The 3 Things You Have Control Over

Getting Back in Shape: The Three Things You have Control over.


Are you getting a little frustrated with your workouts or lack of workouts?

Let’s take this back to the basics. You have control over three things when it comes to getting back in shape.

Your job is to minimize excuses and maximize workout time so you can get the results you want.

1. Time

Time is the number one excuse for not working out.

There are 168 hours in a week. At a minimum, all I am asking for is 3. That is 2% of the week. Is that too much to ask?

3 hours a week is probably the bare minimum you can get away with and still see change.

Can’t do it? Too busy?


Ask yourself one question.

“Is anyone as busy as I am and can still find time to work out?”

Simple question. The president of the United States makes time to work out. Are you busier than the president? In fact, the answer to this question will tell you a lot about yourself that you may not have realized.

The answer is obvious. No you are not the busiest person in the whole world. The cold reality is that there are people with more time to workout than you and a whole bunch of people with less time.

This leads to the next question, how do I make it work?

Let’s be honest.  You are probably wasting time each day with busy work. I do it all the time and it ticks me off. Unless I schedule it into my day, workouts tend to get pushed farther and farther back in the day. Last night I was on the elliptical at 10 PM. I really hate working out at night but every action has to have a consequence. I could have done it in the morning but the day just got away from me. By making myself work out at a time when I should be in bed, it reinforces the fact that I need to get this done earlier in the day.

I have trained early in the morning and found that once you get used to it, it may be the best time to train.

I trained a stay at home mom who had 4 young kids and she could always carve out time to do her exercise. I am not saying it was easy and I am not telling you the kids cooperated all the time but she had a calendar and she ran a her household like a business. Start with 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise, 3 days a week and write that into your schedule. Don’t think it, write it down.

The correlation of time and getting in shape.

Please realize that if you want to lose 50 pounds, it will take x amount of workouts and x amount of time. We can actually sit down and chart out how many workouts it takes to lose a pound. Knowing that you can apply basic mathematics to your goals can be very assuring to clients. Conversely, the universe will not allow you to shortcut time and still get the results you want. It only works that way on infomercials.

Bottom Line:

Your fitness goals are going to require an investment of time. Get used to that idea and getting your workouts in won’t be such a chore.

2. Money

You can either throw a lot of money at your problem or try and do it as cheaply as possible. Neither method works very well. I am not saying that everyone needs a personal trainer because they don’t. What I want you to think about is the concept of “how much will it cost me to achieve x?” X is your goal or dream.


Just as you can figure out how many hours in the gym it will cost to lose 50 pounds, you can also put a monetary value on it.

“If I want to lose 50 pounds, what is the most effective use of my money?

  • It may be a personal trainer 3 times a week.
  • It may be a gym membership.
  • The cost of eating better quality food.
  • The cost of making a home gym.

Figure out the best to spend each dollar. There is a sweet spot here. Don’t go out and buy every piece of gym equipment in sight because you will probably spend 80% of your time with just a pieces of equipment. By the same token, don’t go without equipment because you want to save money. Cheap equipment is just awful to use. It will break, bend, warp and make working out miserable. You don’t have to buy a lot of equipment but whatever you buy, make sure it is good stuff.

The same goes for workout and diet advice. You can hire a coach, scan the internet or ask friends. There is a cost associated with each one. If you really don’t know what to do, invest in a trainer for a few sessions instead of wasting time trying to figure it out for yourself.

Bottom line:

There is a time cost associated with money. Improve your health by investing in equipment and knowledge. Effective equipment and knowledge will cost money but you will get a huge return on your investment.

3. Effort

I can’t argue that money and time are unlimited. They aren’t.

You are just going to have to deal with that.

The one thing you have an unlimited supply of is effort. This is a great thing because effort will make up for a lot of budget and time limitations.

league of their own

You can choose a crappy workout program, put in 100% effort and get good results.

You can choose to work out 20 minutes a day, apply 100% effort and get great results.

The only thing you can’t do is apply little to no effort and expect results.

Effort is the great equalizer in life. You don’t need a lot of time or money to see results but you do need consistency and a willingness to push hard.

Effort can buy you time while you figure out the most effective workout and nutrition plans.

Max effort will give you results when you are strapped for time.

Effort builds discipline. Discipline builds consistency and that alone will get you 80% of the way there.


Getting back in shape and staying in the kind of shape you want to be in will never be a static thing. As you go through life, the three variables of time, money and effort will change. Your training will have to adapt to the changes in your life. But at least you can use this as a framework to help keep you on track.

I hope this helps you. If you need a little more help, I am here for you.

Fill out the form below or give me a call to set up your free 30 minute consultation.

weight loss or fat loss?

Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss

Are Weight Loss and Fat Loss the same thing?

weight loss or fat loss?

Which one is healthier for you?

Which one is easier?

People tend to use these phrases interchangeably even though fat loss is very different than weight loss. I have to admit I even use both terms. In my defense, I use them because the public tends to see them as the same thing.

But they aren’t and here is why.

Let’s take a set of identical twins who weigh 180 pounds each and have 40% body fat. Both of these ladies would like to lose 30 pounds.

Twin #1 decides on a nutrition program that promotes weight loss.

Twin #2 decides to try a program that promotes fat loss through healthy eating and working out with weights.

Disclaimer: I have been doing these charts for over 13 years now. The charts you are going to see represent best case scenarios for each woman.

The vitals

At 180 pounds and 30% body fat both twins start out with 72 pounds of fat and 108 pounds of muscle.

180 x .30 = 72 pounds of fat.

180 – 72 = 108 pounds of muscle.

Technically the 108 pounds are made up of muscle, tissue, blood bones etc…but since those variables won’t change much, we will just call it muscle.)

Both women are dedicated to their programs and work hard. In the fitness industry, the one thing we all actually agree on is that a person can safely lose two pounds a week. After 12 weeks both women have stuck to their programs and now have lost weight.

So who did the better job of things? Trick question?

Weight loss

Twin #1 was after weight loss. She now weighs 158 pounds.

weight loss

So why is she still at 38% body fat?

Twin #1 has lost 24 pounds but only 11 pounds of fat.

This is very typical of what happens when you go on a low calorie diet. In addition to losing fat, you lose muscle. Really what has happened to Twin #1 is that she has shrunk herself but stayed at about the same body fat level. There are a couple problems here.

  1. Her height to weight measurement has gotten better but she is still overweight bordering on obese.
  2. Muscles help burn calories. By losing muscle she is automatically lowering her metabolism. If metabolism is the measure of how fast you burn calories, she has slowed her system down. This will make it very easy for her to gain her weight back as soon as she stops her diet.

Yes, she weighs less but is she really healthier?

Fat Loss

Twin #2 combined sensible eating with a weight training program and lost 22 pounds of fat and 17 pounds off the scale.

fat loss

Twin #2 is now at 30% body fat. She was able to successfully burn fat while keeping muscle mass.

Key Points

1. When I train women, there is an initial gain of 4-7 pounds of muscle. It isn’t new muscle, you are just toning up what you have. Guys can expect to gain 5-10 pounds in a few weeks. The nice thing is that the muscle gain is offset by the fat loss. If you start lifting weights, you will not turn into the Hulk. I promise!

2. Any time you can keep muscle and burn fat, you know your diet is spot on. This also means you are also getting stronger, leaner and healthier.

3. Twin #2 has increased her metabolism by keeping her muscle mass. By doing so, those cheat days or cheat meals won’t have as big an effect on her as they will on Twin #1.

So to sums things up:

Weight loss is a temporary thing. This is why most dieters will end up weighing more than when they started. When you burn both fat and muscle, you slow your metabolism down and make future weight loss that much harder. This is not a lifestyle, this is a quick fix way of thinking that has serious emotional consequences.

Fat loss is a lifestyle choice. Once you get the hang of it, it is very easy to maintain and you actually feel like you have control over your body. You will look healthier and feel better.

My job as your coach is to show you the difference between constructive and destructive ways of eating. My clients want to learn how to repair and take care of their bodies and that is what M Factor Fitness is all about. Through weight training, corrective exercise and nutrition coaching, you can learn to shape and control how you look for the long-term.

If this sounds interesting to you, please take a moment and fill out my consultation form. It is a free, no-0bligation phone call or visit where we can sit down and talk about yoru goals and how to best achieve them.

Free 30 minute Consult to See if this is right for you!

Don't feed fear

Donuts vs Exercise: Do you Really Need to Worry About This?

Read Between the Lines

When you see this sign, know that I am going to try and change the way you view food and nutrition.

Not in the traditional sense of making you feel guilty or ashamed of your eating habits but as a way to free yourself from guilt. Nutritionists study the science of food and are very good about telling you what to eat and what not to. They speak in terms of fact and logic. This would be fine if we were robots and could just re-program our brains.

But it never works like that, does it? we are emotional creatures and a majority of our decisions are based on emotion not fact.

Whether that is good or bad doesn’t really matter. That is what we do. There may not be anything in our lives as emotionally charged as food. It works on all five senses, comforts, nourishes, brings back memories…you name it. Food works on many levels of our consciousness at once. So if we can’t separate emotion from food, we need to re-frame our attitude towards it.

So kindly take a look at this infographic.

donuts vs exercise

You may have seen these on social media. What does it really mean? That is a trick question because it is going to mean different things to different people.

What popped into your head first?

“I could really use a donut and coffee about now!”

“I can’t believe I ate a couple of donuts the other day.”

“That is a lot of exercise!”

“Why does everything that tastes good have so many calories.”

For most people, this infographic will have a negative connotation. Donut=bad.

So let me ask you, is this true?

Could you in fact eat donuts and drink lattes and lose weight?

Most nutritionists would say no, I say yes.

A quick overview of my philosophy on food before we get into the science.

My job as your nutrition coach is to help you either gain or lose weight. My real goal is to help change your perception of food so you can stay at the weight you want for the long term and still enjoy your favorite foods. Why? because it doesn’t work the other way. What would happen if I tell you that in order to lose 50 pounds you will never eat another donut? You may agree at first and you may have the willpower to avoid donuts…for a while. And I say for a while because you are using willpower as your fuel source. Willpower is a precious commodity. We don’t have a lot of it and when it runs out, you break down and binge. Everyone has a breaking point.

So the idea is not to base your eating around willpower. Instead, change your view on food and eliminate guilt.

The Science

Dieting Composition

Thanks to the nice people at RP for this graphic.


This is a chart that 99% of nutritionists would agree with. It shows that 80% of your success will be based on portion sizes and combination of fats/proteins and carbs.

50% will be based on calories. So let’s take a look at a 150 pound women.

Caloric needs

This is a general estimate of calories based on a simple formula.

150 pounds x 10= 1,500 calories a day with no activity.

1,500 calories x an activity factor of 1.3 = 1,950.

What does this mean?

A women weighing 150 pounds who is moderately active can consume 1,950 calories a day and not gain or lose weight. The only asterisk I am going to put on this is for people that are yo-yo-dieters. Chances are your metabolism is way off from starving yourself. But once you start eating enough food again, you will find these figures are pretty accurate.


Add in an hour of working out and you will have burned 500 calories, give or take.

  • I burn 180-200 calories a mile running. I am also a big guy. You will burn less so maybe 140-150 will be a more accurate number. Run 3 miles and you are close to 500 calories.
  • Working out with weights will give you 400-500 calories in 45 minutes if you minimize breaks.
  • High intensity weight circuit training will be in the range of 600-800 for 45 minutes.


If you add in exercise, a 150 pound woman could eat close to 2,000 calories a day and actually lose weight.

2,000 calories – 500 from exercise= 500 calorie deficit.

That is the healthy way to lose weight and get healthy at the same time.

Back to the donuts

donuts vs exercise

You could eat the donut and drink the latte and still have 1,600 calories for the day and lose weight.

So if you can accept the fact that you can eat 2,000 calories, exercise and lose fat at the same time (if not please re-read the above or email me), then this infographic looks a little different, doesn’t it?

That being said, the rest of your meals need to be more nutritionally sound. There have been studies where people have eaten nothing but junk food and lost weight because they paid attention to portion size but I would never advocate that. The idea is to eat clean but you can have the occasionally treat.

Hopefully your mind is blown because this changes everything.

We go from a negative view of food to a positive one.

If I tell you, as your coach, you can’t eat a donut, what food pops in your head? Donuts? Guilt? Sadness? A test of willpower?

Please don’t live that way and please don’t let these fear mongers make you feel bad about yourself.

M Factor Fitness is all about re-framing how you view food and exercise and integrating them into your life.

It is about making you feel good about yourself and making change.

You don’t have to make drastic changes but you will have to put in the work.

If this sounds interesting to you, call me or fill out my consult form for a free 30 minute chat.