How to Lose Weight and Gain Physical Fitness

+ enlarge

I had been working-out with my trainer since early spring. I had begun to see results but my hectic travel schedule as of late interrupted the three times a week routine we had developed. I promised myself I’d keep up even though I was on the road. You see, I make sure I’m booked at hotels with a fitness center.

Well, you know how it is. The road is paved with good intentions. I was in Chicago and didn’t even ask where the fitness center was located. Before that thought forms in your mind, I walked instead. I took a taxi only once and I covered Michigan Avenue and practically every store within a 4-block radius, in all directions. The weather was too beautiful to be held up inside so I ventured out.

When I was in Cincinnati, it did cross my mind to workout but . . . you know how it is. It was raining, I had a rental because I had to go to Monroe and Dayton and I was just too tired to do more than take the stairs instead of the elevator. I told my trainer that had to count for something, didn’t it?

I was sure to get back to my routine while in Pasadena. I mean, my schedule was conducive to it and the weather forecast was perfect. I’d workout in the morning before my day really started and walk or jog in the evening. My trainer would be proud, wouldn’t he?

I did walk while in Pasadena, from my hotel to restaurants. I had planned to walk to the location of my seminar which was on the beautiful campus of a seminary school. I was collected from my hotel every morning and deposited back to my hotel at the end of each day. I mean, these people just wouldn’t let me get any exercise. I would have to let my trainer know, they were just so polite that I couldn’t refuse their southern-like hospitality, could I?

And when the week was coming to an end, I had to be taken to the “night spots” for music and entertainment. Oh no, another excuse not to work-out, but a plausible one? I don’t think so. Rob, my trainer, is mean. He’s worth his weight in gold but I know he accepts no excuses. What are excuses? “Excuses are the tools of incompetence which build monuments of nothing. And those who specialize in them are seldom good at anything else!”

Usually, I am not a rude person but a trainer can bring out the worst in you. If you’d like to know what I’m really like, don’t ask the ex-husband, ask Rob. He’s the first person to which I’ve ever said through clenched teeth; “will you just shut up?” He is a witness to my wimping out and coming back like a cougar hungry for prey. I will be drenched in sweat and he has the audacity to say; “You’re not working hard enough. You haven’t even broken a sweat yet!” You want to know something else? I don’t think the man ever learned to count. I count reps (repetitions) differently than he does. I stop at the end of a set and he will ask; “Why have you stopped? You still owe me five!” Just imagine, eye roll .

I want to hurl something at him most of the time. He doesn’t boast about my performance because he’s forever adding more, taking me to the next level. It was only after learning of my ‘hiatus’ that he told me how great I was doing.

I used to be really fit. I want to lose “x” number of pounds. It’s not so easy anymore. More than the pounds, I want to enjoy a healthy level of fitness into old age and grow old gracefully. I’m not opposed [at the appropriate time] to a little nip, tuck and lipo-suck but whatever I can do with what God has given me, I want to do that, first.

Over the years, I’ve found a program that works for me. The key is consistency and thus, dedication. You cannot allow being on the road to be an excuse. If you’re overweight and unfit and serious about losing weight and becoming fit, try this little program. You will get results! I am sure you know to consult your healthcare practitioner before beginning any exercise or weight loss program.

If you’re wondering if I am qualified to give advice about weight loss and physical fitness, yes, I am. I am doing this workout and it works. I know a fair amount about health, nutrition and physiology, as well. Also, Rob read this and said; “Wow, you regurgitated that really well! You should write my book!” (As if I learned anything from him. Another, eyeroll .) Okay, let us begin.

The best combination for weight loss is calorie restriction, resistance training, and aerobic work. Let’s start with calorie restriction. You may be wondering why you are not losing weight although you eat right, exercise right, say your prayers, eat your vitamins, etc. (Speaking of vitamins, it is a good idea to take a multi-vitamin supplement daily with this program.) The weight just won’t come off. I submit to you, proper nutrition is the culprit. You need to know what you’re eating. You probably think you do know what you’re eating. After all, you feed yourself. 

How do you change this? Well, it may sound tough but it’s not that bad. You need to keep track of what you eat for two days over the week and one day over the weekend. Next, go to your local bookstore. You can find charts, books, and computer programs that will help you analyze the foods you ate. Another suggestion would be to take your dietary recall to a nutritionist or exercise physiologist at your local college and let them find it for you.

These recalls will tell you how many calories you’re getting plus where they are coming from. For example, are they coming from protein, carbohydrate, or fat? It will help you see where you stand nutritionally. Do not forget to give yourself plenty of water to drink!

Next, you need to get on a good strength program. When a person is losing weight, the weight comes from fat, as well as muscle. That’s kind of an unfortunate thing because muscle is an important thing when keeping metabolism high. There is enough research out there to safely say that when going through a phase of high intensity aerobic work and calorie restriction, strength training decreases muscle wasting. So, in short, you should strength-train. It’s important. I wouldn’t strength-train for anymore than 20 to 30 minutes. You can get what you need in a short period of time.

After the strength training, it’s time to get on the elliptical, bike, treadmill, stepper, and track, whatever. Keep your workouts to 30 minutes and up in order to burn the calories. Train between three to five times per week. Keep your heart rate at 60- to 90% of heart rate max.

Don’t look at losing weight as some mysterious monster that you can’t get the reins on. Look at it as nothing more than stored energy. That’s what fat is, stored energy. If you had a tank full of energy and it kept filling up higher and higher, what would you do to keep your tank from growing too large from the excess energy? Well, burn some of the energy off. That’s what you need to do to lose weight. Keep the “energy in” lower than the “energy out” and abracadabra, you’re losing weight.

Note: Rob, says you need to change your routine every two-to-three weeks in order to get the best results. Here’s a sample program for five days.


Leg Press 2 sets of 12 reps or 2×12

Chest Press 2×12

Lateral pull down 2×12

Shoulder Press 2×12

Dumb bell Curl 2×12

Tricep kickback 2×12

Aerobic Work 30 or more minutes

(Start with light weights and progress)


Aerobic work 30 or more minutes


Same as Monday


Same as Tuesday, or take a day of rest


Same as Monday

I have Rob on hold until after the Fourth of July. He sent me a very threatening email. I am going to be in boot camp when I return. I feel like crying now but hey! It’s time for summer vacation! I’m trading South Carolina for South Beach until next month! Whatever exercise I get will likely be recreational, and will include swimming and walking on the beach. Aerobically, I’ll be ready for Rob! But for now, who is Rob? What about Rob? Rob who?

© 2007 Avis Ward of AWard Consulting, LLC


Loading comments...