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0 Comments | Apr 13, 2010

How To Lose 42 Pounds and 71 Cholesterol Points…

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…in just seven grueling months.

That’s right. You too can lose a pound and a half of fat every week for 28 long, difficult, arduous weeks.

Interested in learning the secret formula?

I used a recipe so simple that anyone, from any walk of life, with even the poorest genetic predisposition, can achieve exactly the same results.

Getting in shape didn’t require a degree in medicine, biology, chemistry, exercise physiology, nutrition, biomechanics, or even statistics (Everything requires statistics these days. Except, apparently, losing 42 pounds and 71 cholesterol points in 7 months.). It wasn’t complex or confusing. It required no math.

I didn’t need books, videos, pills, potions, shakes, juices, smoothies, chewing gum, spandex, or bad club music. I didn’t need a dietician, clinician, or physician. I didn’t count calories.

Nothing wrong with those things. You just don’t need them.

Ready for the formula?

(you probably know where this is going..)

.

I worked my keester off.

It really wasn’t that hard to do. I just worked exceptionally hard. Consistently. I didn’t accept excuses from myself. I held myself accountable for my results. And when I reflect on it, the same theme characterizes every other worthwhile accomplishment I’ve ever attained. My guess is I’m not alone in this regard.

There really isn’t any mystery to success in life, business, or wellness. It all has the same formula.

  • Napoleon Hill: Nature cannot be tricked or cheated. She will give up to you the object of your struggles only after you have paid her price.
  • Victor Hugo: People do not lack strength; they lack will.
  • John St. Augustine: People simply need to trade their wishbone for a backbone.
  • Theodore Roosevelt: Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

I actually came to love the painful, difficult, uncomfortable, humbling, tiring process of getting in shape. The incremental changes were fun to observe, but the actual process of doing something difficult, mastering myself, and learning to dwell calmly with burning muscles and screaming lungs – as warped as it may sound, that was the real reward.

So why is all of this in a wellness and productivity blog for business owners and human resources professionals? Six takeaways:

  1. Nothing you say or do is likely to motivate your employees to make such a significant change. When it happens, it will come from within them. For those who do ultimately make that choice, an important purpose of your physical wellness program is to offer an available vehicle for them to use when they’re ready. But don’t sugarcoat the level of effort necessary to make a significant change. Deep down, we all know that there are no shortcuts, and your employees will respect an honest approach. Besides, the work becomes its own reward.
  2. Your employees don’t need to make such a radical personal lifestyle change in order to have a significant positive impact on your healthcare expenditures. A little bit of exercise with a little bit of consistency can go a very long way over time.
  3. Boredom kills an exercise program. Constantly varying my workouts kept me interested enough to continue. Your wellness offering needs to provide a change of scenery and something to look forward to.
  4. Don’t chase lagging indicators. My cholesterol fell because I got in shape. I didn’t get in shape by lowering my cholesterol. Same thing for blood pressure, resting heart rate, and base metabolic rate. I demanded more of my body, and it responded the way it was designed to respond.
  5. Rarely is pharmaceutical intervention for any of the famous health risk indicators appropriate. Blood cholesterol levels rise in response to the body’s inflammatory healing mechanism, not because you consumed fat. High blood cholesterol, over time, leads to high blood pressure. But the quickest way to treat the symptoms is to remedy the cause: poor basic musculoskeletal and cardiovascular fitness.
  6. You can’t count on a company-wide commitment to fitness at a high level, but you don’t necessarily need to. Not all wellness initiatives require sweat for success. Reducing stress yields a decrease in stress hormones, and a corresponding decrease in the pro-inflammatory eicosanoids responsible for the cellular responses associated with increased risk of diseases of all types. The chemical component of emotion brings unexpectedly complex physiological responses to stressors. Helping your staff relax has powerful second- and third-order health effects – which also adds profit and productivity to your business.

Voila. All that’s left is the doing. As Napoleon Hill said, “success requires no explanations.”

And as Guy Kawasaki says, “you’ve just gotta grind it out.”

Up next: Going Primal – Look Backwards for the Future of Fitness

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