So January of last year I joined 24 hour fitness and booked a couple of sessions with a trainer. I said, “I want to put my head over Brad Pitt’s body”. You know how he responded…so LA! He said, “ from which movie?”. I told him I didn’t care which movie…any Brad Pitt movie!!!!
So I began a process that would lead to a complete physical transformation. Now I grew up as a chubby kid and you never forget that. It took me till 11tth grade to lose my “baby fat”. I remember all those early years when my mother would take me to get clothes. The guy in the men’s department would look me up and down…or up and AROUND..more like it…and then there’d be this pause. I knew it was coming but I prayed that he wouldn’t say those words I’d grown up to hate and fear…But inevitably he’d look at her and say with a grave tone in his voice, “He’ll need a HUSKY ma’am”.
No,, anything but a HUSKY!!!
HUSKY was the clothing manufacturer’s euphemism that really meant…”YOU’RE TOO FAT FOR REGULAR CLOTHES”. Instead of having a real waist, the dreaded Husky brand had an elastic waistband that s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d for all the extra flab I was packing. But by 11th grade I grew a few inches and started running a bit. Of course I didn’t grow as many inches as I was supposed to. My doctor from 8th grade and on kept telling me “you’ll shoot up in February!”. He just didn’t tell me which February.. Well, I’m still waiting …as February approaches…you never know?? By 12th grade I lost weight and pretty much stayed in decent shape for years, but I always wanted to get a real flat stomach and yes….Abdominals, the ab muscles women love so much..the abs you can actually see! For me the incentive was for both career and for personal reasons. I’ve decided that i really want to meet my true soul mate and start a family so…I want to look as good as possible and be in great physical shape to be able to run after some kids!
O.k.,,enough…let’s get to some of my SECRETS to getting in shape in 2012, so let me share what worked for me this past year in 2011.
SECRET #1 –Make the goal to get in shape and get the body you want over a realistic amount of time. Don’t go into it and listen to all the hyped up ads that tell you you’ll be ripped in 90 days. It can happen but chances are it won’t and that might discourage you. So decide that it will take time and that you’re going to ENJOY the process and get comfortable with seeing results GRADUALLY! It took me about 6-7 months before I saw a dramatic change but I enjoyed the process.
SECRET #2 – Have the courage to GO PUBLIC. That means sending out an email or facebook notification and let people know what your plan is. Once you do this you become…yes, here’s that word.. ACCOUNTABLE! You have people who will hold you to your word. You may even have fun and do a weekly update or by announcing your goal you may attract someone who wants to share the goal with you! For me, I went public by telling the trainer exactly what I wanted and asked him to hold me to my “Brad Pitt” agenda!
SECRET #3 – HIRE A TRAINER!
This is another way to make sure that you follow through. As my amazing trainer JACOB HOFFMAN (fitness manager of Glendale Super Sport 818-247-4334) recognized about me from the start, I didn’t need to have a trainer work with me all the time. Rather, I needed him to design a program for me to follow by myself for 6-8 weeks. Then we’d meet and he’d design a new program for me to follow. But be aware of who you are. If you know you need a trainer just to show up, then book him/her at least for the first 6 weeks so you’re forced to follow through. I met Jacob first at 24 hour fitness in West LA, He’s since been promoted to manager at 24 Super Sport in Glendale..yes, Glendale. But he’s so good, I trek all the way out to Glendale to work with him every 6-8 weeks. At 24 hour fitness they have trainer packages and I’m sure they have them at most gyms. Jacob is amazing and the first trainer who ever helped me figure out exactly what worked for me and what didn’t. For example, I’d gone to a few trainers before and they all said in big booming voices, “MORE CARDIO”. And I kept telling them that when I did a lot of cardio I gained weight rather than lost. It was only after working with Jacob consistently did he realize that yes, I knew my own body and that we had to cut down on intense cardio and just integrate some cardio into my weight training. This leads to the next secret….
SECRET #4 – BE CONSISTENT – work consistently with you trainer
The reason why I’ve gotten some amazing results is because I KEPT WORKING with my trainer CONSISTENTLY. This gave him the time to help me figure out what worked for me and what didn’t. He even got me wearing the right workout shoes, as he used to sell them, so he knows exactly what to recommend. (By the way, here’s the best discount website for good running shoes, try out runningwarehouse.com ) One of the biggest and best things Jacob did was force me to write down everything I was eating. The he put me on the best diet ever!
SECRET #5 – TRY THIS DIET
So what’s the amazing diet? I’m sure you heard it before but for me it really worked and continues to kick butt! You eat 6 smaller meals each day instead of 3 big ones. Depending on your weight, at least for guys, you eat the grams of protein equal to your body weight. So for me I have 6 meals of 25 grams of protein with a healthy carb with each meal….i.e. egg whites and a small bowl of oatmeal, 25 grams of chicken or turkey and a whole wheat pita, 25 grams of a good quality protein ISOLATE in a shake with an apple or small bowl of veggies, etc. I eat a lot of ground white meat turkey and I love it! You’re not supposed to eat for 3 hours before you go to sleep. When you eat 6 meals you do feel less hungry, except when it’s right around “feeding time”. My body’s used to this diet now and I feel way more consistent energy throughout the day, except for the 15 minutes before the next feeding, but I guess that’s normal? Also, give yourself one day to cheat. Don’t go crazy but allow yourself a day to have things you normally wouldn’t and some of the things you crave. The cool thing is that I’m eating MORE on this diet than I ever did before.
SECRET #6 – DO you own research on healthy foods and supplements
Jacob got me on BCAA’s, branched chain amino acids…very healthy whey protein isolate for shakes, and I did my own research and now use D-Ribose, L-Carnitine, resveratrol, a good multivitamin….and my big recent discovery is…drum roll please….BEE POLLEN which is nature’s super food, I use 2 teaspoons a day, one before and one after a workout or just twice a day. I order my bee pollen so far from www.livingtreecommunity.com I also use ginseng tea, the real stuff that you get them to cut into slices for in China town. Get American ginseng NOT Korean ginseng. Just boil a few slices in water and drink a cup of tea or two a day. Great for energy and for building your immune system. I also drink Acai juice and…I DISCOVERED THE MOST AMAZING WATER ON THE PLANET! It’s called REAL WATER, www.drinkrealwater.com. They have a proprietary system of alkalizing the water and not only does it taste AMAZING, but I had someone do kinesthetic muscle testing on me to determine that the water is actually healthier for me than most other waters. (we compared it to 5 others) So if you’re going to work out and you want SUPER HYDRATION then try REAL WATER. It kicks and helps you get through the workouts when you’re tired or less than 100% motivated (who me?).
Also feel free to discover websites that will send you free updates on the latest developments in eating and exercise; two I like are Christopher Guerriero www.energfactor.tv and Alex Ortner www.rawfor30days.com/FMM-David-Wolfe
So.. the bottom line is that you need to commit to yourself. I can’t tell you how much confidence it’s given me going in to auditions feeling like a lean, mean machine. I’m still not 100% there, but I’m pretty close and in a month or so I’ll post a picture of my new abs…I’m not going to lie and tell you that it hasn’t been challenging, but it’s been so rewarding. You look at yourself and realize that YOU DID IT. And you realize if you can do that, then you CAN DO ANYTHING! Woohoo!
But of course there were times when my trainer is giving me a tough workout and I find myself praying that a giant bolder falls from the ceiling and crushes him to death..or at least pins him down and knocks him unconscious so I don’t have to struggle through the last killer sets and repetitions. Or that feeling that I can somehow ask him another ridiculous question to distract him…so I can get just a little more recovery time before the next set…But he’s onto me…and I’m guess I’m glad that he is!
As actors we want to be and look our best and FEEL our best. It’s not just about how you look but because our profession is so crazy and stress filled, it’s great to be in good physical shape and also have the gym as a de-stressor! And when you’re in better shape your immune system handles the stress better, so you get sick less!
So here’s to a healthy, happy, loving, abundant, peaceful and AMAZING year….
…yes, to 2012, the YEAR OF THE ABDOMINALS!!!