you know. You've got to find that right person.
Diana: I think it's also, what are they really ready for? Because there is a lot of plans out there that are like, this week just stop drinking soda. There is a lot of really baby step programs that are out there, Hitch Fit, we are going to be a step up from a baby step program in that we are going to bring all of the components and pieces of the puzzle together. Our goal is to get people, because it's like Lori said. If you are only losing a pound in a month, that's frustrating. If you are losing a pound or two a week, and you are losing about eight pounds in a month, that's actually, that's great progress.
Dave: Of course, after three months, you are talking twenty four pounds. That's a lot of weight.
Diana: Basically our goal with our plans is just getting people from point A to point B in an efficient way, an effective way but also a healthy way. If you are losing a pound or two a week, if you are losing around eight pounds a month, that really adds up, over the course of a twelve week time frame. We typically, if you are twenty to twenty five pounds less in twelve weeks, that's a healthy doable goal for your weight loss.
In that time frame it's also a great opportunity to learn those healthy habits that you can continue on past transformation. One of the things we try to drill into people's heads is that there is nothing that will work for the long term if you are not consistent with it for the long term.
If your plan is, I'm going to do this thing for twelve weeks and then go back to what I was doing before. Your body is going to go back to where it started from. The only way it lasts for the long term is if you learn habits and continue implementing them more on a maintenance level, literally for the rest of your life.
I can't drill that into people's heads enough that if you drop the habits at the end of twelve weeks or sixteen weeks, however long it is. Your body will go back, you can't just continue being fit and healthy if you are not continuing to make those choices on a day in, day out basis.
The ONLY way to stay healthy long-term is to make healthy choices daily. Start with one healthy choice today!
Dave: Diana, I can feel the passion as you are saying that. I completely agree with you. It's so true. I've had people sign up for my programs before and actually ask that right upfront. I appreciate the honesty but they'll say, "When I can stop eating like this?" Whenever you want your results to go away, that's when you can go back to your old eating habits.
Make Your Body Work Takeaway
Dave: I like to wrap this show up with something that's a Make Your Body Work takeaway. Basically, we've touched on a lot of different areas about health fitness, transformation, measuring results, all kinds of stuff.
For someone like Lori who, if we boil down her question, basically she's saying, "I want to get some results so that I can stay motivated to keep going for the long haul. You both talked a lot about habit building. What can you say is one thing that people can start doing today that will put them on a trajectory for a successful habit building?
Micah: I would say, setting down and really creating realistic goals. I think that's so crucial. Diana had just mentioned this but if you are aiming to do one to two pounds a week and over the course of twelve weeks, you are talking twelve to twenty four pounds of legit fat coming off of your body.
That's really phenomenal. You are going to feel great, you are going to look good. I would set yourself up for three, four, five, six months, whatever your specific goals are, whether that be looking better and feeling better, or like you had mentioned, you got into doing triathlons.
You've got to train for those to actually compete. In transformation world, during that period of time you are going to be working quite a bit harder than may be a maintenance or sustaining type of mode. You have to set your mind up, your schedule up, everything to help yourself get to that really healthy and fit place.
Then from there you can kind of, not necessarily relax off of it but I always look at it like a student. During transformation mode, I need you to be 90%. I need you to be an A student. 90-100%. In maintenance mode, anywhere between 75-90%, and you are going to still be healthy and fit.
Diana: I guess what I would add to that is when it comes to motivation, we are always motivated to do something. We are either more motivated to make a good choice that gets us closer to our goals, or we are more motivated to make a choice that pushes us further away from what we say our goals are. It's not a lack of motivation, it's a matter of where is your motivation directed towards?
Whenever people write and say, "I'm not motivated." It's not that you are not motivated, it's that you are more motivated to not do something than you are to do something. It's kind of just one of those things that you can, if you can mentally understand that in your head, and that's kind of part of helping people learn how to tell themselves a different story about what the truth is about their situation.
A lot of people get stuck in these old little records in their heads telling them this is who I am, this is what I can do. Most of the time it's not true. Usually they are capable of far more. The other thing I tell people is, it's when healthy choices is part of who you are and what you do, when it's actually a lifestyle, you do it, even on the days you don't feel like it, because imagine what we would be like if we only did things that were good for us on the days we felt like it.
If I think of my business, if I only did things that were going to help my business be healthy and successful when I felt like it, I would not have a successful business. There are days where maybe I don't feel like going and getting my workout in. Maybe those days that I don't feel like making a healthy eating choice but I do it, even if I don't feel like it, because it's part of who I am. It's part of what I do and it's part of what I know will make me successful for the long term.
Dave: That's really the essence of [inaudible 00:27:27] right there is doing those things that you don't want to do in the moment, so that eventually they become habitual and you don't have to try and persevere so hard because it's built into your routine. I know a lot of the listeners are probably going to have questions and they want to learn more about Hitch Fit. Where is the best place Diana and Micah that they connect with you or how can they get in touch with you?
Diana: The best place to track us down is just our website, it's www.hitchfit.com. There are links to all of our social media there, our Facebook pages, our emails are right there on the first page. We are literally not hard people to track down or to find. We are on social media regularly. People can write to us there or just send us an email. We answer our emails pretty much every single day unless we are travelling, but we are usually pretty speedy with getting back to people and answering questions.
Dave: Fantastic. For the listeners out there. This is Make Your Body Work podcast Episode sixty five. If you go to makeyourbodywork.com/65, I'll put some links in the show notes to the Hitch Fit website as well as well as their social media accounts. You can check those out today and connect with Diana and Micah. Diana and Micah, thanks again. You guys are amazing guests. Thanks for being on the show.
Diana: Thank you Dave.
Micah: Thank you so much for the opportunity.
Dave: Thanks again Diana and Micah for joining us today and for giving some really good ideas, some good tips when it comes to measuring our progress, setting appropriate expectations and just approaching weight loss and body transformation in an appropriate way. We really appreciate that. Thanks to you all the listeners for tuning in today and for taking a few minutes to invest in your health.
Again, I know I say this all the time but that's what this show is all about. It's about answering your questions and helping you put into practice what we are learning. I don't want to just fill your head with a bunch, more knowledge. There is already information overload out there, available online and elsewhere. I want the show to be practical and I want you to be able to implement the steps we talk about. Hopefully you found at least one step or one gold nugget today that will help you on your fitness journey.
I have a quick favor to ask. For anyone who's listening. If you can go to makeyourbodywork.com/itunes. That'll take you to the show in the iTunes store. As you know, the show is free but what I'd ask is, if you enjoy this show, please give it a rating or leave a comment. I check out all the ratings and the comments on a regular basis. Doing so, not only does it give me some feedback that'll help me improve the show in future upcoming episodes, but it really helps other people find the show as well.
Just like we've been talking about, if you found this helpful, if you find it practical, please give it a rating or a comment so that other people can get this great advice and change their lives as well. That's it for today. As always, I can't wait to see you here again next week.