Back "in day", when I used to do coaching programs full time at my New Jersey Health Club, first thing I would always ask my client during initial consultation was:
"Tell me what you want... and I'll show you how to get it."
Typical reply from client:
"I want to lose 20 pounds fast."
"Are you SURE that's what you want? ...If I can show you how to lose 20 pounds REALLY fast, will that make you happy?"
They nodded their head affirmatively as their eyes lit up in anticipation of secrets I was about to reveal...
Their face went white when I - with a totally straight face - pulled out a hacksaw and started walking towards them.... menacingly
Partly laughing, but partly in real terror they said,
"What heck are you doing?"
"You said you wanted to lose 20 pounds fast. This is easiest, surest, most effective way I know to take 20 pounds off you FAST! In fact, I figure that right leg of yours might even weigh 25 pounds!"
I kept walking closer and started to get into sawing position, wielding my fast, effective and guaranteed weight loss tool...
"Bear with me because this IS quick, but sometimes it takes a few minutes for me to cut through bone.."
By this time, my client (and I) are either completely cracking up, or I have seriously scared living you know what out of them, or they just think I'm a complete lunatic... (it depends on whether I was able to keep a totally straight face or not)
Finally, light bulb goes on, and my client would see where I was going with this:
"Okay, smart alec," I get it... I don't want to lose WEIGHT, I want to lose FAT."
Sometimes I would be having so much fun, I would just keep on playin'...
"But why not? This is easy, fast and guaranteed - just what everyone wants these days... it's even better than taking a pill! Come on... let me hack it off! You'll be my next testimonial: 'I lost 20 pounds in 5 minutes!' Imagine what that will do for my business!"
"Very funny. I told you, I get it, I get it! I want to lose FAT, not muscles and bones. I need my leg!
Naturally, of course, I don't always have to pull out my trusty blade. Every once in a while... about as often as a total solar eclipse... a client answers my question like this:
"What do I want? Tom, I want to lose 20 pounds of body fat in next 12 weeks. I want to do it slowly, safely and healthfully and then keep it off permanently. I want all fat around my hips and thighs completely gone and I want a firm flat stomach. I want muscle all over my body while still looking feminine. I'd like to see myself at about 16% body fat and maintain all my muscle or gain a few pounds of lean mass if I can, especially in my arms. This is important to me because I want to set a good example for my kids, I want to be healthy and live to at least 90 and I want my husband to look at me and say, "I love your body, honey," and I want to be able to *honestly* say back to him, "me too!"
It is on these rare occasions that I know there is still intelligent life on this planet.
If you could answer question, "What do you want" just like this woman did, I don't think you would ever have any difficulty reaching your health and fitness goals... or any other goal in your life, for that matter.
This answer is what you call a very "well-formed" goal, backed up with lots of emotional motivation-inducing "reasons why."
"I want to lose weight" is a poorly-formed goal.
"Weight" is not same as "fat." Weight includes muscle, bone, internal organs as well as lots and lots of water.
If you only learn ONE thing from all my newsletters, articles and books, PLEASE learn this:
WHAT YOU REALLY WANT IS TO BURN THE FAT, WHILE KEEPING THE MUSCLE!!!!
FAT LOSS is what you want, not weight loss.
If your body was 100% rock-solid muscle, with absolutely nothing that jiggled (unless it was supposed to), would you care how much you weighed?
I bet you wouldn't!
STOP WORSHIPPING THE SCALE AND START MEASURING YOUR BODY COMPOSITION
By measuring your body fat, you take guesswork out of your health and fitness plan and you get an accurate picture of what's really happening in your body as a result of your diet and exercise program.
Instead of worrying about whether you are losing muscle, or wondering if you are losing fat, you can measure it and KNOW for sure. (I always get a good chuckle when someone tells me they're worried about losing muscle when they don't even measure how much muscle they have!)
Instead of being confused by all "opinions" from weight loss and exercise "experts" who are all telling you something different, you can MEASURE your body composition and based on results, you can KNOW for sure whether your program is working.
A very wise man once said,
"A single measurement is worth a thousand opinions."
So, how do you measure body fat?
There are many ways. Thanks to technology, there are some methods today that are so accurate, they can tell you whether your left pinky has more fat than your right pinky!
Unfortunately, many of them are either too expensive or they are inaccessible, being found only in hospitals or research facilities