Thrive Global Interview: 5 Ways to Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Freedom Fitness Equipment was recently featured in Arianna Huffington's Thrive Global magazine in an article about weightloss and maintaining a healthy weight. Ashton Ferrazzo dives into the different reasons people might have trouble achieving a healthy weight, and offers some perspective from someone who deals with the fitness and home gym community on a daily basis.
So many of us have tried dieting. All too often though, many of us lose 10–20 pounds, but we end up gaining it back. Not only is yo-yo dieting unhealthy, it is also demoralizing and makes us feel like giving up. What exactly do we have to do to achieve a healthy body weight and to stick with it forever?
In this interview series called “5 Things You Need To Do To Achieve A Healthy Body Weight And Keep It Permanently” we are interviewing health and wellness professionals who can share lessons from their research and experience about how to do this.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ashton Ferrazzo.
Ashton Ferrazzo is a fitness professional and podcaster who took a massive risk by quitting his lucrative 6-figure Fortune 100 job during a major economic recession to start a gym equipment business in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ashton started selling gym equipment in his backyard, and in just a few months, he grew Freedom Fitness Equipment to a 6-figure business. Ashton now interviews health and fitness icons and entrepreneurs on his podcast FreedomCast; everyone from America’s Strongest Woman to Ronnie Coleman’s personal trainer.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I was raised pretty traditionally, but I’ve always had entrepreneurial leanings. I remember standing out on the edge of our neighborhood sidewalk on a Saturday until 9PM selling baseball cards. I had written “Baseball Card Sale! Pay 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, or 50 cents per card!” instead of listing out a single price for my cards. I was pretty naïve at the time, but I recall always being interested in making money by selling something. It must have been something to do with my late grandfather who owned commercial real estate and was always involved in some sort of business venture.
Growing up I thought I would be involved in politics in some way. However, as I grew older, I started to realize just how difficult that road is. I am a people person, so it seemed like the right fit. However, I realized that people had to have massive influence to make it in that world. I started to form the thought in my head that to make it in politics, I would have to begin and build a business empire, winning influence along the way through entrepreneurism, rather than jumping straight into politics.
I usually worked multiple jobs, both during the summer as well as the school year. At one time, I think I had 4 jobs, working 50–60 hours per week. Unfortunately, I was a spendthrift, and lost most of what I earned during those years to hobbies, events, and eating out, not realizing the opportunity cost of those luxuries.
In college, my entrepreneurial tendencies really started to take shape. I was part of SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), now called Enactus, which encouraged students to create, present, and execute actual business projects in the community. I was involved in multiple project teams doing everything from product advertising to planning networking dinners. It was there that I really started to be interested in starting my own company.
Upon graduation, I found myself in a traditional 9-to-5 position in a Fortune 100 company. While the pay was exceptional, the stress and bureaucracy were not, and I really started to crave independence and the ability to control my own destiny.
I got my first taste of entrepreneurial success by renting out a single-family home we owned while I was still working my corporate job. I rented the property by the room, which ended up being extremely lucrative. From there I decided that I could continue to grow my real estate portfolio with incremental investments year after year and eventually become financially independent.
I started experimenting with other businesses on the side, from electronic reselling to manufacturing my own products overseas for resale. None of them worked, except for the real estate investment, but they were all fantastic learning experiences which prepared me well for my business.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
The inspiration to pursue my career has been a long process. I have had several unofficial mentors which have influenced me to pursue the business I have today. Listening to Casey Neistat, Gary Vaynerchuk, and reading books like “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki really lit a fire in my soul to go out and take risks. I remember reading through Robert’s book and thinking that there was no way I could ever continue my 9-to-5 career. Casey and Gary inspired me, through online video content, to experiment with different business models and take risks, especially while I was young. Gary particularly encouraged me to think long-term, rather than fantasize about making a quick buck.
It was about this same time that I started reading more business books like “The 4-Hour Workweek,” “The E Myth,” and researching practical strategies on starting a business through YouTube and online articles. I learned more from those resources than I ever did from 4 years of college! That research started to further confirm in me that starting my own business was realistic and achievable.
However, none of this would be possible without the loving and gracious push from my wife, who has always believed in my ability to start a business that I am passionate about. She encouraged me, ever since we were married, to pursue a career I enjoyed, rather than a traditional path where I would be miserable. It was her encouragement that made this business possible.
When I had the opportunity to take a severance package being offered by our company to leave the organization, my wife was the one who encouraged me to take the leap, accept the package, and start a business at the same time.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
There are actually several people who stand out in my mind. I have a couple of good friends who continue to be a source of inspiration and have successfully started and maintained their own businesses. One in particular was an early investor in my real estate rental property and has his own real estate holdings to this day. The other owns a meal prep company which has grown to over half a million followers on Instagram and has been monetized for years. Seeing their success has confirmed to me that I can be successful no matter what I do.
Prior to starting the business, however, the biggest personal encouragement to my career was Gary Vaynerchuk. It started with his inspirational videos, encouraging people to go out and “just do” the things they had always wanted to do. From there, it morphed into tactical strategies to execute on the business ideas, from social media marketing, to contacting and networking with influencers, to getting my voice heard in a crowded marketplace. I have never had the pleasure of connecting with Gary in person, but his content has definitely influenced who I am today.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?
One of the worst mistakes I have ever made was early on in the business. I purchased an enormous amount of used fitness equipment from someone who had a warehouse full of it. It turns out that not everyone is as honest as myself. After taking about half of the equipment, the owner made some excuses and dropped contact, preventing me from returning to take the rest. I had prepaid the entire amount owed for that equipment, so thousands of dollars were lost forever. It was a massive blow to our business which was just in its infancy.
My lesson learned was to always have airtight contracts in writing with all parties involved, with crystal clear agreements both verbally recorded and on paper so that nobody is confused about what is expected, what is being agreed to, or what will happen over the course of that contract.
The other lesson is that prepaying for a product is incredibly risky. Installments, partial payment up front, or payment at the end of the contract are all ways to avoid getting burned.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
I had this quote as a computer background at my old job. It says, “The most dangerous thing you can do in life is play it safe.” The quote is attributed to Casey Neistat, legendary YouTuber and videographer who has worked with celebrities and international corporate brands. It resonates with me even today because, at the time, I was working in an organization that was extremely conservative. Few risks were taken, and if the risk was assumed, it was relatively minor. This caused some massive issues both with corporate innovation and mindset. It was quite the opposite of who I was as a person.
If everything is achieved through consensus, then nothing gets accomplished. No risk, no reward. Even with weight loss, the topic of this interview, there are inherent risks. What if your friends make fun of you? What if you lose the weight, only to gain it back again? What if the people around you aren’t supportive?
I don’t want to play it safe. I want to continually be pushing some boundary, thinking of new ways to grow and expand my personal brand, knowledge base, sphere of influence, and business. Without risks, none of what I have accomplished today would be possible. I would never have quit my job, and I would never know what it feels like to be completely independent.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
Right now, I have a product in the works based on a design prototype for a lateral pulldown system. I am slowly working on developing an entire line of fitness products to help people in their own health and fitness journey, so this is just the beginning. The prototype allows people to incrementally load their lateral pulley system with Olympic weight plates without needing to unhook a loading pin, a true innovation in the home gym and fitness industry.
Another ongoing project I am working on is rounding up some of the top health and fitness experts in the strength industry to create a podcast fitness series centered around nutrition and physical health for all ages. I believe resistance training is essential for most people. Having health and fitness experts who advocate for people to stay active through training allows us to create a stronger and more capable generation of adults who enjoy physical activity.
For the benefit of our readers, can you briefly let us know why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field?
Not only have I personally trained for years in Crossfit, weightlifting, and more recently in powerlifting, I have had the opportunity to interview and learn from top health and fitness icons and entrepreneurs in the space through the FreedomCast podcast, an opportunity only rarely afforded to some. Through that process I have developed expertise around fitness equipment, healthy lifestyle, and general fitness for people of all ages.
Running Freedom Fitness Equipment and developing an understanding of the fitness industry, the types of equipment used for various workout and training programs, and the needs of the general population when training, has allowed me to gain authority in the fitness and wellness field. Most people know very little about fitness equipment and how it can help them thrive and excel physically, emotionally, and mentally. I have seen first-hand the effects of proper training, and the results that this equipment produces when used correctly and combined with long-term goal setting.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about achieving a healthy body weight. Let’s begin with a basic definition of terms so that all of us are on the same page. How do you define a “Healthy Body Weight”?
There’s a massive misconception in the fitness industry that a “healthy body weight” should be defined strictly through Body Mass Index, or BMI. This is the first unit of measurement when anyone walks through the doors of a commercial gym. Unfortunately, it is one of the worst measures of how much fat is stored in someone’s system. Most bodybuilders and healthy fitness professionals with significant amounts of muscle would be considered obese when evaluating their weight based purely on BMI.
In order to accurately measure a person’s healthy body weight, we need to differentiate between fat, muscle, and all other bodily components including internal organs, bone, hair, skin, etc. One of the best ways to do this is through a DEXA scan, or hydrostatic water weighing, designed to accurately measure body fat vs muscle. However, there are plenty of other methods, including skin calipers which, while less accurate, can still be useful in providing an estimate of body fat compared to overall muscle.
There are also biological differences between men and women in terms of a healthy body weight. For the general population of men, this means a body fat percentage between 14–24% is healthy. For the general population of women, this number is between 21–31% body fat.
It is also important to note that a body fat percentage below 6% for men and below 14% for women is considered unhealthy as this drifts into “essential fat”, body fat which is essential for the body to function properly and survive. On the other hand, 25% body fat or above is considered obese for men, and for women, 32% or above is considered obese. Obesity leads to shortened lifespans and a host of health risks, and is therefore unhealthy.
How can an individual learn what is a healthy body weight for them? How can we discern what is “too overweight” or what is “too underweight”?
Statistically speaking, I prefer to use the American Council on Exercise’s measures for determining acceptable body fat percentages for men and women. The statistics above are drawn directly from this source, and have been thoroughly researched to provide the best numbers, on average, among men and women.
For a more accurate measure of body fat by age range, I would encourage everyone to visit the ACE (American Council on Exercise) website, where you can see your individual body fat percentage recommendations by age.
Following that, you can visit your local gym to determine your own body fat percentage, and compare that to the ACE charts to determine whether you are inside or outside the acceptable range for your age. Ask for a caliper measurement, “Bod Pod” reading, or any body fat measure other than BMI. There are also facilities around that charge a fee to evaluate body fat percentages.
One important note: do not try and measure your bodyweight at the end of the day. Determine this at the beginning of your day before you have eaten anything. Your weight fluctuates throughout the day along with the amount of food you consume. This can throw off measurements. Ensure you are taking your body fat measurements on an empty stomach after a good night’s rest.
This might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to expressly articulate this. Can you please share a few reasons why being over your healthy body weight, or under your healthy body weight, can be harmful to your health?
Being over a healthy body weight leads to a whole host of negative health outcomes including:
- Mental and physical fatigue
- Shortened lifespan
- Heart disease
- Mental illness
- High blood pressure
- Sleep apnea
Alternatively, being under a healthy body weight can be just as harmful, causing:
- Hair loss
- Decreased immune response
- Eating disorders
Neither extreme is healthy, and people should try to avoid either end of this health spectrum as much as possible to prevent negative health outcomes.
In contrast, can you help articulate a few examples of how a person who achieves and maintains a healthy body weight will feel better and perform better in many areas of life?
A person who achieves and maintains a healthy body weight will feel more comfortable, less stressed, and have fewer negative health outcomes than someone who is at either end of the health spectrum. In my experience, people with a healthy body weight do not struggle with self-esteem, have higher confidence, more energy, better social interactions, and greater willingness to engage in physical activity on a regular basis than those who are over or under a healthy body weight.
The psychological effects of maintaining a healthy body weight cannot be underestimated. I have seen people’s confidence skyrocket by losing a few pounds. A recent male TikTok star came out about the experience he had with devastating depression due to massive weight gain. In just the few short weeks that he has been training with a coach he has been able to get up off the ground during exercise sessions, and is visibly more excited and happier about his lifestyle. He has hundreds of thousands of people being inspired daily by his weight loss journey.
Along with a willingness to engage in physical activity generally comes a willingness to train and improve the physical aspect of someone’s appearance and bodily health. I often see people who maintain a healthy body weight out in the gym, building home gyms, or talking about the importance of training or being active in some way (whether outdoors or in their job).
Otis Bartlett, a multi-time lifting and bodybuilding champion and renowned fitness influencer I interviewed, discussed how he lost 200 pounds to become a professional bodybuilder by changing his lifestyle one habit at a time. He was embarrassed by his size and even broke someone’s car seat by being so heavy. He was overwhelmed and ashamed, and decided to make a change. In the process he gained enormous self-confidence, documented his journey, and is now a fitness icon known nationally for his honesty and transparency about all aspects of fitness. What a legacy!
These same types of outcomes can be realized by gaining weight after being underweight. A female friend of mine gained several pounds after realizing she was underweight. Her confidence shot up as she understood that her unrealistic expectations about being thin, underweight, and pleasing others by looking like a slender runway model were hindering her mentally.
In my experience, only positive outcomes, both mentally and physically, are associated with achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Ok, fantastic. Here is the main question of our discussion. Can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Do To Achieve a Healthy Body Weight And Keep It Permanently?”. If you can, please share a story or an example for each.
- Eat what you want!
This will come as a shock to most of you. Yes, you can get to a healthy body weight by eating at McDonalds. Whether you are looking to gain weight or lose weight in pursuit of a healthy body weight, it does not matter what you eat, so long as you are honestly tracking your calories. This is the single most important factor in weight loss or weight gain to achieving a healthy body weight.
Your body has a specific number of calories that, when consumed, will lead to weight loss, weight gain, or weight maintenance. Experiment, use online calculators, and determine what this calorie intake looks like, and then adjust depending on your weight goals.
A great example of this kind of successful tracking comes from our podcast with Shawn from Morning Lifter. Shawn disclosed that he achieved a healthy body weight by understanding his daily caloric intake and reducing his intake by roughly 100 calories weekly over a period of 6 months to lose over 100 pounds. It took discipline, careful tracking, and motivation, but it allowed him to significantly improve his health outcomes.
Use apps or food databases to continue to track consumption, including every bite and sip, not just the food eaten during your main meals. Include snacks! This is where most people will get tripped up, as they will track everything except for snacks eaten outside of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you can commit to tracking every calorie, you will be successful in achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Over time you will start to realize that certain foods are more filling than others, and you may decide to go for more dense, lower calorie foods to maintain a feeling of fullness over a longer period of time. You may decide to replace that McDonald’s hamburger with a higher protein meal, or you may decide to only eat junk food once or twice a week instead of daily, while still adhering to your daily maintenance calories.
Tracking eventually becomes a habit, and you may not need to log your food as meticulously after a while. Experiment with what works best for you, but above all, be sure to honestly evaluate your calorie intake daily.
2. Develop your long-term dreams!
What does your healthy weight look like? What are the real factors driving you to maintain a healthy body weight? Why do you personally want to maintain a healthy weight? Practice the 5 Y’s — ask yourself “why” 5 times, and you will have your answer. Without this, you may track calories temporarily or try to reach a healthy body weight in the short term, but ultimately, you will fail, and the rest of this list becomes meaningless.
Interviews with multiple health and fitness professionals, including Dan, a semi-professional mixed martial artist who owns his own private training facility in Charlotte, have uncovered the fact that the motivations for losing, gaining, or maintaining a healthy body weight are deeply personal, and involve more than shedding or gaining pounds on the scale. In most instances, the examples mentioned were of people are interested in the relational outcomes. A guy wants to be able to get off the couch and play with his kids without pain. A client wants to be more confident in a board meeting for their job. A dad’s son now respects him because the dad started to take his health seriously. All of these deeply personal goals are motivating drivers in achieving a healthy body weight. What is that driver for you?
Once you have established a long-term goal for achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, you can really start your health journey in earnest, but do not skip this incredibly important step.
3. Build your home gym haven!
This is my favorite part of any health journey. Creating a fun, relaxing, and inviting sanctuary that you enjoy training in is one of the most exciting aspects of this whole process. Whether gaining or losing weight, having a home gym or training space will help you become more confident, stronger, and feel better about yourself.
Home gyms have really taken off in recent years with the COVID-19 pandemic, work from home policies, and people realizing that health should take a priority. More people than ever are buying new and used fitness equipment from manufacturers nationwide. This trend is here to stay, not just because it’s a fad, but because the lifestyle outcomes from building a home gym are tangible. Not only are home gyms massive time savers, they also offer an incredible amount of convenience and privacy for people who prefer to avoid commercial gyms and studios. Imagine not paying hundreds per month for a fancy health club!
A truly unique example of how a home gym can help you maintain a healthy body weight comes from Tim over at Gym Crafter, whose weight ballooned so much that he had to seek help at the Mayo Clinic for headaches and multiple health issues. After months of tests, pills, and sitting around, Tim decided to take matters into his own hands by building a home gym and starting resistance training. In just a few short weeks, the headaches which had plagued him for years started to go away, and Tim began documenting his journey online, creating a website for others to build their own home gyms and approach fitness practically based on their training needs.
Want to build your own home gym? Start slowly, building it out one piece at a time. It can be as simple as buying a few resistance bands, getting some dumbbells, or doing body weight exercises in your living room. Over the years, as you become more committed to the process, you can improve the type of equipment you use, and even get other people on board with training and maintaining their own healthy habits.
4. Slowly change your habits!
Have you ever jumped into the latest fad diet or eating trend, only to be stuck wolfing down fast food or your favorite dessert a few months later? Fast changes generally lead to quick reversals. This is why so many people yo-yo diet, sticking to a certain way of eating temporarily before binging again. The keto diet, paleo diet, Atkins diet, low-carb diet, the you-name-it diet, these fads come and go, encouraging people into making temporary changes that often lead to temporary results or mental misery.
One of the best pieces of advice to avoid this kind of eating is to plan a few small changes in your eating habits over a few months. Substitute out a few of the foods you normally eat for different options, depending on your weight goals. Trying to lose weight? Switch out one thing you eat for a lower calorie, higher density food. Trying to gain weight? Do the same thing, just with a higher calorie option. Over time, you may not even notice how much your habits have changed.
There are plenty of other habit changes that don’t even involve changing your meals. A great example of this comes from Sabrina, a mother of 7, who I interviewed about her weight loss journey. Once Sabrina realized how much her weight was affecting her lifestyle, she started to go on walks during the week. It was nothing strenuous, but it was a small change that allowed her to continue exploring different ways to continue losing weight. After a while, Sabrina incorporated other ways of training, eating differently, and competing, and eventually lost over 80 pounds by improving her habits over time, all while managing a large family.
If a mother of 7 children can change her habits, it certainly is achievable by those with an even less hectic schedule.
You can do it!
5. Share your health journey!
One of the best things about the Internet is the ability to see and hear other people going through similar health journeys. What if that next person was you?
Be sure that you develop accountability for maintaining a healthy body weight, either with a few trusted friends and family members, or with an online social circle that can encourage, grow, and call you out when you try to avoid sticking to your goals. It may be scary at first, but having zero accountability is a sure way to lapse back into old habits.
I am not necessarily suggesting creating a social media account and bragging to everyone about how incredible you are. I am talking about inspiring others with your story.
A great example of this is yet another fitness professional that we interviewed, Shawn Baker (MD). Shawn is a weightlifting record holder and advocate for the Carnivore diet. Shawn used to be overweight, but now has hundreds of testimonials of how people who tried everything else have cured their psoriasis, anorexia, back pain, and more, through eating meaty, high protein meals. Through his sharing the information that helped him maintain a healthy weight in the long-term, he has inspired hundreds more in their own health journeys.
This could be you!
In multiple interviews with fitness icons and entrepreneurs, the common thread through all of their fitness journeys was the desire to influence and inspire others. In every instance it was a mindset shift and personal accountability that propelled them and those in their sphere of influence to become healthy.
The emphasis of this series is how to maintain an ideal weight for the long term, and how to avoid yo-yo dieting. Specifically, how does a person who loses weight maintain that permanently and sustainably?
The #1 tip I can provide that works both from personal experience as well as having interviewed multiple personalities in the health and fitness space, is to track every calorie while holding yourself accountable to some sort of reasonable calorie goal daily, or weekly. This is particularly difficult for people who have participated in game shows like the Biggest Loser where the weight loss was accomplished in an incredibly short amount of time. Studies show that this type of aggressive dieting is extremely unhealthy, and normally leads to massive weight gain immediately after the show’s completion.
The same can be said for ordinary people who took their diets too far and lost massive amounts of weight quickly. The body still believes that it needs a large number of calories to sustain itself, and has not reprogrammed to deal with the lower calorie intake. Over time, this will change, but yo-yo dieting often occurs because our bodies are telling us that we need to ingest more calories. People often fall off the bandwagon and stop paying attention to what they are eating.
So, the way in which you get to a healthy weight is important, but even more important is maintaining that weight through high levels of personal accountability. Don’t expect to stay at a healthy weight by “feeling out” the number of calories you need to consume. In my own experience, for example, being on the paleo diet and not tracking led to 5–10 pounds of additional weight gained over the course of 1–2 months. I thought I could cheat the system by not tracking and eat a high protein diet with no consequences. It turns out that the laws of thermodynamics do not care about the type of diet you are on.
Track honestly, use an app or food log, and don’t expect your body to tell you whether to eat more or less. Have an objective measure of the number of calories consumed.
What are a few of the most common mistakes you have seen people make when they try to lose weight? What errors cause people to just snap back to their old unhealthy selves? What can they do to avoid those mistakes?
A lot of the mistakes I have seen come from people experimenting with the latest and greatest diet fad. As mentioned earlier, the paleo diet, keto diet, Atkins diet, low-carb diet, and many others, are all great ways to avoid creating sustainable long-term habits.
You must make eating a lifestyle, not a temporary change. Many people assume that a temporary diet, before going back to their old ways of eating, is the most effective way to lose weight. If you regularly diet by jumping on the latest fad, instead of making slow, steady changes to your habits, you will inevitably lose your battle with your old unhealthy lifestyle. Make permanent, slow, and incremental changes that are sustainable, realistic, and won’t drive you crazy.
Starvation diets are yet another way I have seen people crash back into their old unhealthy selves. In a recent interview with Michele Moe, champion powerlifter at age 52, there are plenty of people who can eat like birds, consuming 800–1000 calories and starving themselves in the process. With these people, the body sees something is wrong and panics. It locks itself into starvation mode, conserving fat and energy, and keeping or increasing weight in the process. This causes frustration, and later, binging, when the person realizes they are not losing weight, resulting in an endless cycle of weight gain and mental fatigue.
Make sure you are eating an appropriate number of calories. This is why it is so important to track everything you consume. If you are under-eating, you will not know until you track it. There are also plenty of calculators online that allow you to see how many calories you should be eating on daily basis to maintain or lose weight. If you are severely under-eating, these calculators will show you the appropriate number of calories to consume. Use them wisely, and stop being afraid of the scale. It can be scary to eat more, especially if you have a bad relationship with your weight. However, it is absolutely necessary, particularly if you have been consistently under-eating for a long time.
How do we take all this information and integrate it into our actual lives? The truth is that we all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
The main block I see for people is accountability. Most people make their own mind up, do a New Year’s resolution, or make temporary changes in their lifestyle without ever consulting anyone or including someone in that journey.
The other main block is patience. Many of us want a quick and easy fix. This is why some people choose drastic measures like liposuction, fat reduction, and gastric bypass surgery over doing the hard work of dieting and then maintaining a good weight. It’s also why so many fad diets are popular. Getting over that initial 6–8 week hurdle to establish a healthier lifestyle is a difficult discipline to establish. In comparison to the “30-day weight loss” and 30-day abs” advertisements, 6–8 weeks seems like a very long time to solidify any sort of routine. However, it is worth it.
What is the value of your health?
On the flip side, how can we prevent these ideas from just being trapped in a rarified, theoretical ideal that never gets put into practice? What specific habits can we develop to take these intellectual ideas and integrate them into our normal routine?
You can do a lot of things in your life with appropriate accountability. In my experience, having a trainer, partner, or friend to keep you accountable is the real factor that drives change. Bringing other people along creates a better environment for you to thrive and change.
If you know you will get called out by someone you know and respect, or at least asked about some aspect of your weight journey, you will be more likely to follow through. This applies not only to maintaining a healthy body weight, but to any other sort of habits that we are trying to establish. For me, this involves logging training sessions on social media accounts to show people progress. For you, it might be keeping up with a training partner and sharing food logs together.
Practice patience. If you want quick results, skip this article. There are plenty of diet pills, fads, and advertisements to keep you going through habitual cycles of binging for the rest of your life. While unfortunate, it’s reality. Stop following Instagram models, the latest weight loss trends, and ignore what others think of you for the moment. The moment you stop caring about what everyone else is doing is the moment you will start to break free of unhealthy habits and start establishing new ones for yourself, rather than for anyone else.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
While a lot of people are still talking about the coronavirus pandemic, there’s an obesity and health pandemic still raging worldwide. One of the best ways to help people to get off the couch is to encourage them to do something they enjoy that’s active. For me, that activity is resistance training.
If I could inspire others, I would encourage everyone, young and old, to put a barbell in their hands and try out resistance training. I want to kill the stigma of resistance training and muscles making someone look “bulky” and unshapely. I want to encourage men and women to be stronger, more confident versions of themselves. If you want to look good, feel good, maintain a great body weight, and start feeling better about yourself, I cannot emphasize how important resistance training is to that goal.
I also want to encourage everyone the join the growing home gym movement by creating their own training facilities and home gyms in their own spaces. Long term, not only will it save you time, money, and prevent the waste of energy, it will actively and subconsciously create health outcomes you only ever dreamed of before. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get started. If we can stop more people from entering nursing homes and care facilities at early ages, break bad habits, and get people moving again, we might not be able to create world peace, but we could get people off medications, decrease obesity, and create a stronger future generation.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
I honestly would love to speak with Greg Doucette on the business he started. Greg is a beast, and in the world of fitness, it’s really hard to stand out. He has really created an incredible brand, brand recognition, and loyalty in an extremely crowded space. I’m always looking for incredible podcast guests, but Greg really stands out to me in that area.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Check out our website (linked above) at Freedom Fitness Equipment and our podcast, FreedomCast, which premieres every Saturday at 12PM EST! I also publish articles regularly on the website about home gyms, fitness equipment, and healthy lifestyle. If you are ever in Charlotte, NC, check out our storefront! I would love to meet you in person!
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.