Posts Tagged ‘lose weight’

“I saw friends from my old workplace that I haven’t
visited for more than 6 months. They were surprised
to see me and they said,
‘Jessica, you look fantastic! You look totally different!’

I told them that I now go to the gym and I’m wearing Medium sized clothes. 
6 months ago, I was wearing Extra Large.
I’m so happy. I will keep going until I can wear Small again!”
– Jessica L.


Jessica L. came to me a month before her 53rd birthday.

During our initial confession, she confessed that she’s been putting herself in the back-burner, sacrificing her time and energy to take care of her 20-something daughter.

She told me that she realized she wasn’t getting any younger. And if she wants to enjoy life with her growing daughter, she has to start taking care of herself, too.

Jessica’s goals were to lose weight especially in the tummy area, on top of feeling healthier and fitter in general.

She has an active job which sometimes requires her to take ‘double shifts’ working up to 12 hours once in a while. But apart from that, lifting weights was all new to her.

We started meeting twice a week on our first month to reinforce this new habit of going to the gym exercising.
I gave her an exercise program that she can do on her own for two more days, plus a High-Intensity Interval Training plan for her cardio.

She came to the gym whenever she can, up to 6 times in a week!
Before her work. After her work. On her off days.
Lucky for her, she also has access to a gym in her workplace. So sometimes she does a quick Leg workout (her favorite) at work in the morning, then trains with me at the end of her day.



After a couple of weeks or so, we structured her workouts at the gym and at her workplace so that she doesn’t over-train herself quickly.

We also had a talk where I told her that although her determination, hard work, and energy was phenomenal, what would really drive her fat loss fast would be to dial in her nutrition.

That was when things really start to happen.

Through our 3-Day Diet Diary, she realized that 70 to 80% of her food intake was mostly carbs, and she needed to eat more protein, and drink more water.

Jessica was good.

I haven’t seen someone so determined that nothing slows her down, even her favorite foods!

Fast forward to today, she’s enjoying a week-long cruise, feeling confident in basking under the sun.

This is the “formula” (if there is one) that made her drop 20 lbs and 5% of body fat

Working the abs on the stability ball.

Apart from having a stronger core, Jessica has more confidence in herself!


  • Jessica followed the STRATEGY that I gave her for both
    training and nutrition. She started really determined
    and energized, but if I did not rein that energy in,
    she might have ended up fatigued and frustrated.

  • She was CONSISTENT in being active throughout the day.
    After the first month, she developed her base strength,
    improved her balance, and felt more confident in moving her body.
    Then she started to walk for 20 minutes every day to
    get to and from her workplace.

  • We dialed in her NUTRITION. As I advised her,
    she increased her water intake and watched the
    volume of food she’s eating.
    We did not follow any specific ‘diet’ plan, we simply
    tweaked her eating to match her goals.

  • The most important key is that her MINDSET changed
    about her health and fitness.
    At first, she really was not confident that she could
    get back in shape‘ and thought that being stronger and
    fitter is worthy enough goals.
    She knew that she had to take action, and she put
    exercising and healthy eating at the forefront of her
    priorities and schedule.
    She claimed that before, she used to just watch T.V.
    and eat after a tiring day at work, but now she heads
    straight to the gym instead. Sure there were tough days
    to train at the gym, but she made it a point to “do something “

Everyone knows that it’s important to be active, eat healthy, and stay fit no matter what age.

But not everyone has the specific strategies and guidance that Jessica had on top of her dedication that produced these stunning results.

If you want to get the same strategy and support that Jessica followed to drop dress sizes and feel more confident in her own body, you can start with my 28-Day Group Coaching program and set off the spark to a more confident, vibrant, and fitter you!

Read more about it here:


In a previous post a couple of days ago, I answered three frequently asked questions about Fitness.weightloss

Here are my answers to the next three questions:

4.) Should I get into shape before I start to lift weights?

People are sometimes afraid to go to the gym or start an exercise regimen because they feel that they might just injure themselves. This thinking is counter-intuitive – you should do resistance training or “Strength Training”  to prevent injuries and improve your capabilities even in daily activities. For overweight people, it’s even better to start lifting weights first before joining other cardio activities or running.

5.) If I want to lose weight, should my main focus be cardio-respiratory activities?

It’s an old belief that if you want to be big and bulky, you should do weight training but if you want to lose weight, you should do ‘cardio‘ based activities. It is true that the cardio-respiratory system (your heart and lungs) works more during cardio or aerobic exercises and burns more fat, but it is not true that you should restrict yourself to those type of exercises if your goal is to lose weight. New research proves that strength training adds to the efficiency of your body to burn calories. Also, exercises such as HIIT and Circuit Training boosts your body’s capacity to burn fuel.

Another important thing to note is that, whatever your goal may be, your training regimen should be composed of cardio, resistance, and flexibility exercises. Having a well-balanced exercise program ensures that you reap the full benefits of your workouts and minimizes risk for injuries.

6.) Should a woman’s exercise program differ from a man’s?

Physiologically and in terms of exercise performance, there are only a few differences from the man’s body to a woman. There are differences  like women having larger pelvis, hormones, and overall muscle mass, but with regards to muscular capacity and structural tolerance men and women are the same. Our muscles respond the same way. Our bones and ligaments adapt the same way. With proper training (and motivation), both men and women can do squats, push-up, pull-ups, or any other kind of exercise. Yes, even women can do the home workouts in the book on the left!

A better approach to this is to consider the Principles of Training, especially Individualization. Each person is different. We respond differently to exercise. We adapt to stress in our own ways and time. This is what a training program should be based on, and not on gender.

Check out this blog “ladies lifting weights: get strong not toned” for a good opinion (with tips) about women lifting weights.

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Read the first three Frequently Asked Questions About Fitness:

1.) I want to burn fat and lose weight around the abdominal. Should I do exercises that focus only on my belly and around the abdominal region?
2.) Will my muscles get bulky when I lift weights or do resistance training?
3.) How do I get my muscles ripped or have definition?
strength training

I am halfway through Canfitpro’s Foundation of Personal Training and I will be starting with the Study Guide soon. I only have a week left before my certification, but for now I will be taking a short break from nerd-mode.
The book is very easy to understand although specific details like the processes and enzymes in the Krebs cycle aren’t included.
super saver
There’s a section in the first chapter about Common Questions Asked from a Personal Trainer and I’d like to share my answers (and some from the book) to some of those questions:

1.) I want to burn fat and lose weight around the abdominal. Should I do exercises that focus only on my belly and around the abdominal region?

weightlossIt’s common to think that if you want to burn fat around a specific area in your body, then you should do exercises that are specific to that area as well. I don’t know where this thinking came from, but what I know is that again and again, science proves that there is no truth in ‘spot reduction.’ If you want to lose body fat around anywhere in your body, the best thing to do is to do exercises that target big muscle groups to boost your calorie-burning-efficiency. Other exercises such as High-Intensity Interval Exercises or Circuit Training do well in losing body fat while toning your muscles. Doing 100 crunches, planks, or other specific abdominal exercises will only work on the muscular endurance of the abdominal area.

2.) Will my muscles get bulky when I lift weights or do resistance training?

Women usually ask this question fearing that going to the gym will make them look muscular. For men, it’s the first thing to do when they want to bulk up. Men can naturally increase the circumference of their biceps through resistance training because they have 10 to 30 times more testosterone than women. Women are more concerned about this question because they (or most of them) won’t go to the gym to bulk up. There’s no need to fear for women since they don’t have the hormones for this effect. One good reason for women to do resistance training is that it will increase their Basal Metabolic Rate and increase their body’s capacity of burning calories, if their goal in going to the gym is to lose body fat.

sports_468x603.) How do I get my muscles ripped or have definition?

The media bombards us with impressions that someone with a six-pack can be the most desirable person in the room. However, genetics play a big role with regards to this goal of getting ripped. Anyone can work for those cuts by reducing body fat percentage, eating healthy, and having a balanced strength training program. Exercises that are designed like Circuit Training are also proven to burn fat more than traditional strength training regimen. But there really are genetically-blessed people who can easily get muscle definition because their bodies are programmed to be lean and toned. It is important to be realistic and reasonable with your goals when you start to exercise or train in the gym. Don’t be frustrated, anxious, or depressed when after training for a few months, you still haven’t reached that figure in your mind. It is possible for you, but you may have to push yourself to the limits and dedicate more time to reach that goal.


I’ll answer three more questions from the book on my next post:

  • Should I get into shape before I start to lift weights?
  • If I want to lose weight, should my main focus be cardiorespiratory activities?
  • Should a woman’s exercise program differ from a man’s?


Do you have any other questions about fitness that you need answers with?
Ask me in the comments!

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Being motivated to continue doing something difficult is usually a struggle. When we’re doing something and then in the middle of it we’re suddenly faced with a big challenge, sometimes it seems hard to press on. There are times that our negative experiences and failures keep us from continuing. We become fearful of making mistakes again. Other times, we just lose our focus and direction. Our environment may suddenly change and we find ourselves getting ‘lost‘ in transition. We forget what our goals are and why we started in the first place. In any case, when you start losing hope and feel under-motivated to continue, keep these things in mind:


1. Be Thankful. We often lose confidence from past failures and personal weaknesses which then kills our motivation. We have to focus and think of what we want and why we started in the first place, but sometimes it is the same reason why we start to lose confidence in ourselves. As time goes by, our brains start to question why we still aren’t getting what we want. We become jealous of others’ achievements and compare ourselves with them. The solution for this is to focus on gratitude. Be thankful for your small achievements. Remember your accomplishments and what it took for you to get there. If you are a runner struggling to make it past sub-30 or your sub-1 or whatever your target is, be thankful for those few minutes or even seconds that you scrape off from your time. If you have been going to the gym to lose weight, be thankful for the capability to work out and sweat every day, and remember that you are on the road to fitness. We lose hope when we tend to forget about our strengths and dwell on our failures. Make an effort to feel grateful and you’ll realize how competent and successful you are.

2. Focus on Positive Goals, not just on results. We sometimes set unreasonable goals for ourselves and when we don’t reach them, we lose confidence in ourselves. Some people set goals like “I want to lose 30 lbs in 1 month” which is totally unhealthy. I once had a client who wanted to improve her figure by having a thigh gap. I had to patiently explain that this is an anatomical difference and can’t be easily modified with exercise or any weight loss program. Also, being skinny does not mean being healthy. When you run, you don’t reach the finish line by thinking about the finish line, but you focus on each grueling step that you take to reach it.

3. Set Your Direction. If focus means having positive and specific goals, then having direction means to make a clear strategy of your day-to-day actions to achieve your goals. Without an obvious next step, we tend to procrastinate. If possible, make a sequential list of things to do until you reach your goal. Identify the activities that lead to success. Some actions that you take can be good, but may not lead to your goal. Remind yourself everyday of what you need to do next. I think a good analogy of this in sports training would be Periodization. You have an ultimate direction towards your goal with the Macrocycle -your year long or season-long training plan. But you should still have your Mesocycle and ultimately your Microcycle which is specific to what you do for each training day.

It is inevitable to encounter failures and problems along the way as you take steps toward your goal. What’s important is that you strive and persevere and keep negative thoughts from killing your confidence and motivation. Martin Luther Jr said “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”  And after that first step, keep focusing on the next steps ahead of you.


Be thankful for each step. Focus on positive and reasonable goals. And set a clear direction for every action that you take.


Here’s the motivation for the week:





If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!


Life could be difficult and each day we face different challenges and difficulties, but remember that it is these challenges that makes life meaningful!


Are you up for some challenges today?



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