Biggest Loser Emails

Initial email:

Some of you were tested today and that’s great, but if you weren’t, no worries – Just get in as soon as you can to have that done. We will need before pictures too, so make sure you wear something that you would like to be wearing in the after picture as well, because both pictures should be in the same outfit.

Please start keeping a diary of your food eaten because this will be the easiest way for us to recommend customized tweaks and suggestions to make this an enjoyable experience for you (instead of the traditional restrictive “diets” that you might be used to).

Our first “Pow Wow” will be this coming Sunday at 4 pm in the Alki club. No problem if you can’t make it, because I will be recording it so you can watch it later, but being there and part of the “Tribe” for these “Pow Wows” is extremely helpful. Plus, I’ll have yummy fat burning snacks there for those who do show up.  😉

Your first step is to read over the tips and tricks page here: https://xgym.com/biggestloser/inside-tips/  Let me know if you have any questions, but this info will get you started out strong, on the right foot!

Your trainers and I are here to help, so make sure you use us often for guidance and advice. This is more than just a contest among other X Gym ers. You get special treatment and extra attention too!

We will also have weekly challenges, and the one for this week is to drink half your bodyweight (in pounds) of water (in ounces). It’s the honor system here, so make sure I know if you did this every day, starting tomorrow and going through Sunday. If not, no problem, you just won’t qualify for the weekly prize.

Other challenges will have one winner and some more than one (like his one), but each will be different, ranging from a physical challenge, to a mental one, or of course, a nutrition challenge.

Stay strong and start losing!

Email 2:

Please use http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ for your food log instead of logging on through the X Gym website which is actually the Club – OS software we are leasing. Club – OS is sucking big time right now for scheduling and food logging, so I’m trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on. They are making changes to their system and it’s totally messing ours up, so we will be completely switching companies soon, but until we get the switch completed, we will have to usemyfitnesspal.com.

We may actually stick with myfitnesspal.com even after the switch, because they have a bigger food database anyway, it’s free, and it’s pretty easy to use.

If you are already using another food journaling program (like fitbit.com), feel free to stay with what you’re using.

If an online food log isn’t realistic, then you can just use a paper food log and turn in your sheets to me. In any case, what I really need to see is the specific food (or something that’s pretty close to it if you can’t find it in the database of the program you are using), the amount you ate, and the order in which you ate the food through the day. I also need to see how much water and other liquids that you’re drinking, so be sure to record all those too.

Recording of the Pow Wow on 1/12/14 (cued up to start when the pertinent/educational information began):

Email 3:

Hey Biggest Losers,

We had two winners from last weeks challenge: Jamelah and Kit! Congrats! They both get an official X Gym branded headband, that’s also an ear warmer. I know Jamelah and Kit will both find good use for these, because they are both skiers.

This week’s challenge is to see how far you can get in 3 minutes on the following machines:

For Kirkland, it’s the Versa Climber.

For Alki, it’s the Jacobs ladder.

Whoever gets the farthest in three minutes, wins for this week. You can try it as many times as you want as well, and then just email me your best number by this coming Sunday.We will be coming back to this contest later, so even if you don’t think you can get the farthest of anyone, you will still want to participate. I’ll explain why later…

We had a great meeting on Sunday at the Alki X gym. For those of you who missed it there’s a recording posted on this page: http://wp.me/p3pLQh-Nq

You will also notice that page has the past emails which of already been sent out, so for those of you joining the group since those emails were sent out, this will get you up to speed.

Our next group meeting will be on Sunday, Feb 9th at the Kirkland club at 3 pm. Please RSVP so I know how many yummy snacks to bring!

Now it’s time to introduce you to the mind training page! These lessons will help you form new habits, break old habits, assist with struggles, stay motivated, etc. They aren’t listed in any particular order, so just pick the ones you need when you think you need them. When you find one that clicks with you, that’s great – stick with it and get better at it because it’s a skill that will become more effective with practice. If you find that a lesson doesn’t click with you, just move on to another and then come back to that one later because it might click later. Here is the page link and the password is opensesame: https://xgym.com/brain-training/

Lastly, if you still need to be tested, be sure to do that ASAP. If you haven’t had your picture taken yet, mentioned that to your trainer so we can get that done too.

Email 4:

Hey Biggest Losers,

We had two winners for last week’s challenge! Jamelah won for Alki with a distance of 334 feet on the Jacobs ladder and Jenny won for Kirkland with the distance of 192 feet on the Versa climber. This time the prize is an X Gym mug (to be used for green tea sweetened with Stevia of course).  😉

The challenge in 3 weeks will be to break your own record from what you did this week. Whoever beats their own record the most, will win that challenge. Hint: the more you train, the more chance you have to win, so keep doing the challenge as often as you can to increase your distance!

How is the brain training going? Any questions yet? If so, just let me know!

This brings me to the challenge for this week: watch at least 3 brain training videos and email me your favorite of the 3, and why it was your favorite.

Please continue to send me your food logs whenever you want me to check them out and give you some tips. When you are logged in and entering your food into http://www.myfitnesspal.com, the address within your browser at that moment is the address I need to see what you see. Simply copy that address from your browser window and paste it in an email to me. There’s no need to friend me within http://www.myfitnesspal.com (like I previously thought), but if you want to friend me for the social networking aspect of the program, certainly feel free to do so. My username is pjglassey FYI.

Remember that other food log programs are fine too, just send me the links to those as well. Heck, even writing it down on a piece of paper and leaving it for me at the Alki X Gym or  sending it to me as a PDF through email works. Whatever is easiest for you is best for your success, because food logs always increase the chances of success.

As soon as I send out an email to everyone, I will post it on this page, so you can always go back to it for reference: https://xgym.com/biggest-loser-emails/

There are still a couple who haven’t had their BEI tests yet, so just remember that the longer you wait, the less time you have to make progress! Also, if you haven’t had your before picture taken yet, make sure that happens ASAP, because that is a requirement for the “Official” winners (male and female). If you win this contest but don’t have a picture for us to use to brag about you, you will get all the glory, pomp and circumstance either!  😉

Lastly, we are having a Super Bowl party at the Alki X Gym and there are limited slots available, so I wanted to open the opportunity to all of you first, before I opened the opportunity up to the rest of the X Gym membership through the newsletter. I will be sending out that newsletter in a couple days, so make sure to let me know if you can come to this Super Bowl party by tomorrow night so I know how many slots are left to tell everyone else. This party will be on February 2, starting at 6 PM Yummy, healthy snacks and beverages will be there for you to enjoy. This will be a members-only event and there will be no charge, but there is a catch: every time an advertisement is playing, we will be working out! It won’t have to be high intensity the whole time though (because none of us would last the entire game doing that) so most of the time it will be medium intensity weights or cardio (just staying active) with a few high intensity spots injected at certain points throughout the evening. I hope you can come!

P.S. Remember that our next group meeting will be on Sunday, Feb 9th at the Kirkland club at 3 pm. Please RSVP so I know how many yummy snacks to bring! 

Email 5:

 

Great work on the brain training challenge! That was the best response yet. The winner for that challenge was Lisa H.

This week’s challenge is to see how many different recipes you can come up with that involve lots of dark green vegetables and using the X Gym recipe page is NOT considered cheating here!  😉

Don’t bother sending me all your recipes though. That would be too much work for you. This is much easier than that. Simply send me how many different recipes you tried by next Sunday night. If you do find a particularly awesome recipe however, please share! If that recipe is adopted onto the X Gym recipe page, then your chances of winning this particular challenge goes up drastically!

Thanks for sending me your food log links for those of you who have done that so far. If you haven’t already sent me your link make sure you follow these settings first: Go to settings, then scroll down to the bottom, then click the option to make yours public, and then click save. Then you can just cut and paste from your browser address once you are in your food log entering food, and send me that link. Then I will be able to see it. Otherwise it will be automatically set to private.

Did you all see the announcement in the newsletter about the X Gym Super Bowl Xercise party this coming Sunday? I’d love to see you there, so let me know if you can come for lots of great fat burning snacks and great fat burning exercise! Here is the link to the page with all the details: https://xgym.com/x-gym-super-bowl-partyworkout/

P.S. Remember that our next group meeting will be on Sunday, Feb 9th at the Kirkland club at 3 pm. Please RSVP ASAP. so far I haven’t had any response, and I would really love to continue having meetings at the Kirkland club, so let me know! For the Alki contestants, we can carpool over there in my car, so let me know if you’re interested in that option.

Email 6:

Thanks for the awesome recipes you sent! Lisa H. won again this week with a bunch of yummy ideas. I included one of the recipes she sent me below. Jenny G. reminded me of the deliciousness that is Kale chips too, so remember that great snack!

This week’s challenge is to find a creative way to make yourself more active this week. This could range from going for a walk during lunch, to setting a recurring alarm that makes you get up out of your office chair every 30 minutes, and more, so the sky’s the limit!

Thanks for your RSVPs to the biggest loser meeting this coming Sunday the 9th at 3 PM. The overwhelming majority of the RSVPs were from Alki members, so we will be having the meeting at that club instead of the Kirkland club. If you haven’t already RSVP, please let me know so I will know how much yummy food to make!

If you haven’t already sent me yyour link to your food log, please do so ASAP so I can comment on it and help you out. If you haven’t started the food log yet, remember that just the act of doing a food log increases results by at least 30% and that’s without even getting any guidance or advice! Obviously, getting feedback on the food log increases results even more, so let’s work together on that!

Email 7:

Nice work on the activity challenge! Jamelah and Madeleine both ended up winning this round. They both will receive X Gym tote bags on their next workout.

Jamelah because her ideas were so innovative!

And Madelaine because she played the game and also came to the biggest loser meeting, so that gave her extra brownie points. 😉

Here are some of the great ideas you all came up with to increase your activity lifestyle:

-Abandon the elevator, take the stairs.
-Walk, run or bike to my XGYM workouts.
-Ditch the car and walk/bike to any errands that are within walking or biking distance.
-Set a bell on my laptop that gently chimes every 30 minutes.  http://www.mindfulnessdc.org/bell/index.html   When it chimes, so far my reaction has been to laugh out loud, then bust some crunches and push-ups on my office exercise ball.
-Whenever I have to use the restroom I go and climb a flight of stairs after
-Snowboarding for the first time!
-Do 10 squats every time you use the bathroom.  And drink a lot of water so you are going to the bathroom a lot.
-Make your life inefficient, use hand basket rather than a cart at store; don’t take the closest parking spot – rather park as far away from entrance of building as possible.
-Flex and hold quads, then gluts, then hips every time you are on the phone or in a meeting.  You can alternate legs or do both legs at once.  Try to hold as long as you can until you get a hard burn. Then repeat.  You can also flex biceps, but it’s harder to be subtle doing this in a meeting (and I have never tried flexing my pecs  in a meeting!).
-Stand up and do toe raises, up to tippy toe and back down while on the phone.
-Stand only on one foot at a time while talking with people in your office. Slightly bend one knee so one foot is off the ground completely, but it isn’t too noticeable.  Then stand on the other foot as long as you can.  Do not let the foot that is in the air touch the ground, because the balance is an important part of this.  Repeat on the other side.
-Do 10 push ups before getting in the shower every morning.  This is hard to remember if you are not in the habit – so post a note on your bathroom mirror or shower door to remind yourself.
-Walk fast – not just “fast” but pretend like you are in a race.  This works best when downtown city street walking…beginner level: make sure that you are passing people and never being passed.  Intermediate: look ahead and fine someone half way down the block and set a goal to pass them before the next intersection.

For this week’s challenge, it’s your turn! Come up with a weekly challenge of your own, then do it, and then send it into me this week. The best challenge wins, but knowing you people, there will be more than one great idea, so there may be more than one winner to this one too…
Keep sending me your MyFitnessPal.com food log links every time you want me to take a look and give you suggestions. If you are using the X Gym food log, just send me a quick email letting me know that you want me to take a look. If you are doing it by hand, you can leave a copy for me at the Alki X Gym , send it to me as an email attachment, or fax it to me at 206-937-9496.

Lastly, remember the mind training page! Make sure to use it often and revisit your favorite lessons to keep rewiring your brain for permanent results!

Recording of the Pow Wow on 2/9/14 (cued up to start when the pertinent/educational information began):

 

Email 8:

I got the recording posted of last week’s biggest loser meeting. Just go to this page and scroll all the way down to the bottom and you’ll see it: https://xgym.com/biggest-loser-emails/

Many of you are making great progress, so keep up the good work! A couple of you are already down over 30 pounds of fat! Wahoo!

I also posted a couple pictures in the Alki club of some past biggest loser winners, so be sure to check those out.

Here’s the challenge for this week: Go get these two supplements: Fish oil and a multivitamin. Then take .25 grams per percent bodyfat. So if you are 30% bodyfat, you are taking 15 grams of fish oil. If you are a vegan, take flaxseed oil instead, but take .5 gram for every percent bodyfat instead of just .25 grams.

Why the fish oil? There is some very compelling recent research that indicates getting enough fish oil will help balance out your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, which is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory strategies. When you are maintaining a low inflammatory status inside your body, it’s much easier to burn fat. People who are carrying around excessive amounts of body fat are also always inflamed. Their state of inflammation makes it more difficult to burn fat.

Here is a good brand of fish oil (take : http://www.swansonvitamins.com/swanson-efas-super-epa-fish-oil-100-sgels

And here is the fish oil I take (if you take this, it’s more expensive, but you only have to take half the amount of regular fish oil): http://astore.amazon.com/httpxgymcom-20/detail/B00CKOFOUU

And here is a good brand of flaxseed oil: http://www.swansonvitamins.com/swanson-efas-flaxseed-oil-omegatru-1000-mg-200-sgels

Why the multi-vitamin? Research also indicates that making sure that your micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) needs are being met helps reduce A certain type of hunger, namely cellular hunger, which can be extremely intense. You don’t always know when your hunger is coming from your sales asking for nutrients, because the message being sent is one of general hunger instead of specific needs hunger. Here is the multivitamin I take: http://astore.amazon.com/httpxgymcom-20/detail/B004H61Z0W

Just let me know if you have done both of these things by next Sunday and you will be entered to win the weekly prize!

Lisa H won another round this week by challenging herself to dip her carb intake down to 8- grams or less. Wow! You go girl!

Jamelah also gave a great challenge suggestion, but it involved me and I ended up sweating up a STORM in the stairwell of a local skyscraper as a result. I didn’t anticipate being dragged into your challenges, but this was one I couldn’t resist. You probably already know about me and my strange relationship with skyscrapers. 🙂

 

Email 9:

Lots of you did the challenge for last week so great work! I just randomly drew a name out of a bowl for everyone who completed it and Stephen U won the drawing this time. Congrats Stephan!

Here’s your BL challenge for this week: Take a gratitude walk. Distance: 21 smiles.

Here’s how it works: Just go for a normal walk, but with a constant attitude of gratitude. The entire time you are walking, you are thinking of things to be grateful for. Thoughts will come to your mind, and things that you see will trigger even more thoughts, but just stay in that state for the entire walk.

When you find yourself getting off track and thinking about other things, simply notice that happening and get back on track.

Remember that there’s nothing wrong with getting off track, because that’s part of how the mind works, but one thing you can do when you do get off track is to turn that thought into gratitude. For instance, if something on your “to do” list pops into your mind, just use that thought to be grateful that you have a” to do” list and that you can be productive. Or if you have a fearful thought (which is one of the opposite emotions from gratitude) like, “What if my boss doesn’t approve of such and such,” you can turn that into, “I am so grateful that I have a boss because that means I have a job!” I’m sure you get what I mean here.

Now here’s the second part: See how many smiles you can get from other people and continue your walk until you have received at least 21 smiles back from others. This of course means that you will have to give them a smile first, but that will be easy because of the state of gratitude you will be in. In fact, others may even beat you to it because they will be able to sense the state that you’re in!

Make a note of all this and report your experience back to me by this Sunday to be entered in the drawing for for this week’s prize.

Email 10:

I got some great comments on the gratitude/walk for 21 smiles, and Stacia won the drawing!

Darisa sure had an amazing story about gratitude that was truly inspiring! Maybe someday she will share it with us at a biggest loser meeting. 😉

Speaking of a biggest loser meeting, the next one will be on March 16 at 4 PM. Unless I get too many objections from Kirkland members, it will be at the Alki club again. I would like to open it up to other X Gym members as well, and have it be a “Sabotage” theme. The reason for this theme is that when most people make great progress, at some point they sabotage that progress. You may know the reason for this already if you have watched certain brain training videos, but we will talk about it more in depth at that meeting.

For your challenge this week, it’s all about living like a Samurai. Samurai warriors have a motto when they are training to become a Samurai. It’s something to the effect of, “Just get a little better each day.” They know that it takes years to become a true Samurai, and improvement comes in little steps instead of big jumps. As long as they are taking little steps consistently every day in the right direction, they end up becoming a Samurai!

Your assignment is to record little (or big if they happen) improvements in each day over the day before. Just make a note of at least one each day from tomorrow (Tuesday) until Saturday and email them to me on Sunday.

Email 11:

Nice work on the samurai challenge! Darissa won the drawing for this challenge. Congrats Darissa! Her challenge reply was a good one too. Here are her small changes:

Monday: changed my fitbit settings to my goal being 55 minutes of activity per day.
Tuesday: added a tabata session on the elliptical after walking my dog.
Wednesday: got a Zero water filter for my office as well as home.
Thursday: plan my meals for the day and write them in myfitnesspal before I eat any meals to keep with the plan.
Friday: arrange my workstation to stand up while typing.
Saturday: add an appointment to my outlook calendar to do brain training/tapping.

Remember our biggest loser meeting this Sunday the 16th. Be sure to RSVP to me here so I know how many to make yummy snacks for!

Your challenge for this week is to “Set a personal best.” this could be breaking your previous record on a cardio machine like the Jacobs ladder or the Versa climber, or simply asking your trainer what it would take to beat your previous reps on a certain exercise you may be struggling with. Simply dig deep within yourself to set that record and then let me know about it. I would also like to know about any insights you might have had during your experience (or before or after it) that helped make it happen.

Email 12:

We had some great feedback on last week’s challenge! The winner from the drawing was Darrisa. She killed it on the rope machine!

For this week’s challenge, just follow these simple steps:
1.) Find a picture of your goal. this picture could be you in the past, when you were in good condition or it can be someone else that you admire – maybe from a magazine or something printed off an Internet search.
2.) Post that picture somewhere in your house that you will see often. This could be the bathroom mirror, your computer monitor, the fridge, etc.
3.) Below the picture, write why you want to become that after picture. This should be only one sentence. You should also phrase it as if it has already been achieved. This would look something like, “I am strong, healthy and happy.”
4.) Every time you pass by that picture, read aloud what you have written and adjust your posture to reflect pride.

Take a picture of it and email it to me to enter this challenge. I may also offer a tweak or two on your sentence. Or if you have trouble coming up with one, I can help you with that too.

Those who came to the meeting on Sunday already have a head start on this project as they have submitted their pictures to me already, but as soon as you send me yours, you will be all up to speed! 😉

Email 13:

Hey Biggest Losers,

How did your last challenge go? The reason these are called challenges is because they take a bit of discipline to complete. Not much, but just enough to get past the initial resistance and get some momentum going. Once the momentum is started, it becomes your friend  and helps you with other stuff too.
Of those who completed the challenge for last week, Lisa H. won the drawing! Nice work Lisa!
For this week’s challenge, find some stairs to climb. This might be in your house, your office, outside somewhere, or even going up he down escalator.  😉
Just report back how many your climbed this week, whether it be floors, stairs, vertical feet etc.
This will also help you remember to skip the UP escalators when possible and elevators too, whenever you can. It’s a great habit to develop!
X Gym ers are pretty good at stairs, as you might already know. Here are the results from the 300+ teams who competed in the Big Climb this year: http://www.llswa.org/site/DocServer/Results_teams.pdf?docID=3921
Be sure to note the obscene margin between the winner and the 2nd place team…
😉

Email 14:

Hey Biggest Losers,

Sorry for the delay in getting the email out for this week, but I was out of town all weekend, dominating another stair race. 😉
Great job on your stairs last week! We had three winners: Jamelah, Nancy and Kerry. Way to go!
Here’s what Jamelah climbed for the week as an example:
711 floors
14,237 stairs
8,601 vertical feet
As you can see, she’s kind of an over-achiever, but we love her anyway. =D
Your challenge for this week is to pick something in your life that you are going to say no to forever. This would be something that you have been wishing you could cut out of your life but haven’t so far. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing either. It can, like cigarettes or alcohol, but it can also be something small like a food that isn’t necessarily a strong craving but is just a nuisance because you keep eating it and know you shouldn’t. Just email me that item and we will talk more about it next week.

Email 15:

Hey Biggest Losers,

We are coming to the home stretch! April 28th is the final day, so be sure to get tested on or before that day in order to qualify to win.

Remember that the past emails are posted here in case you missed any: http://wp.me/p3pLQh-Nq

The winner for last week was Madeleine K. Great work and great insights MK!

So you know how I asked you to report one thing you could give up forever last week? Well this week I’m going to ask you to report back to me one thing you will put in the place of what you gave up forever. This thing will also be a forever commitment, so if someone said I’m giving up sugar for instance, they could replace that with a certain healthy food or even a new exercise habit.

Breaking a habit is awesome, but when you do that, you have to replace it with a new positive habit. Habits are kind of like CDs. You have to take the old one out and replace it with the new songs for the old songs tends to come back.

 

Email 16:

Hey Biggest Losers,

One week to go! It’s sprint to the finish time!

Make sure you are tested on or before April 28 to qualify to be the grand winner! We will have a mail winner and a female winner, so there’s really two winners.

Your challenge for this week is to pretend that your butt is allergic to seats of all kids. This means chairs, benches, couches – anything you would be able to sit down on. Pretend that if your butt sits on any of these things, it will swell up like a real allergic reaction – and the longer you sit, the more it swells. Kind of like real life, don’t you think? 😉

Reply back to me with how you have avoided sitting this week. Some examples might be:
– I stood instead of sat at the DMV waiting to get my license renewal.
– I had a coffee meeting with someone and chose a stand up table instead of the normal café table.
– I propped up my keyboard and computer screen with a moving box so I could stand at my desk instead of sit.

This will help you stay mindful of opportunities to stand over sitting. Your metabolism increases by about 30% in the standing position over the sitting position, so opening your mind to notice opportunities for standing is a great way to get in that mode!