Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Oprah Winfrey Now Weighs 200 Pounds - What She Did and Didn't Do and What Can You Learn from Her

According to a recent AP news, Oprah admitted that she has gained weight for the four years and now reaches 200 pounds.

I'm sure with Oprah's celebrity status, she'll be on the cover of every tabloid and magazine everywhere.

Winfrey's weight and height put her body mass index at 31.8, which is obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says people who are obese are "at higher risk for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol."

"I'm embarrassed," she writes. "I can't believe that after all these years, all the things I know how to do, I'm still talking about my weight. She says she's added 40 pounds to her frame since she weighed 160 pounds in 2006.

Now she set her goals to be strong, healthy and fit instead of being thin. Good for her!

Winfrey was disapponited to write that "I'm talking the talk but not walking the walk." "I definitely wasn't setting the example."

Can you relate to Oprah's embarassment and frustration?

Does her yo-yo dieting and weight loss struggling story sound familiar to you?

With a team of personal trainer, health and diet experts by her side, how can they let Oprah gain 40 pounds in 4 years?

Does nobody really pay attention to her weight gain for the past four years and advise her? Come on!

With her being a weight loss expert in some respect, how can Oprah miss it without taking actions?

Why didn't Oprah and her team of experts get together and figure out a plan?

As a personal trainer and fitness coach, here is what I think and suggest:

1. You have to do your pushups for yourself.
This is one of the mottos I cite in my training principles . YOU ARE your best trainer. Hiring a personal trainer to "motivate" you or to yell at you like a drill sergeant is just an external force. It works for the short term. As a trainer, I can't do your pushups for you. You have to do them youself if you want to get some values out of it.

2. You have to hold yourself accountable.
Many people hire personal trainers and count on them to do everything they can to help them. It's true that a personal trainer can help people in many aspects in fitness training, weight loss, nutrition education, motivation, etc. But a trainer or coach can't be with you 24/7 to "motivate" you. After two hours of personal training sessions a week, you as a client are ultimately responsible for your own body for the rest of 166 hours of the week. You have to hold yourself accountable for doing cardio exercise, following the eating plan, etc.

3. You have to find your social support and mastermind group.
For Oprah is the queen and sits on top of the celebrity rank, she has to able to continue to find support, inspiration and motivation. She has to to be humble to listen to advice. Her team of experts and advisors should not feel guilty of making suggestions and telling the truth. The audience and fans should truly support her in many ways. You have to find a mastermind group (like-minded people) who are mutually support each other in healthy living habits.

4. You have to set clear goals.
And more importantly, after you reach your goals, you have to continuously set new goals. Many people, including Oprah, set goals in losing weight. The big question after reaching your weight loss goal is that, now that??

Weight maintenace is even more challenging than weight loss. The "before" and "after" testimonials in the advertisements are all very nice. The problem is that most measurements and pictures were taken right after they reached their goals. The success of weight loss should be measured by at least 3 to 5 years far out, not just one day. Studies show that 95% people put the weight back on in a year. So you have to continue to set new goals.

Another key element in goal setting is to ask yourself WHY you want to set these goals. What do you really want out of these goals? You want to bring out the enthuiasm, passion and emotion associated with these goals. They serve as the foundation or source of strength on days when you don't feel like exercising or eating healthy. They help you back on track when you're falling off the wagon.

5. You have to have a working plan to stick with.
A plan is better than none. But a poor plan that you can't stick with won't get you where you want to be. The best plan is the one that you can stick with for the long term in the areas of healthy lifestyle and habit, regular weight training and cardio exercise and balanced nutrition and eating plan.

No plan is perfect. You have to keep track and monitor your progress periodically. Make sensible changes or modifications if needed to support you to reach your goals.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

After Hundreds of Upper Abs and Lower Abs Crunches ...

Yeah, you guess right. You still have no visible abs after hundreds of upper abs and lower abs crunches.

Ab training has been done to death but it's time to take another look. Why? Because people are still training their abs wrong so all that ab training information must not be doing the right job.

Here are top 3 tips about abdominal training that you should know and follow.

1. There's no such thing as spot reducing.
Endless crunches will not melt away the fat from your midsection. It just doesn't work that way. And despite the "burn" of high rep ab exercises, you barely burn any calories while doing those endless crunches. Your fat burning time is best spent elsewhere on more effective cardio training.

2. The Abs are muscles and should be trained as such.
You don't need high reps and lots of sets to work your abs. This just leads to over training. Now, abs are a more endurance oriented muscle so slightly higher reps may be more effective. However, you should keep the reps at 20 or lower and work on increasing the resistance and variety in your training. Yes, you should be increasing the weights on ab exercises, just like your other exercises. The stronger your abs, the better they will look when the fat is stripped away. Ever see a really thin guy with a flat stomach but no abs? In that instance, the abs haven't been trained and aren't developed enough to stand out even when the fat is stripped away.

3. Don't train the abs more than necessary.
Your abs get a lot of indirect work from other exercises so you really won't need more than a couple of hard sets of weighted crunches to work your abs. Your abs are a factor in exercises such as squats, dead lifts, seated or standing presses, dumbbell pullovers, pulldowns, etc.

Next time you work out, do a few hard sets of standing stiff armed pulldowns on the lat machine and tell me your abs aren't sore the next day. If you want to develop a flat stomach with your abs visible, you need to treat your abs the same as your other muscles.

The number of ab machines constantly coming to market is mind boggling. Especially considering that they aren't needed and won't give you the results that you want unless you begin training your abs like regular muscles rather than like a machine that needs 100 reps to get primed up.
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