Nerd Fitness – How Tiny Changes Transformed Me from Steve Rogers to Captain America

Here’s a great blog written By Steve from www.nerdfitness.com – I think a lot of us that have been training for awhile can relate!

How Tiny Changes Transformed Me from Steve Rogers to Captain America

Hey, I’m Steve.

I’ve been running this site, Nerd Fitness, for about seven years now. Before that, I trained in a gym for six years trying to get in the best shape possible. But I struggled. Struggled to make consistent progress. Struggled because it always seemed like three steps forward, 2.9 (or 3.1) steps backwards, month after month, year after year.

Two years ago, my mentality changed. I stopped asking “when will I arrive?” and instead realized that I will never actually get there.

With this mindset I created a new strategy, and today I stand (well, sit) before you a changed person – physically and mentally. I’m 20+ pounds (of muscle) heavier, stronger and more resilient than ever, and believe that every day is an opportunity to set a new personal best.

I did it by refusing to focus on the “end.” In other words, I stopped worrying about “before and after.” Instead I just focused finding goals and quests that excited me each day.

In fact, I hadn’t noticed just how much I had changed until I looked at a video fromNerd Fitness from three years ago that made my jaw drop (picture above). It really hit home when I went to get fitted for a tux two weeks ago and the guy taking my measurements said “well, this won’t fit right because you’re built like Captain America.”

Excited Steve

Alarm bells went off in my brain: “HOLY CRAP. I’ve been waiting my whole life to hear somebody tell me that. And it happened after I FORGOT about this very goal.”

I don’t think that was a coincidence.

Here’s how I stopped worrying about my after and started living every day in the “during.”

There’s No “After.”

steve push ups

I imagine that nearly everybody who stumbles across Nerd Fitness is here because they want to change their appearance. It’s certainly why I started exercising! And I have NO problem with that.

After all, as the Rules of the Rebellion state: “We don’t care where you came from, only where you’re going.”

As a skinny, weak person for most of my life, I wanted to feel comfortable and confident in my own skin. Thanks to the BS found in magazines and other marketing tricks, I was convinced in my early years of training that I was only 30-60 days away from transforming. I thought I could “sprint” from where I was to where I wanted to be, and then I could settle back into a less crazy routine. Because I was in such a hurry to change from the “before” to the “after,” I would go ALL-IN on training and eating for a short period of time.

Unsurprisingly, this resulted in me burnt out or injured. If the changes did come, they didn’t stick for any long period of time due to “life getting in the way.”

It was only until I started of thinking of progress in “years and years” instead of “weeks and months” that my mentality finally shifted.

This was a tough pill to swallow. I had to put my “after” goals on hold, and instead just did what needed to get done every day. I had to change my mentality: there is no after, only “during.”

I initially thought “Ugh, Years!?! That’s gonna take too long.” And then I thought back to how little sustainable progress I had made in the previous 10 years and knew things needed to change. Today I look back and can’t be more relieved that I made this choice.

In two, five, or ten years, what choice do you wish you’d have made now? The one that puts you on a “30 day diet” or workout plan? Or one that instills changes for the long term?

There’s a reason why a recent study suggests we’re doomed to stay fat: temporary diet changes and temporary workout plans don’t work!

If you want to change your appearance in the long term, your normal life (how you live every day) has to change. Every day you are building a new normal: a sustainable way of eating, sleeping, and exercising that gets you a tiny bit closer to where you want to be.

Appearance is a consequence of fitness

SteveTuckPlanche

Want to know how I was finally able to make progress and transform my appearance after 11 years of actively trying to change it?

By NOT focusing on it so damn much!

For the past two years, I have cared less about what the scale says or how I look in a mirror, and instead put my focus on one thing: am I stronger and more badass today than yesterday? Am I doing better this week than last week? Every week for the past two years, I have followed a workout plan that is incrementally more difficult in a tiny way than the previous week.

For example, here’s my last five weeks of work on overhead presses:

  • Week one: 5/5/5 x 136 lbs
  • Week two: 6/5/5 x 136 lbs
  • Week three: 6/6/5 x 136 lbs
  • Week four: 6/6/6 x 136 lbs
  • Week five: 5/5/5 x 137 lbs

Look how boring that is! Each week, I’m increasing this lift by ONE total repetition. After reaching a certain level, I’m adding just ONE pound to the bar (I bought these fractional plates so I can lift just one pound more).

The same goes for my deadlifts. Every week, I’m adding just one pound to my lift, before going for a 1-rep max once per month. As someone with splondylothesis, I used to think I’d never deadlift heavy again. In fact, I’ve had to yell at myself throughout this process to be patient and be okay with this pace. I knew that when I tried it the other way, progress just didn’t stick.

So despite the seemingly snail’s pace, I’m now stronger than ever and almost at my epic quest goal of a 405 deadlift (here I am in November lifting 385 lbs).

My progress on other movements is even tougher to see, but I’m now doing some really crazy and fun things like gymnastic rings work to muscle ups to front lever practice.

You see, appearance is a consequence of fitness. I just put my focus on getting stronger, and eating in a way to accomplish that goal daily. That “stronger” might be the teeniest of tiniest increments, but when done consistently, sustainably, over a long period of time… big permanent changes can result.

Accountability, priority, routine

Steve Front Lever

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention another crucial reason why I was able to make sustained progress over the past two years: I made my health a priority. I wrote about “why you need to be selfish sometimes” on Nerd Fitness before.

After years of starting and stopping, blaming it on Nerd Fitness getting too busy, or life being too hectic, I finally put my foot down. I made two crucial decisions:

1) I stopped trying to go it alone. That’s right. I found that when I had to program my own workouts, I would often skip the last few exercises that I just didn’t feel like doing. After all, who would notice! However, over the past two years I’ve been following workouts that have been created by somebody else, and I have to check in with that person! Suddenly I can’t use my old tired excuses, and I just do the work – after all, that’s why I pay for it!

If I miss a workout or take a week off “because life got busy,” I have somebody to answer to. It sucks, it’s embarrassing, and oftentimes this gets me to go to the gym when I’m tired or busy, or trying to use all these other bullshit excuses.

I think it’s why we have found so many people have found success with The Nerd Fitness Academy or Nerd Fitness Yoga – you value things differently when you invest your hard-earned money in them, and you actually DO the stuff when somebody else is telling you to do them. If you’re struggling to stay in shape, do you have somebody keeping you accountable? Do you have a workout plan to follow? Those two steps alone have change my life. Hat tip to my friendAnthony for creating my workouts for me!

2) I prioritized my health and fitness. Mostly, I stopped accepting excuses from myself, and stopped relying on motivation. Instead, I manufactured discipline in my life. I ruthlessly removed unnecessary time-wasting activities from my life and got better at managing my time. Here’s what I did:

  • I schedule every workout in my calendar. Every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 10:00 AM, I go to the gym. If I’m traveling on a training day, I make it up for IMMEDIATELY, no matter what, the next day and get back on schedule.
  • I have been intermittent fasting the whole time. I train in a fasted state (not eating before my workout), and eat all of my daily calories between 12pm and 8pm. This is called intermittent fasting, and has helped me slowly put on muscle without adding much fat to my frame.
  • I have prioritized food. I eat a paleo-ish diet. I eat the same thing every day at Chipotle. It’s an expense that I’m willing to pay – the location is right across the street from my gym, and it’s the most efficient way to get enough quality calories, carbs, protein, and fat immediately following my workout.
  • I removed distracting activities from my life. I am now way more efficient with my “work hours,” blocking Facebook and time wasting websites. I don’t play video games or watch TV unless I have done everything else that day that needs to be done. Don’t get me wrong, I still binge watch shows occasionally (Making a Murderer!) and play video games (Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate!), I just do this stuff strategically.
  • Sleep has been prioritized. When I relocated to New York City, I made sure to spend money on a quality mattress and blackout curtains. As a cheapskate, this was a huge challenge for me. However, sleep is one of the most important elements of a healthy life. I don’t play games late at night, I don’t have a TV in my bedroom, and I make sure I’m sleeping as much as possible.

Where Were You, Two Years Ago?

SteveRedwoods

You might be reading this and saying to yourself, “Ugh, Steve. I need to feel better now! I can’t wait two years!” Ask yourself, where were you two years ago? How different are you now compared to then?

Remember, you never really “arrive.”

If you’re hoping that getting to a certain pant size or seeing your abs will suddenly make you happy, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. It’s the fitness equivalent of “if I just had a bigger house, I’d be happy.”

All photos in Nerd Fitness success stories are “before and during” shots. My photos here are “during” shots. I’m never going to get to a magical moment where I “made it,” so I’ve stopped worrying about that moment. Instead, I’m just focused on being stronger and fitter today than yesterday, and eating in a way that helps me make that happen.

I have no idea where I’ll be two years from now. My goals might change. My lifestyle might change. So I’m not worried about it. Instead, I’m just worried about being better and stronger today than I was yesterday.

I’d love to hear from you:

What’s a longstanding mentality you’ve had that will change to help you find permanent growth and progress with your health and fitness?

How can you remind yourself daily of this new “identity?”

-Steve

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How Much Cardio is “Too Much?”

HOW MUCH CARDIO IS TOO MUCH

Here’s a great article about how to implement cardio succesfully into your workout routine. Written by http://eatmore2weighless.com/
Contrary to my personal anti-treadmill stance, cardio can absolutely play a role in any fitness/fat loss puzzle. But just like everything else in life, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Although our motto here at EM2WL is cardio for fun, weights to transform, we understand the value cardio can add to a goal-specific workout plan (and that fact that some of you actually…umm…love it).  So I understand that cardio lovers in the Fam, striving to heal their metabolisms, and finally lose fat would need a bit more explanation that “don’t do so much cardio!”

When it comes to cardio, it seems that people either love it or hate it. Whether you’re a group instructor, runner, or despise cardio, your workouts should work for you, not against you. In order for this to happen, you must understand the purpose behind each type of workout, how it pertains to your goals, and apply it accordingly.  Cardio is endurance exercise. The more you do, the better your body adapts, and builds up the ability to be able to withstand the same circumstances next time.

This adaptation is great if the goal is to cover a certain distance in increasingly quicker amounts of time (think: training for a marathon), or simply last longer in Zumba class.  As far as general heart-health is concerned, this is usually the goal.  Your new level of efficiency is usually noticeable during workouts when you’re suddenly able to do more cardio than you initially were physically capable of doing just weeks/months before. For example: you may have originally broken a sweat doing ten minutes of cardio before, but now you have to do fifteen minutes to get to the same level.

If you were formally breathless chasing the kids, or climbing a flight of stairs – this type of adaptation is an amazing/healthy feeling.  However, when the goal is fat loss, this adaptation means you now have to do more work to achieve the same results you initially were achieving with your cardio-only workouts.  Adaptation= doing the same work for lesser results.

When it comes to adaptation, strength training is no exception.  If you lift the same weight day in and out, your body eventually adapts and that weight just won’t cut it.  You’ll have to introduce new stimuli to keep getting results, or risk hitting the infamous plateau. But there’s good news when it comes to weight lifting adaptation: all you have to do to bust past that plateau is to lift heavier weights! The duration of your weight lifting sessions will never have to change (like your cardio has to) so long as you’re increasing your weights. This allows you to still be efficient without putting in extra time. Weight lifting gives you the most bang for your buck.

In other words: endurance exercise improves your endurance, but doesn’t necessarily contribute to fat loss beyond the initial newbie phase.  Lifting improves your strength, endurance, lean body mass (muscle!)and assists in fat loss. 

So how do you know that you’ve entered the “adaptation zone?”  In addition to monitoring your performance during the workout, you can turn to your heart rate monitor (HRM) for clues.  Using an HRM will allow you to see when your body gets to a point where it becomes more efficient at cardio.  As endurance improves, your HRM will subsequently show that your calorie burn is lessening for common cardio activities.  When you notice that you’re burning less cals boing the same amount of work, your body has adapted. At that point you must either increase time, or change up your workout style to continue getting results.

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If, for instance, you’re training for a race or are focused on increasing endurance, remember increased efficiency is in fact a good thing. When that calorie adaptation occurs, you’ve just shortened your race time. Increasing the time of the workout is actually the goal in that case.  On the flip side, when it comes to fat loss, inefficiency is key.  Doing the same workouts, but burning less cals, would mean that over time you’d be eating too much (even on a diet) – and eventually start GAINING weight.

That is what we’re trying to prevent when we provide warnings about “too much cardio” during your reset or early stages of fat loss.  It’s not about removing something that you love, but rather understanding the roles that workout style plays in your fat loss journey.

There is no magic, universal number for how much cardio is too much. By using the tips above, your best answer is to listen to your body and evaluate often to see where your efficiency levels are at and if they’re conducive to the physique goals you’re trying to achieve.

Cauliflower crust Pizza

Pizza

Final Product!

This cauliflower crust pizza is a perfect low-carb version of your favorite comfort food, who knew that cauliflower could be the main ingredient in your pizza crust?!
It’s gluten and wheat free for those of us with special dietary needs and won’t break the calorie-bank!
For those looking to cut even more calories: it works well with lighter cheese as well!

Now for the recipe……

Crust
Small/medium cauliflower
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
Pinch of salt and any  herb you enjoy

(i.e: basil, garlic, oregano)

Recommended toppings
Passata sauce (v)
Mozzarella  cheese (v)
Parma ham
Tomato (v)
Peppers (v)
Rocket – to garnish (v)

Method

Preheat oven to 180* degrees. Spray (or brush) parchment paper with oil.

Wash and dry the head of the cauliflower. Cut off the florets and pulse in your food processor until you get a powdery substance similar in appearance to rice.
Steam cauliflower in the microwave for 4-5 minutes, alternatively bake for 10 minutes in the oven.
Allow cauliflower to cool, than squeeze out as much liquid as possible using a piece of  cheesecloth, or alternatively a tea towel.

 

Important: you want it to be as dry as possible to avoid a soggy pizza!
Mix together with the cheese, herbs and salt. Add egg and mix until you get ‘pizza dough consistency’. (Add another egg if the dough is not sticky enough)
Flatten dough into a thin crust on oiled parchment paper, make sure it sticks together – go Italian rather than American deep dish.
Bake crust for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and add desired toppings.

Bake for a further 5-10 minutes until cheese has fully melted.
Voila: you have a pizza! Now all you have to do is eat! You can thank us later.

How Amy Gave Up Perfection and Lost 116 lbs

The proof is in the pudding: consistency, NOT perfection is how you will achieve and maintain great results.
Looking for some inspiration? Please read this post from Nerd Fitness!

How Amy Gave Up Perfection and Lost 116 lbs

Amy lost 116 lbs in 13 months.

That might sound like a big, daunting number. Amy certainly felt that way once. She had no idea how to go about losing weight, had tried and failed before, going in half heartedly:

I would cut my portions or eat salads for a week but I really did’t have the information to lose weight in a healthy way. I also thought I had to be perfect. If I ate a cookie, or if I missed a workout – I just gave up.

In the quest to get healthy, sometimes it’s simply about finding a way to go workout when the situation isn’t perfect (it’s too hot, it’s too cold, you’re tired, you’re busy…) or eat right when we really don’t want to.

Amy’s path forward embraced the realistic, sometimes reluctant heroism of heroes like Deadpool or Wolverine.

“It isn’t ever going to be perfect – no one is perfect. The way I eat today isn’t perfect but it’s a helluva lot better than the way I used to eat. I tried things, and some of them worked and some didn’t so I kept what worked and changed what didn’t until I got to something that worked and I could live with for the rest of my life. Don’t be afraid to try, you can always make changes as you go. In fact, if you never have to make any changes, you are probably doing something wrong.”

Let’s learn a little bit more about how Amy lost the weight, got in shape, and transformed her life in the process.

Amy’s Beginnings, Your Beginnings

AmyBefore

Two years ago in the summer of 2014 Amy was experiencing some hip and knee pain. Her doctor told her that it was bursitis in her hip, either caused by overuse or from being overweight.

“He was kind enough to let me figure out which one of those reasons might apply to me,” Amy recalls.

Like most of us, it wasn’t that Amy was oblivious. She actually had problems with a herniated disc when she was 18 and had surgery at 25. In her late 30s talking to the doctor, she knew that carrying that extra weight was doing her no good.

“But it was a moment of awakening,” she remembers, “to be told I was damaging other parts of my body, too.”

No matter what change we have been thinking about making, there’s usually a difference between knowing it intellectually, and feeling it deeply enough in your bones to get started and stick with it. This was Amy’s: “I started wondering what I would be like in another 10 years and how much damage was I doing to myself.”

Amy’s Unsure Start

Amy Before Photo with dog

When we decide to get started on the quest to get healthy, there seem to be a lot of pitfalls. One of the big ones, as we call it, is collecting underpants. That’s what we call reading and reading and reading, and using the information-collecting-phase of your process as an excuse never to get started.

This was one area where Amy never had any problems. In the fall of 2014 when she decided to get started, she just started with what she thought she needed to do: eat less. But, she didn’t exactly approach it in the most skillful way. Here’s Amy:

“You can imagine that if I was starving all the time eating my regular portions, I was really starving cutting down my portion size. This did not work. My husband has a friend named Mike and he said if I ever wanted to know how to get in shape I should talk to him, so I did. He is into strength training and he knew how to get in shape, lose fat and build muscle. So I picked his brain and he told me that when it came to losing fat, nutrition was the key. He also suggested strength training to help maintain muscle.”

Amy’s new fitness adviser explained the importance of protein, how macronutrients worked, and introduced her to strength training.

But this didn’t happen right away. Amy did what she had always done, and she struggled for over a month until she tried something different. That’s when things really seemed to pick up:

“From there I started doing a ton of internet searches looking for information on protein and nutrition and strength training…. that is how I found Nerd Fitness. The first thing I read were the Rules of the Rebellion and I remember thinking, “Ok, these people are cool!” I just started reading all of Steve’s blogs and absorbing as much information as I could. I loved the idea of making permanent changes because I knew what I was doing wasn’t getting me anywhere and I really wanted to change my life. I was willing to make the commitment, I just needed to know what direction to take to get started.”

How Amy Got Healthy

Amyphoto

Amy, congrats on your success, and thanks for shining a light on the path you took. I’d love to hear more about how you went from being totally confused when it came to nutrition, to the superhero you are today.

In the beginning, I was at a total loss for what to eat. At first I just reduced my portions but was still eating the same processed foods. This didn’t work at all. I had read Steve’s article, “How to Not Suck at Losing Weight.decided to make small sustainable changes in my diet. But I couldn’t help to be at a loss sometimes: If I didn’t have cereal for breakfast, what else was there? Everything I ate was processed or a starchy carbohydrate. I had to spend some time at the grocery looking in the produce department and trying to come up with something other than a salad as a way to incorporate more vegetables into my diet. It was also tough to let go of soda, and sugar in general. I really thought I wouldn’t be able to live without my soda or sweets. I transitioned from it slowly though.

How did you make the transition?

I went from eating my sugary cereal in the morning to eating Cheerios (not perfect but it worked while I transitioned) and I drank my whey protein shake.

I started bringing my lunch to work.

I swapped the potato chips for carrot sticks and the soda for unsweetened tea.

I started eating healthier vegetables at dinner instead of the white potato.

I made little changes every couple of weeks. There was something Steve had written about how hard it is to get rid of an old habit and how it was easier to establish a new habit and crowd out the bad one. That’s what I started doing. I just started adopting more and more good habits until there was no more room for the bad ones.

When I started I was counting calories, and eventually got sick of it (one extreme downside to this method is that you never get to stop thinking about your weight or what you are eating – you are always planning and calculating – bummer). So, I decided to go “modified” Paleo with the strategy above. The transition took a couple of months. I still eat dairy and I do eat a sandwich for lunch during the week, but the majority of what I eat is meat, vegetables and fruit.

Wow, what a journey. It’s great to see how you took gradual steps over the course of many months just to sort out certain aspects of your diet. When we see progress photos or inspirational photos on Facebook, it can feel like we’re just expected to become an overnight success. You’ve really shown how the real work is in the trenches, day in and day out.

AmyProgress1

Love the focus on diet, but what role did exercise play?

Because of my back and hip issues, I was worried about injuring myself. So, I set the goal of eating healthy every day and doing at least 1 physical activity everyday.

Because I didn’t know what my physical condition/pain level would be on a daily basis I didn’t want to tell myself I had to exercise for a set amount of time or miles, etc. If my back was hurting and I wasn’t able to workout for an hour, I didn’t want to consider myself a failure.

My goal was just to do one thing, even it was just stretching… it was one positive step in the right direction. I just made a promise to myself that I would do the most I was physically capable of doing everyday so if I knew in my heart that I was in pain and all I could do was stretch or walk for 5 minutes, I was a success. I started off very slowly with strength training and bought the seated elliptical to accommodate my back issues.

I found out though that the more I did the more I was capable of doing. I didn’t always feel like working out though. Steve had written an article about if you get dressed to exercise, you’ll do it. After dinner every night I would change into my workout clothes. I was sore and tired but I would get dressed, and then I would end up on the elliptical.

Wow, you not only were determined, but incredibly smart and kind to yourself. It sounds like a winning combination: the grit to stay with it, and the self-compassion to give yourself a break when you need it. What did you work up to?

Well, I actually put 8 miles on my elliptical regularly for 6 months straight. Which I know is a lot and not for everyone, but for some reason, my body was loving it. It was almost like my body had just been waiting for me to use it. By this time it was summer, both my elliptical and strength training progressed, and I was able to get outside so I started to ride my bike and play tennis. This is when I started doing Steve’s beginner bodyweight workout. With my back issues, I found that I did better with bodyweight workouts and resistance training than using free weights. I have also found that doing push-ups (I started that with Steve’s 30 push-up challenge) have been great for my back as well (I’m up to 100 push-ups 3 times a week).

I still don’t keep a set schedule for exercise – my goal is to just do something physical that I enjoy everyday. Because I’m no longer in pain, the exercise is fun, and I have a lot more options to choose from. This past spring I even went on a hike for the first time in my life. I hiked in a state park with my husband. We ended up hiking about 6 miles. It was an awesome experience and I was really proud of myself.

We always talk about how when you level up in a video game, you see your experience move forward right before your eyes, giving you the motivation you need to keep moving forward. Did you use any technique to track your progress?

Amy2015progress

At first I tracked my progress by weighing myself daily. My mood really rose and fell based on that number but after awhile I noticed patterns of when I would gain and lose and remain the same. It helped to desensitize me because I knew that there would be fluctuations and that I always started to lose weight again. Steve wrote an article about how the scale can lie and it’s a good idea to use measurements and take pictures so I started doing that. It really saved me, because there were times when I felt I wasn’t making any progress and I was able to look at my pictures and see how far I had come, and it gave me the motivation to keep going.

It sounds like there was a separate, complete learning process in every area, from diet to tracking. What was the most important one?

The most important change I made was my attitude. I didn’t need a diet; I needed to change my life. I knew I wasn’t healthy. I felt miserable, and I was missing out on life. I originally wanted to lose over 80 lbs to be at a weight that was considered healthy. I mentally couldn’t face that number so I decided on 80 lbs as my goal. I focused on my two daily goals and only told myself that I needed to move forward. Using my two goals each day (making healthy nutrition choices and moving my body), things took care of themselves. In 13 months I lost 116 lbs.

The stress of dieting and getting healthy can often be an impediment, leading to doubt and all sorts of bad decisions. How about your support network? You had an early fitness adviser, what else?

I had a wonderful support system of family and friends. Everyone was cheering me on, and so happy for me. In the beginning I didn’t want to share what I was doing with anyone because I was afraid I was going to fail. But it’s hard to make life changes on your own, you need support. I felt like everyone at Nerd Fitness had my back too. There was always an article I could relate to or read posts and I knew I wasn’t alone. When I joined the Rebellion, I felt like I was finally in a group that had the same goal for their lives that I had – I just want to be the best version of me that I can be.

Congratulations on your success. What’s new these days? Anything you’ve been doing that you didn’t’ do before? Any other changes you’ve noticed in yourself?

Tennis! I used to play and haven’t been able to play in close to 20 years. I started playing again last summer and have been playing this summer as well. One of my goals is to start playing in tournaments again.

I have a lot more confidence in myself. I am stronger and more capable than I ever gave myself credit for. When I’m faced with challenges now, I know I can handle it. I also am a better problem solver. I was constantly having to evaluate what I was doing and how it was working and coming up with ways to get around obstacles and challenges. Now when I set out towards a goal I know I can get there.

AmyAfter2

Okay, nerd cred time: Star Wars or Lord of The Rings?

Star Wars (the original trilogy)

Yes! Favorite Video Game?

Donkey Kong

Favorite quote?

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible’.” – Audrey Hepburn

perfect Really is The Enemy of good

Amy Tennis

Don’t give up. You only have to get it right once. Don’t beat yourself up about the past; that was yesterday and you don’t live there anymore.

Dumbledore Amy

In the Nerd Fitness Rebellion we have hundreds of heroes like Amy. Sometimes this can feel daunting, like walking into a gym and seeing a “level 50 version” of a character. But just like Harry and Luke, Frodo and Katniss, these are just ordinary people, who took one step after another.

They didn’t start with all the knowledge required. They didn’t start with a love of fitness. Amy certainly didn’t start with a love nor ability to do miles upon miles on the elliptical or the ability to rock a bodyweight workout.

Instead, they asked, “What’s first?” And they got started. They took action right away, and sometimes they made mistakes. So they made some changes, and they kept going.

Amy made tiny changes to her diet over time. She gave herself a huge break when it came to fitness, but was also her own toughest coach: she had to do something every day.

She built a system that was both determined and forgiving.

And she had smart systems in place to help her keep going. She used photos to track her success, and learned to stop freaking out so much about the normal fluctuations of the scale. She built a team of allies to support her along the way.

These systems helped to keep her on her path, but ultimately it was her own decision to keep figuring it out that led to her success.

There’s a million corny quotes about the importance of failure and getting back up. But that only matters if we get started in the first place. Whether that’s a commitment to join the Nerd Fitness Academy, or just testing out the Beginner Bodyweight Workout – start!

Our heroes stumble along the way. That’s why their stories are so darn impressive. So get started. Stumble. And figure out what’s next.

Do you have any questions for Amy?

Stop by and leave a note of congratulations!

-Taylor