The below is a copy of my message to the staff of JFK Medical Center (Atlantis, FL) in celebration of running
the Total Transformation Challenge program there for 7 years
This year will mark the 7th year that we ran the Total Transformation Challenge here at JFK. In celebration of this milestone, I wanted to share with you some impressive outcomes from these last 7 years. I also want to reveal important lessons that have been proven to be effective and practical in helping you lose weight, get stronger, and live healthier.
TTC at JFK in 7 years - Progress in Numbers:
Take a look around you. I’m confident that you will know someone (even yourself) who might have taken on the 12-week challenge once, twice, or even 7 times (for every year it ran here). With so many inspirational success stories come real lessons that can help you live stronger and healthier.
Lesson 1: Build a Habit
We all have 24 hours a day. No matter how busy your schedule is, you still have the same number of hours and it’s up to you to decide how much of your time you would like to carve out for yourself.
With so many “minimum standards” out there, I can see why it could be discouraging to try to adhere to some of those requirements in order to get healthy. What if you can’t afford an hour a day? Then shoot for something that works for YOU. Can a 15 minute walk during lunch time be better? Absolutely! Can a 20-minute workout really show results? Sure thing. But none of this matters if you don’t start “making” time for yourself.
Lesson 2: Be Consistent
So you managed to build an active healthy habit (the list here could be endless: eat healthier, read nutrition labels, avoid junk food, start running, biking, lifting weight, stretching, etc.) Now comes the second most important step of “Keeping” that habit: Consistency.
It’s essential to realize that you have to do what works best for YOU. Let me ask you this: What would you do if you worked late this whole week and couldn't go to the gym? Do something over the weekend, or try to get back on track the following week. Do you ever feel bad about the way you ate on your recent vacation? The solution is simple: get back to your healthy eating habits and start moving.
A simple 15-minute walk might not seem like much, but if you do that regularly 3 times a week for a whole year then you end up with 2,340 minutes or 39 hours of walk time! (15 min a day X 3 times a week X 52 weeks a year) That’s some serious walking!
Habits need consistency to progress and flourish.
Lesson 3: Quick Fixes Never Last!
Ever heard the saying “Easy come easy go”? There are countless products and programs out there that promise the fastest weight loss, amazing dress size reduction in just a few days, or even the ability to eat anything you like and as much as you want and still lose weight.
If any of these claims ever lasted then we would never have an obesity pandemic. According to the Center of Disease Control about one-third of US adults (33.8%) are obese. Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents are also obese!
Building muscles and getting stronger has been proven extremely effective to help you lose weight and keep it off. This doesn't happen in one day, one week, or even two weeks. It takes time and patience. To achieve those lasting results you need to put in the time and effort. Don’t have time? Go back to lesson number 1 (above).
Lesson 4: Increase the Intensity
How can a student move from one grade to the next without learning more? How can workers become more skillful without constantly challenging themselves? The same applies to your body and muscles. The stronger you get, the more you challenge your muscles. The results? Stronger muscles, higher metabolic rate and never have to worry about gaining weight again.
Lesson 5: Only You Are Responsible for Your Actions. Be Accountable
Sir Josiah Stamp once said: “It’s easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities”
With so many responsibilities, it can be easy to lose track of your responsibility towards your health and body. One effective solution is to hold yourself accountable when it comes to your health. Let others know about your goals. Ask your loved ones to check on your progress. Reward yourself for achievements and get a penalty for neglecting your duties.
In my program I tell the participants that weigh-in is the absolute most important requirement of the program. Even if they can’t do anything the whole week they are still responsible to come in and step on the scale. That sense of accountability helps the participants stay on track and see progress. I even stress the importance of the weekly weigh-ins after the 12 weeks simply because it will help the participants stay on track, focused, and accountable for their actions.
Lesson 6: Start NOW!
Anyone can change if they truly believe in that change they seek. Do you truly believe you can lose 25 lbs? Then start acting on that desire. There is a difference between saying something and actually doing something about it. I have heard this phrase countless times “I want to lose this much weight” or “I want to see my stomach flat” or “I need to get back to the gym” but when I ask “What are you doing about it now?” The answers usually fizzle away in an array of excuses or blames on other factors.
The best time to start working on your health is now. Don’t procrastinate.
So what are you waiting for? Put your sneakers on and get moving. Still need help starting your workout program? Then stop by the Employee Wellness Center and start your Total Transformation TODAY.
Happy Healthy Transformation!
Rami S. Aboumahadi