Monday, October 14, 2013

Start today.

You don't need a certain day like Jan 1, Monday, your birthday or any other special day. These are just tactics to delay what you know you should do. Start right now on your path to transformation. End all of the excuses. Obviously, they don't get anyone anywhere.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

What's the use?

Are you thinking its too late? You figure you have always been big do what is the use. Maybe your parents were big and so I guess you will be, too. Get yourself out of this kind of thinking. Your yesterdays do not have to be your tomorrows. All that needs to happen is you decide to be different than you have been. Take charge of your body and your health. As long as you are alive you can change but once health problems like heart disease creep in its certainly more difficult so don't delay. We are all here for a limited time so don't waste any more of it than you already have. You can do it!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Time excuse

Many people tell me they don't have time to workout. Let me tell you, there will be plenty of free time for you when you are in a hospital bed recovering from heart surgery. If you watch any tv you have time. You just don't want to spend the time. At least admit the real truth. I only ask about 10 hours a week for you to work on yourself. You give your job, your family and even the television more time than that. Put these things aside and make time for you. As much as you may believe that these other items are more important, they are not. If you are sick or dead you are no good to anyone. Make time for you each day.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Is obesity genetic?

I recently read that some doctors are saying there may be an obesity gene. I say, so what? The gene does not drag you to McDonald's. The reason I was big is I ate like a horse. I ate large quantities of the wrong foods and did no exercise. Once I stopped making excuses and started doing the right things for my body, it didn't seem to matter if I had some obesity gene. People are just looking for an excuse outside of themselves instead of looking at the real problem, the man in the mirror. Stop looking for an excuse and start taking action to change your life. Stop eating garbage and start working out. Its really that simple but unfortunately you won't have the convenience of an excuse. You get one chance at life. Use it to your advantage. Excuses get you nowhere.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Workout but not losing weight part 2

The second major cause of working out but not losing weight is a poor diet. You cannot overcome a bad diet with working out even if you spend hours at the gym. Thirty minutes of running burns 400-500 calories approximately. This is maybe two pieces of cheese pizza. A breakfast of doughnuts and expensive coffee can take away all the hard work you put in at the gym. Sure, it's fine to sometimes have a meal of whatever you want. It's the constant poor food choices that lead to a stagnant weight. When your co-workers bring in cookies and brownies to share every day you simply have to decline. If the feelings of these people are hurt, so be it. You have a bigger goal than stroking the ego of the brownie person. Stick to 2200 calories a day for men and 1800 for women on most days if you want to be successful in changing your life.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Workout but not losing weight part 1

People come up and tell me they are working out but not losing weight. They say that working out doesn't work for them. There are several reasons why this might be and I will go into them here. Most involve the person in the mirror. The first reason is your workout is not intense enough. Walking slowly for six minutes three times a week is not an intense workout. If you want to change you need to really get moving. I mean 20-30 minutes of intense workout 5-6 times a week. Intense means when you are done you are soaked with sweat and while you are working out you can't be reading a magazine. You should be working out at 80% and higher of your ability with spurts of 100% intensity. That means pushing yourself maybe harder than you have in decades. At 100% you simply know you can't go any harder. Most people I see don't even come close to this. Your mind gives up way before your body. You must push past the mental block your mind throws up at you when you reach about 60%. Your mind will want to quit but you must continue on. You will be surprised at how much your body can do if you just insist that it comply. Our minds are weak but our bodies are strong. The strength is in us already, we must release it to become what we are destined to be. To reach your destiny you must push yourself. The barriers we have to fitness and success are erected in our mind and can be brought down any time. The physical part of fitness is really the easy part. The hardest part is in our own mind. Push yourself past anyplace you have been. "If you don't faint, puke or die, keep going." --Jillian Michaels

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Excuses

I invite people to workout with me all the time but I am constantly met with excuses.  Some people ask me what I am doing and when I ask them to come with me to the gym I always hear one reason after another why they can/t go.  Do you use any excuses to limit your workouts?  "I have to get sleep."  "I don't get up that early."  "I don't have an alarm clock."  "You workout at what time?"  These time excuses just don't cut it with me.  If you want to be successful, you may have to give up sleep.  Sometimes you may have to go without sleep.  Yes, I said it.  You may only get a couple of hours of sleep sometimes because you have to make a decision that nothing is going to stop you from going to work on yourself.  Do you think there will be time later?  When is later going to get here?  Life is not unlimited and we cannot wait for the time to be just right because it will never be just right. There will always be obstacles in our way as to why we can't do something about ourselves.  The problem is THAT IS WHAT MAKES US FAT. EXCUSES. I ought to know, I used plenty of them myself.  Its not that you don't have the time, its that you won't make the time.  You have to decide that no matter what you will work on yourself every day.  Take care of your body, its the only place you have to live.  Sure its hard to get up and workout.  I would love to sleep in every day and not go to the gym but I know that is not going to keep me healthy.  You aren't any good to anyone if you are sick or dead.  It may be hard to get up and workout but it is really hard to give yourself an insulin injection three times a day and it is really hard to walk when your arteries are clogged.  It is very difficult to be much help to yourself or your family when you have heart disease.  Once these problems creep in it is much harder to get rid of them.  Start today while you still can.  Decide and change.  Lifting weights at the gym is hard but it is much harder to live a life of regret. That weighs on you much more than a dumbell.  Take a look in the mirror and make that change.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Recipe

Here is a recipe for a delicious and low calorie treat you can have anytime. You will need: 1 box of sugar-free instant chocolate pudding mix, Silk light chocolate soy milk, your favorite chocolate protein powder. Mix the pudding according to directions substituting the soy milk for cow's milk. When finished add two scoops of protein powder to the mix. Separate into two freezer and microwave safe containers. Put in freezer overnight. Note: when made with soy milk it will not set up in the refrigerator. When ready to eat just pop the container in the microwave for 90 seconds and enjoy a delicious and protein packed desert that you don't have to feel guilty about eating!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Is obesity a disease?

Recently the American Medical Association classified obesity as a disease. Is it really a disease or did they do this, as they say, to help facilitate insurers to pay for treatment? Let's looks at the definition of "disease" by Dictionary.com: "A disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment." I suppose under that definition obesity is a disease, strictly speaking. The problem of labeling obesity a disease is that people then feel less responsible for being obese. They may say: "I have a disease, what can I do?" Other than seeing a doctor to ensure you are healthy enough to exercise (you probably are), the doctor can't help all that much with your "disease". Most people don't want to face the real truth of their problem. The solution to the overwhelming majority of the cases of obesity is in the mirror of those that have it. We tend to seek outside solutions when the real solution lives within us. The fix is not a pill or surgery or patting someone on the head to tell them "everything will be ok". It won't be ok unless and until you make it ok. You must do the hard work of admitting you are the problem and realizing you are the solution. Do that and you have taken the first step to curing yourself.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

What is success?

Many people believe that success is beating someone at something. Selling more than someone. Having more than the next person. Running faster than the person next to you. I am here to tell you that these are not true success. Success is not being better than the next person, it's about being better than yourself. What other people are doing is no measure of our success. Some people may run marathons every Tuesday but the first time you run three miles you are successful. Each day, each time you attempt something new, something you never have done you become a success. The only way to fail is to not try. Continuously attempting to improve yourself...that is being a success. Keep track of your workouts. Over time, you should strive to increase the weights you lift. Extend the distance you run or ride or swim. Improve on your times, not on the times of the people around you. Work on improvement of yourself on a daily basis. Are you moving toward your goals or away from them? Knowing the answer to that is what will make you a success.

Healthy Snack Alternative

I want to share some of the things I have found to help me reduce calories while still feeling full. Here is the Met-RX mini. Its delicious, needs no refrigeration, costs about 50 cents and can be taken anywhere. They are a great snack on the run. Having these around end the excuse of being hungry and just buying some unhealthy food. Have one to curb cravings between meals or as a small meal replacement bar. I recommend them so give one a try. I think you will like them! Let me know what you think and the things you have found. Together, we can help each other.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Your Weight Matters Convention

The Your Weight Matters annual convention is coming up. Will you be attending? Put on by the Obesity Action Coalition (www.obesityaction.org), attendees will learn that weight really does affect your health in many ways. There will also be proven education on all topics related to health and obesity. This is a welcoming environment with no judgement. After all, that is the last thing you need. Berating someone does not help solve their problem. The convention takes place August 15-18 in Arizona. Will you be there? For more information on this exciting learning experience visit www.ywmconvention.com

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Time for you is not selfish.

So many things seem to draw on our time it can seem selfish to spend any time on ourselves. Our spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend, kids, family, work, pets and friends are just some of the people that want our time. Sometimes we feel bad turning them down so we acquiesce and consequently give less time to ourselves. We convince our own mind this is the right thing to do. After all, we don't want people to think we are a bad person, right? I am here to tell you that if you aren't good to yourself you can't be good to anyone else. Always put yourself first before these other forces. Seem selfish? Did you consider you may he using these people as your own excuse not to exercise? "I don't have time because X person needs me right now." Very convenient for you. In the long run you aren't good to anyone if you aren't good to yourself. How much help will you be to people while you are laid up in the hospital? Give time to yourself first each day. Trust me, these people will find a way to exist without you for an hour. Don't let people steal your time. You will feel much better about yourself when you can put the best of you forward. Take the time you need for you. The most empowering thing you can say to someone is NO. Try it today.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Workout length and controlling your mind

I am asked over and over again how many hours a day I have to spend at the gym to get and maintain the results that I have. The truth of the matter is that I only run for 20 MINUTES A DAY. I average going to workout six days a week. You do not have to plod along for hour after hour on the treadmill to get results. In fact, most people who spend large amounts of time do not get the results that they want. You must work to your full ability. You have to push yourself. Short amounts of high-intensity training are much better than extended bouts of slow training. Your mind gives up long before your body gives up. When your mind says "That's it, I'm tired" you know you are at about 75% of maximum. You need to recognize this and push beyond this limitation. Weight loss is all mental. This is why I tell people that they must take control of their mind before they can take control of their body. It is by far the hardest part of weight loss but it is the only way that the weight will come off and stay off for good. Change your mind, change your body and change your life. You can do it!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Goal Setting

When it comes to accomplishing anything in life there is almost no more powerful thing you can do than setting a goal.  This is of course true of weight loss and fitness as well.  Setting goals is important as it keeps you on track and gives you something to strive for.  Goals though, for them to work, must be several things.  First, they must be specific.  Simply saying "I want to lose weight" or "I want to get in shape" is not a specific goal.  An example of a specific goal would be "I want to lose 50 pounds by Christmas" or "I want to run a 5K without stopping by Labor Day".  These type of specific statements give you a target to hit and are measurable. 
 Second, goals must be realistic.  This means that the goals you choose for yourself must be achievable in the time allowed.  While "I want to lost 50 pounds this month" is specific and measurable, it is not achievable. Setting goals that cannot be accomplished is counter-productive as it will cause you to fail and become discouraged.  Shoot for two to three pounds a week.
Third, goals must be challenging.  "I want to lost 5 pounds by Thanksgiving" is specific and realistic but it is not challenging.  You really won't put any effort into accomplishing this goal because it is not much of a challenge to you.  Make your goals achievable but also challenging.  "I want to run 10 miles without stopping by January 1" would be a specific, realistic and challenging goal for someone who currently does no exercise.  Choose something that will challenge you to push yourself each day to achieve it.
Make some one month, three month, six month and one year goals.  By making different goals for different times you stay motivated to achieve.  As the time passes, review your progress to see where you are doing right and where you are getting off track.  Revise your goals as necessary but be mindful of why you may not be hitting your targets.  Are your goals unreachable or are you simply not putting forth the effort necessary to achieve them?  Be honest with yourself when you answer this question.  Remember, when you cheat on your goals you are only cheating yourself.  Also, what you cheat on in private you wear in public. 
List your goals on a card and post it where you can see it and read it often.  Keep another copy of these goals with you and look at it anytime you get the chance.  By reinforcing these goals in your mind you will find the inner strength to make them happen.
Take some time tonight to set some goals and get started on the road to health and fitness.  The feeling of accomplishment from making your goals happen will be very exhilarating.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

You must have a personal reason.

For any change to stick, you must have a personal reason. Some people only change because of an outside reason and this will not work long-term. Some outside reasons include going on a trip, an upcoming event (wedding, anniversary or such) or being prodded by someone in your life. The problem here is what happens when this event is over? Do you gain the weight back? Leaving obesity behind has to be personal and it must be for the rest of your life. You must look inside yourself and find out why you want to change. If someone is goading you or forcing you to change that certainly won't work. Sure, you may lose weight temporarily but to have any chance of lifetime success you must internalize the change. It must be your reason and yours alone. You must do it only for you. Find the reason you want to change and success will be yours. Use an outside reason and guarantee failure. The choice ultimately is yours. Let me know how you are doing. Facebook: Mark D. Rumps. Twitter: @Cptmark1.  Barbell12@msn.com

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Consistency

The only way in life to accomplish anything is through consistency. It's the same for work or for your health. You must take the actions on a consistent basis that you know will bring you toward your goals. There are any number of books and websites that can show you what to eat and how to exercise. The hardest part for any of us is putting these plans into action and turning them into results. You must, day in and day out, work to be fit. It can't matter if it's raining. It can't matter if it's snowing and -15 out. It can't matter if you are sick and don't feel like getting up. Only you can take the action necessary to change your life. It takes three to four weeks to establish new habits for most people. These first weeks are the most difficult and are when the most people drop out of whatever change they had planned for themselves. I am asking you to not be one of those people. Put in your mind that you are going to change and nothing will stop you. Write that on a card you carry with you and read it often. It may seem silly but this type of reinforcement really works. Getting over the initial shock of change is hard but the changes you make will be very rewarding for the rest of your (longer) life. Use this site as your jumping off point. The Healthy Trucking Association of America is here to help. Yes, it will be hard and take time. I am not telling you it will be easy, I am telling you it will be worth it.  So, stay consistent, day in and day out and results will be yours.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Weight loss surgery

I want to say I am not a doctor nor am I giving medical advice. This is just my opinion of these weight loss surgery procedures. I don't like them. I say no to them. Why? Surgery does nothing to address the cause of obesity. Once you get whichever surgery you choose you will lose weight because they all seem to restrict the amount of food you can eat, especially initially. The question is this: Why don't you just do that yourself? The problem with the surgery is you are still you. You did not address the cause of your problem. Mowing your lawn does not take care of the dandelion problem. You must do the hard work of yanking each one from the ground and reseed with new grass. Only then do you have a solution. It's the same with weight loss. You must do the hard work to find a lasting solution. There is no easy way to anyplace worth going. People may say they have tried everything but this is not the case. You don't try things because you set yourself up for failure. You do things until they are done. In some cases insurance does not cover this surgery. I will tell you this, you can purchase many hours with a personal trainer for what bypass costs. Now, I realize I won't talk many of you out of it. I will say this that it's a great feeling knowing you accomplished this goal with your own hard work and guts. You can succeed but it will take time and it will be difficult. There will be setbacks. Do not give up. Continue on the path to fitness. You can do it!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Holiday eating

It's a Holiday weekend. Many people may go to gatherings, picnics or just in general are out thus weekend. Unfortunately, much of the food available is unacceptable. You should plan ahead for this. If you know what will be available, make a mental note of what you will eat and stick to it. If you are unsure of the offerings, pack a meal replacement bar or two to take with you. I like the Met-RX Big 100 bar. It's about $2 and comes in a variety of flavors. If you have this with you there will be no excuse to eat the garbage food in the area. Worst case scenario is simply don't eat until later. I would rather you ate nothing than eat the poison so many others are eating. Would you put water in your car if no gas was available? Use this same thinking about your mouth and don't use your stomach as a dumpster. Finally, be sure to drink at least a gallon of water a day and more if you are spending time outdoors. Some days I drink two gallons. Yes, two gallons. It will help you feel full as well as keeping your internals flushed. Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Five exercise excuses and how to avoid them.

1. I don't have time. This is always the most common excuse I hear and the one I used most as well. Simply put, you do have time. You make time to workout. Do you watch tv? Use that time to workout instead of rotting your brain away. There is not much good on anyway. Do you surf the internet? Some studies show people surf as much as two hours per day. Use that time to workout your body instead of your thumbs. The truth of the matter is we make time for the things that are important to us. Be sure to make time every day to take care of yourself.

2. Getting fit costs too much. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on workout gear. I get my workout clothes from the Goodwill store. For under $10 I am ready. Joining a gym is also optional. You can get plenty fit just by using the items around you. Your own body weight leveraged correctly will be plenty to help you start to change your life.

3. I feel self concious/everyone is watching me. This one is a little tougher. You must get over the fact that some people may actually be watching you. I say so what? Let them watch you. You are trying to make healthy changes to your body that may just prolong your life by years or even decades. It could turn out that you become the inspiration to someone so they can start on their own life changing fitness journey. No matter, either way you must continue even if a crowd gathers to watch you. You are there for you. Let nothing stop you.

4. I have done diets/fitness and it doesn't work for me. If I locked you in a room and didn't feed you, you would lose weight. Therefore, eating less DOES work when you actually do it. When you don't eat the foods you know you should eat and you skip your workouts of course they don't work. You may cheat in private but you wear the results of that in public. Eating less and moving more does work when you do it consistently over time. When you cheat, you are only cheating yourself. Fitness is like a marriage, you can't cheat on it and expect it to work.

5. I am too heavy/too out of shape to workout. Believe it or not, I hear this quite often. I would ask you how you expect to get in shape enough to workout with this kind of reasoning? Everyone starts somewhere. Maybe you can't do much because you are really out of shape but you can do something. If you can pass a DOT physical and drive you can do some exercise. As drivers our job is so sedentary we must be mindful to move our bodies to stay in shape. The job itself contributes to being out of shape so we have to work hard to counteract this. You may not be ready to run a 5K but you can move more than you are. Do what you can, where you are with what you have. You will be surprised how little time it will take to feel better.

Until our next meeting, be safe and healthy out there.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Effort equals results

In anything we do, we must make an effort. The amount of effort you put in will give you results. Just today at the gym a person was bemoaning the fact that they come every day and have only lost a few pounds this year. I watched this person exercise and I will tell you they are not putting in enough effort. They were not even sweating. You must give it all you have. Whatever 100% for you is, you must give it. To achieve anything you must be willing to give everything. Now, I don't know if you really push yourself. I will say this, if you are not seeing any results then you are not pushing yourself hard enough. You may want to hire a trainer just for an hour to get an objective idea of what you are doing. Any good trainer will do this. If the workout does not challenge you it will not change you. Only you know if you are working out to your fullest. If you are not getting results, you probably aren't.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Don't quit

It is important to not quit. There will be times you want to. There will be issues in your life and things happen where you just want to give up. I am telling you to keep going. Stay the course. It is much more difficult to start over than to keep going. Once you make the decision to change your life let nothing stand in your way. Excuses are what make us obese. Putting away those excuses and just getting to the work we know we need to do is what will make us fit. Remember, don't quit!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fit menu may not be so fit. Watch and order carefully.

Any driver who stays away from home more than a night or two is certain to have visited a truck stop restaurant at some point.  Some driver enjoy the camaraderie if sitting at the counter recalling stories of the glory days of trucking.  Apparently, the current glory days do not include a long life span.  The Centers for Disease Control reports the average life expectancy of a truck driver is 61 years.  Worse, an OOIDA study says the average age of death of their members is 55.7!  This may be due to a number of factors but the underlying statistics are alarming.  While you are at the counter reminiscing about that time when nine drivers pulled over to help you change a flat, lets get a little closer look at the menu.
Many truck stops no matter if it is their own restaurant or and outside company have some type of "healthy" or "fit" symbol or icon to indicate that the item is either less fat or less calories or some such thing.  I generally recommend ordering from these items but use caution here.  I found a chicken breast sandwich on one of these menus that was fried and included your choice of coleslaw or french fries.  Just because you are eating chicken does not make a dish a healthy option.  When ordering something like this, stick with grilled and always ask for a whole-grain bun.  Also, just say no (apologies to Mrs. Reagan) to the french fries.  Ask if you can substitute a fruit or vegetable plate.  Remember, it should not be an imposition for the restaurant to do this for you.  They are in business to serve you, the customer.
 With all the menu choices sometimes it may seem easier to just take a trip to the buffet.  Make that the soup and salad bar and we have a deal.  One soup and one salad.  Get the broth based soup, like vegetable or barley (the favorite of my wife).  A salad should be as colorful as possible.  Fill up here, make a huge salad of all the colors available.  Find the low-calorie dressing and get a small amount of this in a cup on the side.  You can dip your salad in your side dressing. 
Many fish items are baked but you should ask the wait staff how the fish is prepared.  It can be baked on a plain sheet or many establishments will bake in oil (ostensibly to maintain moisture).  This simple question can be a 500 calorie difference.  If the person serving you does not know the answer, make them go ask the cook.  Its your health we are talking about here.
As we see, simply choosing the "fit" item may not be enough.  In fact, I consider some of these menus to be outright fraud.  In the final analysis, it is up to us to be sure of what we are putting in our bodies.  Ask questions and continue to ask until you get the answer you are seeking.  Make better choices every day toward your goal of living healthy.  Don't become just another statistic for the CDC to record.  Until next time, Healthy Trucking!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Keeping a positive mindset.

When you start any new task, it's easy to be positive.

People cheer you on and the days go quickly. As time passes, though, our upbeat attitude can wane. It is in those moments that the rubber meets the road. When your job or other obligations seem to keep you from exercising your mind can turn sour. It is so important to remain positive during these downturns. You must continue moving towards your goals no matter what stands in your way.

As you become more fit from what may have been decades of being unhealthy, those same friends and family that supported you could slowly turn against you. Your success points out their failures. No matter the obstacle or no matter if anyone supports you, you continue for yourself. The only way fitness will take hold is doing it for you and no one or nothing else.

If you change to satisfy someone else it will never stick, it has to be for you and for it to work you must remain positive.

As you see, changing our body is dependent on changing our mind. A positive mindset will do wonders for fitness. Your body goes where your mind takes it. It will follow down a dark path or one lit with light and wonder. Take time each day to think of all of the positive benefits being healthy will bring to you and those who care about you. Go online to read motivational people and websites (start with this one).

Head to the library or grab your device and download a positive book to keep you upbeat. Drum the negativity of much of the world from your mind and your life. The more positive you are the more you attract positive energy to you. Like a snowball down a hill, this positive energy as well as your fitness will build over time.

Start today and always be positive!

Five easy changes that can make a difference.

5 small changes that will make abig difference. It's hard to be healthy on the road but here are 5 easy things you can do that will improve your health without hurting your wallet.

1. Get the hose.

Instead of that soda filled with sugar, drink water instead. This is true for diet soda due to the fact that it is filled with artificial sweeteners that aren't good for your body (depending on which study you refer to). Be sure to drink at least a gallon of water per day (yes Gallon). You may notice you will need to use the bathroom more often at first but this will subside over time. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to stretch every few hours. Park in the back and walk in.

2. Get your fiber.

Getting at least 25 grams of fiber per day will keep you feeling full and keep things, um... moving. Some studies suggest a high-fiber diet may help lower cholesterol. Try Ole brand Extreme Wellness tortilla shells available at many stores. They are low in carbohydrates, come in several flavors, under 100 calories each and have 9 grams of fiber per shell. They are under $3 for a pack of eight.

3. Stop clowning around with fast food.

Many drivers tell me all they have to eat fast food because that is all that is available or they need to get in and get out. This is simply not the case. For the same $5 you spend, try 4 peeled hard-boiled eggs ($2), two bananas ($1), one stick of cheddar ($1), a high-fiber shell from number two above and fill your travel mug with ice water. This is under $5 and will take you no longer than standing in line at the quick-serve hamburger restaurant.

4. I need some bread, man.

White bread has little redeeming value. They have to add vitamins to it due to all of the highly-processed ingredients. If you must have bread, look for bread labeled "100% whole grain". This is different than "whole grain". Whole grain bread has whole grains as part of the ingredients but perhaps a very small part and the rest may be processed grains. 100% whole grain is made only with whole grains and leaves the processed grains out and so should you. Use bread sparingly and try to stay under a loaf a week.

5. Sweets for sweet. Most of us like our desserts.

For you it might be chocolate or maybe cake or pie. No matter, I think everyone knows that there are many calories and not much else. Still, we can't just live on tree branches and twigs. So, once a week treat yourself to a regular-sized Snickers bar. They aren't terrible as they have peanuts to give you some protein and good fats. Otherwise try to cut back.

I have had enough of obesity

When I started driving at the age of 21, the difficulties driving puts on your body was not on my mind. Fast-forward 3 million miles and I was a different person. I was at a driving job where I did not even open the doors, just drop and hook. I would eat fast food every day and when I would go home, I just sat around. This type of life led to taking 4 different medications a day for high blood pressure.

Blotchy skin, 44 pants, 2XL shirts and no energy despite sleeping nine hours a night became my life.

Being barely able to walk across the parking lot without having to rest or break out into a sweat was challenging. I went to get new pants and noticed that 44 happened to be the largest size carried at the store.

I knew I had to do something or learn to make my own clothes. I realized how ridiculous my size was.

There was no reason to be that big.

I finally decided: "Enough!"

Between the medications, the headaches and lack of energy, I had made my decision. I would change my life and get healthy and fit. Medications only mask the symptoms. Many people told me I would have a heart attack the first time I got on a treadmill. You know what, I was going to have a heart attack if I DIDN'T get on a treadmill.

Once you realize deep down inside that the way you look and feel is totally in your control you can begin to change your life. A year from now the time will have passed no matter what you do. Will you be proud of your choices? Start today with the first step: DECIDE.