Friday, December 28, 2012

A Challenge Story

I hope you are living loving and laughing up a storm with your friends and family during this special time of year;).  I know I am!  

I am sure you are also starting to wade into that end of the year reflection and look outward to the horizon for visions of the coming year.  I know I am:)

The world is your oyster.  Ya, you've heard that one before.  But simple as it may sound...the funny thing is true.  I don't have time to get all philosophical on you right now...wait for that in my New Years post lol:)  For now, I would like to share a story of success with you that I am sure will inspire you to push ahead on your own journey.  

This interview is with one of ELM's 'Full On Fitness & Nutrition Challenge' participants who completed the program with flying colours this past year.  This participant followed the 10-week program closely, worked hard and was rewarded with awesome results.  I asked him about the program and how he was able to find such success.  Big thank you to Jamie for sharing his experience for others to benefit from. Enjoy!

A Challenge Story

Your fitness improved significantly during the ELM Full on Fitness & Nutrition Challenge.  After only 10 weeks you lost 12 pounds, 4% body fat and 8 inches.  You also saw big changes in your fitness testing results with numbers like:  Increased VO2max by 11%, Push Ups by 32% and Core stability by 48%.  For someone that already had a moderately high level of fitness going into the Challenge, these are very big changes indeed!   Congratulations on your success!
How did the ELM Challenge help you achieve these results?
ELM helped me stay focused and on task for both the nutrition and fitness components. It re-established the fitness and nutrition knowledge I had but presented it in a use able and practical manner so I achieved results. The app on my phone ( was easy to use anywhere and ensured I tracked my calories and nutrition accurately and in a timely manner.  I tend to snack and eat without thinking so it kept me aware of my eating habits and even broke several if my bad habits.  There was no trying to remember what I had eaten all day and then adding up all the calories and nutrition at the end of the day; which would have been tedious and I likely would have slacked off after a few weeks.  I also got in the habit of putting my food on the plate and then adding up the calories before I ate. This ensured I took some time to reflect on the calories and nutrition and didn't wolf down my food without enjoying it (I tend to inhale food rather than savour it). 
The group classes were motivating and absolutely necessary for the fitness component. The Bootcamp-style workout days I had to complete alone was the hardest part.  I guess I need a group to stay motivated. The running was just good for the mind and body.  I was doubtful of being able to exercise as much as the program requested but was surprised to find that I was easily keeping up with my fitness workouts after the first two weeks of adjustment. 

What changes did you make to your nutrition during the 10 weeks?
I snacked much less but when I did it involved more fruit and veg.  I drank more water, read all labels and generally learned to be more aware of the quality of the fuel going into my body. It enabled me to make smarter choices by simply paying attention to foods. Tim hortons lost a mint in timbits but still sold me lots of tea.

How difficult were these changes?
I was surprised to find how easy every aspect of the program was. The results were so obvious and consistent it was very motivating. The nutrition, when presented in such a convenient manner of tracking intake and exercise, was easy.  Finding time to exercise with a family was hard.  Made for a few missed appointments and late arrivals.

What changes did you make to your fitness during the 10 weeks?
Fitness was an increase in consistency and volume due to tracking with the homework sheets, as much as i did curse doing them late sunday night. As I lost weight I found running became easier and i could run longer. I think the biggest difference in strength was by adding the 3rd bootcamp-style workout day.

How difficult was it to make these?
I achieved these changes through making time to exercise.  I made it a priority. 

What obstacles did you face during the Challenge and how did you over come them?
The only real obstacles were getting the time to keep up my fitness minutes and finding an adequate place to do the 3rd bootcamp-style workout day. I scheduled fitness into my day and updated my wife on my fitness schedule every day to ensure there was no conflict (or at least to minimize conflict).

How did you stay motivated during the Challenge?
I truly enjoyed almost every aspect if it and learned a great deal about my potential.  I found most of it effortless if not fun ... It felt very natural. Having all your pants too loose and punching holes in your belts is a good motivator. I also found some of my long lost abs. 
 And yes, I look great naked;)

What advice do you have for others who are looking to make changes to their fitness?  Any tips or tricks that helped you?
 I could only suggest the get the support and understanding of family before starting due to the time commitment or there may be some resentment. Include the kids in the runs (they bike) and workouts so they learn the importance of fitness and you are also spending time together. Do not try to do too much at once or you'll get frustrated and discouraged however. For example, running with both kids and the dog can be catastrophic if things don't go perfectly. My other suggestion is use the iPhone apps for the nutrition component. The other trick was adding up the calories prior to starting the meal, that made me slow down and think about the food. I'm no longer a food inhaler.

Is there anything else you would like to add about your experience?
I want a shirt damn it! "ELM Overachiever!" across the chest, stats on the back. (just kidding).

You are one of the busiest people I know- father of two, medical professional, running an extremely busy company that involves long days and long commutes.  'Not enough time' is one of the biggest excuses I hear for not exercising more often.  How did YOU manage to overcome this obstacle?
I had the cooperation and understanding of my wife. I scheduled my exercise mostly in the AM before others were up or discussed my workout intentions with barb ahead of time so we could schedule it into the day without screwing up our family plans. Work took a bit of a hit and I had to make up for some work that was pushed to the side. Lots of scheduling and juggling! Also, once you are into the second week, the energy and serenity that comes from an elevated fitness regime made you want to keep going.

Thanks for being my health enabler.


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