For the month of June, we asked Matt to tell us about how his mentality has changed and how his mindset shifts have impacted his journey. Here's what he had to say:
I’m so proud to say that I’ve been doing the WIlCOX program for more than six months!! I’m definitely over the hump in terms of training, but it’s not all downhill from here. I don’t want things to go downhill- I want to go up, up, and beyond! I'm so far into this now that I actually want to go to the gym, I want to get into better shape, and I want to work out hard! Even when I get sore, I power through.
Over time, it has become easier to get myself to the training sessions and I look forward to going to the gym most days. About ninety percent of the time, I sign up for training the week before so I am ready. If something comes up at work and I can’t get out on time, I can cancel and reschedule for a later session. The flexibility is awesome and helps me so much! It fits into my lifestyle and work schedule, so going to the gym is less of a hassle, which I believe is half the battle.
Does training get easier? Nope! I still struggle at the gym, sometimes due to physical limitations, but also the mental aspect. At one point, I remember asking myself, “Why am I doing this to myself? This is killing me.” When I started thinking that way, I went back to an assignment they had us do in the beginning- I wrote down the reasons I choose to go to the gym and do this program. It helped me remember why I’m doing this and it motivated me to keep plugging away.
There are still times when work has been a grind and it feels much harder to muster up the energy and motivation to go. I sometimes start thinking “I’m too tired” or “I don’t feel well” or “I just don’t want to go.” I hope I’m not the only one that feels that way. In terms of mindset, one of the biggest things that I’ve learned is that I can overcome those negative thoughts. I make myself go to the gym anyways and I am always so glad I did!
The last piece that I have to work on is my healthy eating habits. I know I can still do so much better and be a great success story if I can get this down pat. Usually, when I set my mind to something, I can do it, but healthy eating has been the hardest part of my journey. I am constantly trying to remind myself to watch what I’m eating and make healthier choices.
One of my trainers said something about nutrition that really stuck with me and that I try to remind myself. Feeding yourself should be like feeding a fire. Stoke the fire several times during the day with just a few pieces of wood. Don’t overfill the stove or stuff it to its capacity, as this will suffocate it. Just add a little fuel at a time, several times a day, and your fire will burn clean all day!
For the month of May, we asked Matt to tell us about how his eating habits have improved, what's in his healthy grocery cart, and what he has learned along the way. Here's what he had to say:
Let’s talk about one of my favorite subjects: food. Like most people, I really enjoy good food. Through my time at WILCOX, I have learned to love grocery shopping, meal prepping, and I have even learned to love healthier foods. I no longer order out as often as I did and I am eating and cooking more whole foods now than I ever have before. I have to say, compared to when I first started, my eating habits are a lot better and I am more aware of what I am putting into my body.
Since my eating habits have changed, I have had to make some adjustments in the way I cook. When I first started, there were dishes everywhere after I was done cooking (I don’t know about you, but I hate doing dishes!) and I had a TON of leftovers. Living alone makes it really easy to cook way more than I should eat in one sitting and some stuff just does not do well reheated the next day. So I knew I had to make a big change in my meal prep and learn how to cook the appropriate amount of food for one person. That was a challenge for me, at first, because I had been cooking and living a certain way for so long and because I hate doing dishes, so I was ordering takeout more than I should. To combat both issues, I have started utilizing the one-pot system for most of my cooking, making food that I can repurpose, and firing up my grill in the summer AND winter!
By cooking food that I can get multiple uses out of, I don’t get too bored and I spend less time in the kitchen cooking and doing dishes. I don’t like to eat the same exact meal multiple times in a row, though, so I use it in different ways. For example, I cook chicken on the grill and eat it as grilled chicken, then make it into a stir-fry the next day, and then chicken salad the day after. Similarly, I will cook hamburg on the grill for a burger and then make tacos with the leftovers. I love using the grill, not only because it means less dishes, but also less fat on my food because some can drain off.
Another really great addition to my diet is vegetables, which I use in many different ways. On the grill, I like to have asparagus, squash, corn, or mushroom caps. In sandwiches, tacos, burgers, one-pot stews, and stir-fries, I’ll use carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, and onions. I have a salad at least twice a week, and I love to use raw vegetables as snacks. When I first started buying vegetables, I bought more than I could use and some would go bad in my fridge. Now, I take advantage of using frozen vegetables, too, and try to buy only what I know I’ll use to minimize waste.
Not only do I eat more vegetables now, but I also eat more fruits. My favorites are cherries, oranges, apples, and bananas (I eat one banana every day). Sometimes, I even cut up a pineapple to add flavor to my recipes. I also use spices to add lots of flavor- mostly Old Bay, sriracha, garlic, and ginger root. To add a nice touch on top of vegetables or salmon, I’ll even add a small drizzle of maple syrup.
Overall, I'm eating a lot better than I used to and really enjoying it!
Do you want to start changing your nutrition habits and changing your life like Matt has? Click here to schedule a phone call and get started today!
For the month of April, we asked Shelley and Matt to write about their small victories since they have started with us. We wanted to know what they have been noticing about themselves, what has changed, and how they have been feeling since embarking on this health and wellness journey.
Here what Matt has to say about small victories:
Well first off, I will say that after 5 months of being in this program that my life as I once knew it, has changed! I have noticed some subtle and some not so subtle changes during my time here. “WOW!” Is really what comes to mind when I think of some of the changes that I have seen! WILCOX is definitely a body shaping and life changing facility!
I remember asking right after I first started working out, “Is this ever going to get easier?” and the answer from my trainer was “No, if it did we would not be doing our job. We just make it tougher, make you stronger.” Well that certainly has happened! Since becoming stronger I have been adding more reps into my warm up - instead of 10, I do 20 on some of the exercises and my time on the elliptical has improved. I also find that the sit-ups that were once extremely hard to do at first are becoming easier to do than before, and I can do more!
Over the past 5 months, I have met a few goals and experienced a few victories. For me what worked was setting smaller goals and work toward reaching them in a time frame that I set. Now these goals might seem small to some people but to me they were HUGE. These were goals that I was never able to be consistent with, like making sure I get to the gym when I am supposed to so I can get my workout in and eat better. But I have been able to do that and keep up with it and to me that is a huge victory! I find my energy is up and I look forward to going to the gym, and no longer dread it. That is a win-win for me.
Another small victory for me is that my belt is now almost all the way tightened to the last hole! That is a far better place to be than where I once was… on the second or third hole from the other end!
One of the biggest victories that I have noticed is that my physical stamina has come a long way! Granted I am still winded and sweating my butt off every time I leave a workout session. But I noticed I am getting more and more reps in and choosing to reach for the heavier weights to challenge myself. I leave WILCOX with a sense of accomplishment and I know I am getting stronger! I also feel that things are improving in other parts of my life as well, outside of the gym. I notice that I am standing longer than I have in the past without my legs getting sore and I’m moving a lot more at work and at home.
The best victory of all though is my change in my mindset. Just knowing that I am doing this and I plan to keep on going is huge for me. I will not quit. My peers at the gym and my trainers will not let me and I will not let them down!! What a great family I have found here; owners, trainers, and all the amazing people I workout with have been a part of my victories! When you workout and eat healthy, you can get in better shape and get more ‘wealthy’ with your experiences with family and friends, and that is a huge victory!
Here I am 4 months into this program and as I sit here writing this I realize I am 35 lbs down from when I started. I can truly say I am seeing the inches fade way and that is quite the inspiration to keep on rolling! But that is not the only thing I have noticed! Since I have started this program, I have noticed some incredible things!
1. I notice that I miss the gym and my routine when I’m away from it.
I went on vacation for 2 weeks to sunny Florida. (Although my vacation involved yard work and not sitting on a beach!) I was getting some good physical exercise in and plenty of sweat - 85 degrees plus on most days! - pheww! While it was nice to get away, I noticed that I missed my routine and going to the gym. So I made an effort to do things while I was away to try to make sure that I did not totally go without doing some physical activity. I kept up with yard work, watched what I ate for the most part, and did pushups, squats, and a few other exercises I learned from WILCOX. To be honest, I was afraid of stepping backwards in this ”new life regimen” if I strayed too far from it so I did what I could to the best of my ability.
"After my vacation was up, I never thought I would be so happy to get back to the gym and my routine!"
2. I notice my WILCOX family has become an inspiration and motivation for me.
The best thing I’ve noticed that motivates me and gives me inspiration more than anything (even more than losing the inches and weight), are the people and trainers at WILCOX. I have met so many people that are so nice, so helpful, and so encouraging. It totally blows me away! You see I am a people person, and the power of kindness is undeniable. I try to be good to everyone and by doing that, you see them all respond back with niceness. I love how I talk to a lot of people at WILCOX and they talk to me. Some on a first name basis, others not, but we see each other weekly- sometimes more than we see some of our own family! We all say “hi”, we all high-five each other at the end of the workout, we all put out the best we can and work our butts off to accomplish our individual goals. Talk about inspiration! I look at the group at the end of our workout and see how hard everyone has worked, each and every one of us. But all-in-all the people, the trainers, and even the owners, are all a part of this inspirational family. One that I am proud to be a part of! To know I have made new friends and family at WILCOX is such a bonus!
3. I notice that we all have our own goals, but we also all share the same goal of wanting to live a healthier life.
Before I first started I thought most people there would already be in great shape and were working out because they enjoyed it, and that their goals would be very different from mine. But after getting started I was surprised at how many people from all walks of life come to WILCOX to workout and why they go there. I have known some of these people for years and surprisingly did not even realize that they came to WILCOX until I started here! People of all ages and professions, whose paths might never cross outside of the gym, come here and workout together and become part of this special group working towards their individual goals and a common goal. Whether it be to run a race, to lose weight and inches, or to just be able to play with their grandbabies a little longer, we all put out 100% to achieve our common goal of ultimately living healthier lives. This truly drives me and I feed off of my fellow gym goers and their energy. It inspires me to try to be healthier, to do more pushups, to hit harder and with better form in boxing, to push my cardio, to slam the ropes harder, to do more crunches, to try more reps, to push myself harder, and to strive to accomplish more every time I go to the gym! My WILCOX family does this magical thing for me called INSPIRATION!
4. I notice that this experience is unlike any other gym experience I have ever had.
The trainers at WILCOX are amazing, both old and new, each and every one of you look to keep us motivated and going. I have trained with all the trainers here now, even the owner, and I will tell you nothing compares to the leadership we get. I can’t help but feel inspired, when I hear my trainer telling me “You’re doing great” and calling me by my name as I’m working out. That really boosts my motivation!! That inspires me to give them more, dig deeper, and go further than I ever had before. So here’s to you Mike, Katie, Nick, and Adam! Keep up the good work! It keeps me striving to give you guys more! And Paige and Katie Rey, thank you for talking to me 5 months ago and getting me motivated to start this challenge! Without that inspiration you gave me to try this, who knows where I would be, but I guarantee - it would not be here, not feeling as good as I am right now!!
To all of you, you make this place feel like I’m part of a family. Thank you all so very much!!
Wow! How time flies when you are having fun!
I want to touch on something that I noticed: If I am not diligent on getting to the store on the weekend and taking the time to prep my meals, it can lead to a disaster for my week. Initially I thought the nutrition side was going to be easy, but I may “eat” my words on this. It is fairly easy to understand the “whole food“ aspect but if you don’t have time to implement it by making time to get to the store to get the essentials and then preparing the food... Uh oh watch out.
I realized very quickly that I need to make time to go get my groceries, just like I make time to go to the gym - both are equally important.
For breakfast, I drink a Mojo and have a smoothie every morning. The key for me again, is to make time to go to the store. No morning mojo or smoothie if you don’t have the ingredients. When you don’t have the ingredients or the time to make healthy meals, it can be so easy to reach for something fast and unhealthy.
I learned that firsthand! By not having fresh veggies or fruit, or any whole foods on hand to eat, it’s very easy to slide into the old habit of ordering a pizza at night; which used to be my staple about 3 to 4 times a week. In the last 12 weeks, I have only ordered 2 small pizzas, so I will still take that as a win.
I will say that when I follow the nutrition I feel a lot better! I can tell you that I have noticed the “bloat” go away, I am not retaining my water as much, and my energy levels are coming back, and yes the weight is starting to come off slowly. When I introduce sugars, ahhh not so good, my energy levels go down, my workouts are harder to attend, and I can’t give the 100% that I need to be giving.
So I am making it a point to get to the store each week and make my food the night before. My food game is back on and I am going to WIN!! Will I slip again? Maybe, but I know the effects it has on me, so I will try to stay diligent as possible.
Another reason to stay on track? Well it was brought to my attention by one of my trainers, and I guess I did not really pay attention to it, but my recuperation time to get my breath back during workouts is getting shorter!
I am getting stronger. I am getting healthier. One step, one day at a time.
Stay healthy and be safe!
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As I am writing this, I am sitting here thinking about my last month, boy what a whirlwind, time flies when you are busy and having fun!! Now has it all been fun? Not exactly but it has been interesting and rewarding both at the same time.
Ok down to business, the workouts are simply amazing, first off every time you go to a session you never know what is going to happen, the coaches/trainers are always changing things up, I don’t think I have done any one exercise twice in the months that I have gone. (Mind you I am on week 8.) Some exercises in the class yes, I have done, but mostly the classes as a whole are always different!! There is something to be said for that, you never get bored to say the least, and you work different muscle groups all the time.
Sneak a peak at one of my training sessions:
There are some areas of my muscles that I have serious issues with, but I find that these areas challenge me more and give me more drive to overcome the lack of muscle. I will admit that it is sometimes embarrassing to me to think that I cannot do some of these exercises, but the environment that this family provides does not make you feel that way at all, as a matter of fact, I can vividly remember one session, where I was doing something that was not real comfortable for me and right at the start of doing this I said, “I’m going to give this my all”, it was a tough session, I kept on going as best I could and the rest of the people in the session started to cheer me on!!
I looked and they were all cheering and clapping! What a great sense of accomplishment this gave me. The best part is we are a team and here to help each other, keep in mind this was a training session that I had not done before and some of the people did not even know me.
I left that day knowing we are all family here and that is so inspiring.
Overall I am enjoying my time and feeling better! Not as good as I am hoping to get, but better, a whole lot better than 8 weeks ago, I am doing a lot of things that I found was either very hard or almost impossible to do 8 weeks ago! Small steps one training session after another.
I will get in shape and conquer this! I got this with the help of my Wilcox family!
Enjoy be happy and live healthy!
Health and Fitness is no joke - Take it from a clown