Don’t Wait Until January

BeforeAfterI’ve had back problems for a long time. In fact, I was born with one less vertebrae. That means a couple of things. I could have been an inch or two taller and maybe I wouldn’t have back problems if said missing vertebrae wasn’t actually missing. But, it is what it is, right? In the last five years or so my health has really gone south. I gained a lot of weight and stopped all serious exercise. Much of the lack of exercise was not by choice. It hurt too badly or I simply could not do it. Some of it was laziness and lack of effort or desire as well. So, after years of pain and difficulty, I finally succumbed to the surgeons scalpel. So far I think it was a pretty good decision. Actually, it really wasn’t much of a decision at all but rather my final and only option.

In May of 2012, after fully recovering from surgery and searching high and low for the right exercise options, I decided I’d had enough. I used to be an athlete (played every sport, and some half decently) and I was always active, so being out of shape was not cool for me. It definitely wasn’t healthy. I joked about eating poorly, I joked about not exercising, I joked about my back — but really I was just bummed out about my slow and steady decline into inactivity. So I made a very conscious decision to do something about it. Since that time (the picture on the right), I’ve riden my road bike nearly 4,000 miles. I’ve lost about 30 pounds (the photo on the left). And I’m just getting started!

If you are out of shape, for any reason, I think you should join me in the battle to be healthy again. And for me, it is a battle. A daily one.

If you are reading this and you are overweight and out of shape, don’t make fun of it any longer. Don’t tease or joke about how you eat poorly and never exercise. I used to do the same. It’s a defense mechanism. We all want to live happy, fun and productive lives. So let’s help each other do that. I know I need your help and maybe you could use a bit of mine (or someone else’s). If even one of you join in, that would be great. If more of you join in, even better. There is strength in numbers! I have some great help along the way so far. My friends at Bountiful Bike have gone out of their way to get me setup with cycling. I’d highly recommend you visit them if you have any biking needs.

So we have a team forming and a plan coming together. From here, this is what I’d propose:

Public Accountability
This works for me. I want to post when I am exercising, what I eat, and other things related to my health and fitness (including my weight). I think we should come up with a hashtag or some other tool to track the good and the bad of our efforts. I know it is annoying to see these types of updates sometimes, but I really don’t care. I want to encourage you as you achieve, and support you as you struggle. I need the same support and encouragement too! My goal right now is to lose a final 20 pounds by March 2013. So for me, that means I have to buckle down on the exercise AND eat better. I’ll be posting on various social networks (much to the chagrin of some) about both of these things as I look for support and feedback along the way. If you have an idea for a hashtag, please leave it in the comments. It’d be nice for us to use one to stay connected and search updates (via Twitter and Instagram anyway). What is your goal? Is it an amount of weight to lose or something else?

Speaking of accountability, here is a weight loss tracker that updates my progress since I started earlier in 2012. This needs to get to 56 pounds before I near my goal.

No Fad Diets Or Crazy Stuff
We are trying to make sustainable changes to our behavior here. So no crazy pills or fad diets, okay? Let’s all eat a little better and move a little more. In fact, let’s get way more specific about it then that. I’m going to cut down my food portions. I’m still going to eat bread, steaks and other stuff — just less of them. I’m going to dramatically cut my intake of sweets. I don’t think cutting things out entirely that I like is a sustainable plan for me. In fact, a lot of studies show that it is not sustainable for anyone. So a lot less sweets and smaller portions of the bad stuff. I’ll pick healthier options more often, too. No salads every meal, but I’ll make more healthy choices then not. I’m going to use the My Fitness Pal app to track what I eat so I can be sure I’m eating what I plan to. What are you going to do with your food and dietary choices? What app are you going to use?

Exercise A LOT
I love to exercise. I really do. That doesn’t mean it isn’t hard sometimes though. It is really hard to get started. When it is cold and dark, and the wind is blowing, or the air is freezing, I am rarely excited to get suited up and go for a bike ride. But I do. And you can to. Why? Because almost without exception I feel better afterwards. I’m glad I went! The starting is the hard part. So, with that, I’m committing to exercising 5-6 days a week for at least 1.5 hours per workout in January, February and March. I will use Strava to track this (an app that tracks biking, but also other exercise) so that I will know how I’m doing in terms of number of days per week and time per workout. You need to have an app that tracks what you do. If you can, get a device that tracks it as well (like a FitBit or Nike Fuel). You cannot improve what you do not measure. How often will you exercise as part of this? I think you too should pick five days a week. The amount of time is up to you, but the number of days needs to be high — so join me in five, okay?

Do Not Wait!
Don’t wait until Monday. Don’t wait until January 1st. This is not a resolution related effort. I don’t really believe in New Years resolutions anyway. If you want to change, start now. Start today. Every day you wait is another day you’ll have to catch up to later, so let’s go! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — waiting is what got us here. So no more waiting, time to get started. Today.

Do Not Give Up!
This is about not quitting probably more then anything else. If you have a bad meal, or a bad day, then start over right away. Start with the next meal. Start with the next morning. Do not quit. I am allowed some mistakes and so are you. However, we cannot string together too many bad meals or too many days without exercising. If we do, progress will not be made. Commit to the next meal. Commit to the next workout. You can do this. One day at a time.

No Pansies
I want you to be hard on me if I do not exercise. If I don’t lose weight (or worse, gain it), I don’t want to hear “that’s okay”. Because it’s not. That kind of coddling and can’t do attitude is what got me here. It’s what got you here, too. So no more. The world is often a mean place. Many times too mean. At the same time though, I think we are all too willing to give someone (or ourselves) a free pass. If you join this effort, there is no free pass. You either keep up with your eating and fitness, or you get booted out of the group. As I said earlier, we all make mistakes and mess up here and there (as I have and as I will), but that’s not what I’m talking about. This is for those of you that continually come up with excuses. Those won’t fly in this group. Save yourself the trouble of not joining if you can’t keep your commitments. Remember, it is your plan, not mine. So this effort will only be to hold you accountable for what you said you are going to do. Discipline and accountability go a long way in life, not just for this. So get better at both or get out.

OKAY! Let’s get started in the comments below. I’d like to know the following:

Your Twitter and Instagram names (so we can connect and communicate there).
Your suggested hashtag for this team effort — I’ll start, how about #FitLife ?
Your public accountability goal (what we can ask you about online) — number or pounds lost by X date, etc.
What is your eating/dietary plan? What are you cutting back on?
What is your exercise plan? How many days a week and for how long?
What apps will you be using to track your food and your exercise (so we can connect there).

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About Alex Lawrence

Alex has been a successful entrepreneur for 20+ years. His current venture Lendio ranks #34 on the Inc. 500 list. Alex earned a BS degree at the University of Utah and his MBA at Weber State University, where he is Vice Provost and Director of the Entrepreneurship Program. If you want to talk with Alex about business and entrepreneurship (or other questions), email him (alex AT startupflavor DOT com), or you can find him on Twitter @_AlexLawrence.
  • alex_lawrence

    I’ll start with the first comment:

    My twitter name is @_AlexLawrence and my Instagram name is AlexLawrence
    I already suggested #FitLife so I’ll do so again
    My public accountability goal is to lose 20 pounds by March 2013
    My eating/diet plan is to cut back portions and sweets, so that I am in a calorie deficit six days a week.
    My exercise plan is 5-6 days a week for 1.5 hours or more per workout.
    I’ll be using Strava to track exercise and MyFitnessPal for food.

    • Curtis Howe

      I’m in! My goals are more about increasing activity rather than losing weight. I know the weight will take care of itself as I reach my goals.
      I will be on my treadmill 3 times a week, increase flexibility 1 night a week, and meditate 1 night a week (qigong).
      I will track my diet with my fitnes pal app and make the changes to get back to the meals we used to eat.
      I’m not starting until next week though since my wife and I have the flu this weekend.

      • alex_lawrence

        Curtis — glad you’ll be joining us. You sure you don’t want to lose a certain number of pounds though? And how long will you be on the treadmill 3x a week, 45 minutes or more? I like specificity, that is why I ask. Friend me on MyFitnessPal man! Hope your flu recovers quick. Look forward to you starting next week. Get better though!

        • Curtis Howe

          Thanks Alex!
          I’m working on 3x a week for treadmill. About 15 minutes a time. I’ve experienced the worst health of my life ge last couple of years so I’m staying on the cautious side until I can pull enough $ together for some cardio tests.
          I’m also taking a day to increase flexibility as well as a day for some great meditations. I know my weight will take care of itself if I am active and eating right.

          • alex_lawrence

            I’m no doctor, but 15 minutes 3x a week is a good start, but I don’t think that’ll do much in terms of losing weight and getting healthier. It’s a start though :) As for your weight taking care of itself if you are “active and eating right” — I’ve never found that generic plan to work for me. Specific, detailed and fully committed might be something to consider when you are ready.

  • http://twitter.com/jeremy_page Jeremy Page

    Great post, Alex. I am reminded of your ‘i dont do new years resolutions’ tweet you broadcasted last year to your followers. It has changed my thinking of goal setting — and in new years resolutions.

    • alex_lawrence

      Thanks, Jeremy! Want to join in today? Would love to have you along.

      • http://twitter.com/jeremy_page Jeremy Page

        Sure…my twitter name is @jeremy_page
        I am down with #FitLife
        My public accountability is to gain 15 pounds of muscle by May 2013
        My eating/diet plan is to continue implementing a slow carb diet as described in the Four Hour Body and start protein shakes (additional 70 G of protein) daily (one in morning, one before bed)
        My exercise plan is to surf 3 times a week, lifting 3 times a week
        I will be using MyFitnessPal for food

        • http://www.facebook.com/russpage Russ Page

          Jeremy, you should look into MuscleEgg for help packing in the protein.

          • http://twitter.com/jeremy_page Jeremy Page

            I appreciate that Russ…

        • alex_lawrence

          Thanks for joining in, Jeremy. I’ll look for your tweets and stuff with that hashtag so we can support you! Question though — how do you gain 15 pounds of muscle without weightlifting included? Will surfing do it (along with the increased protein)? PS — I already follow you on Twitter, but good for others to see that so they can do the same!

          • http://twitter.com/jeremy_page Jeremy Page

            I put lifting in there. Surfing keeps you cut. I have been doing surfing but need to start lifting to see the results i want. And the added protein.

  • Matthew Peavy

    Way to go Alex. With the gym being where I met you, it’s good to see you progressing now!

    • alex_lawrence

      Hey Matt — help me remember which gym and when? I used to be in better shape hopefully then/there!

      • Matthew Peavy

        Xcel 06-08

  • http://thomallen.com Thom Allen

    Alex, thanks for the challenge. My goal is to lose 20+ lbs. by the end of March 2013 (I’m sure it will be more).

    * My exercise routine will be 4-5 days a week
    * My Twitter handle is thomallen
    * I use a FitBit and I’ll try Strava

    • alex_lawrence

      Thom — you can do this man. So starting tomorrow, you exercise 4 – 5 days a week. That is awesome! For how long (minimum) each time? Also, what about your eating? What will you use to track that? I think that is a big part of it for us as well. I’ll look forward to your updates on various social networks. You can do this!

      • http://thomallen.com Thom Allen

        Sorry I haven’t been back here since my original post Alex. 4-5 days a week. 20-30 minutes a day. My daily calories will be 2150 or less.

  • http://www.facebook.com/russpage Russ Page

    #FitLife is great.

    – 10 pounds by March 1
    – Cut sugars/sweets. I eat what I want on Sundays.
    – Exercise plan is four days per week on the spin bike.
    – I’m using Strava

    For anyone who knows this is already going to be tough time wise because of kids and family, I can telly you that if you do it when the spouse and kids are asleep, the spouse (at least in my case) doesn’t care.

    I’ve also found that when you get your spouse or significant other involved, they are more likely to say “go ride your bike” because they want you to succeed as well.

    Two other things/suggestions if you think you need an extra push. Both worked for me.

    1) Sign up for a race or a competition if possible, and do it as soon as possible. 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, Century etc. When you do that you have an end goal, and you can’t procrastinate getting in shape if you pick something you know is going to be tough for you to do. I have a 50-mile bike race in March that I signed up for in November for this very reason. This kind of thing helps me stay focused.

    2) Pick a fitness goal you and your spouse or SO will do together. We signed up for a triathlon together, and I found we were encouraging each other to exercise more and budgeting our time better in the process because we had little kids, and we had to in order to get some decent training time in.

    • alex_lawrence

      Russ — you want to lost ten pounds? I’m not seeing it man. Love the plan though. I know you’ll do it. I’ll look for your posts with that tag though, share and inspire us brother! As for “when” — yep, you find a way. We are all busy. We all have responsibilities. It takes prioritization and organization for sure. Love the sign up for something. That helps me, too.

      • http://www.facebook.com/russpage Russ Page

        I’m up 10 lbs from summer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sheri.dover Sheri Dover

    Nice post! I’m in. My goal is to lose an average of 1.5 lb of fat/week over the next twelve weeks.

    @sheridover #FitLife is a good hashtag.

    I use runkeper to track my runs, and just use a spreadsheet to track my other workouts, which are usually twice weekly sessions with a personal trainer. I also use the spreadsheet to track my weight and muscle gain. The stuff I use the spreadsheets for I could give an update on occasionally.

    My diet goals are: eating six small meals each day consisting of a small handfull size of meat and of pasta along with some vegetables as prescribed by my personal trainer.
    I’m cutting back on eating out.
    My exercise goals are to run 4x a week, at least three of those times will include intervals. I will continue to work with my trainer twice/week.
    I hope to lose an average of 1.25 lbs/fat/week over the next twelve weeks.

    • alex_lawrence

      Hi Sheri – thanks! So glad you are joining in. Lets use #tmfit for Team Fit as per Distins suggestion in his comment. There is too much noise in the fitlife tag.
      Sounds like you have a great, detailed plan. Did you start today? I did. I’m on the bike trainer right now :)
      Share your progress online with that tag so we can share and support. Go get ’em!

  • http://twitter.com/jackfburris Jack Burris

    I’m in. Twitter is jackfburris and #FitLife hashtagging works for me. Not too long ago I lifted 4x/week and ran 6x per week. I ran marathons, climbed mountains and was in better shape than when I played competitive sports in HS and college. Then I started two businesses, brought two kids into the mix and allowed both to take over my life. It’s been 2 years since I ran my last race. Jack’s back. Here’s my plan:

    – 20 lbs by March 1 isn’t unattainable, so it’s my goal
    – 6x per week aerobic exercise (4x run, 2x road bike)
    – No more bad whites (but not totally eliminating carbs, just the bad ones)

    I’ve tried all kinds of fitness trackers and things but the key for me is logging hours and miles. I use a GPS watch and keep track on a Google Doc spreadsheet so I can access, and edit, from anywhere.

    • alex_lawrence

      Jack! Good to hear from you sir. Lets use the #tmfit suggestion from Dustin since fitlife has too much noise already. Life does get crazy busy. I’m glad you’re back though! Love your plan. Keep us posted and support others.

  • Nicke Brown

    I’m in. Your post last year made a huge difference in 2012 for me. I’m sure this one will as well. I’ll have to think about the weight loss and work out amount and type. I have about 15 lbs to lose. Vanity. But I’ve always wanted to run a 5k, 10k and half marathon. This is the year! Any suggestions?

  • Mitch Zundel

    I’m in. I need something to get me going again. I don’t have a lot of weight to lose, but I feel much better when I’m running and sometimes just having an accountability partner(s) does the trick.

    Twitter: @mitchzundel

    #FitLife works

    5 lbs by February

    I eat pretty healthy, but I would like to cut out the “eating out” to just 2 times/week.

    I plan on running minimum 4 times/week for at least 30 minutes (I will walk at first to make get to the 30 minutes).

    I don’t have an app for the food, but I’ll use mapmyrun for my running. I’ll manually put in the mileage when running on the treadmill.


    • alex_lawrence

      Mitch – what’s up my man. Good to see you here. Lets use #tmfit as per Dustin’s suggestion in his comment. Too much noise on fitlife. Anyhow, your plan is try my fitness pal for food though. It’s free. Friend me there. Lets keep in touch as we progress.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Henry-Balanon/2310703 Henry Balanon

    Very timely. I’m down for losing the pounds but still unsure about publically revealing my weight and stuff :(

  • http://yourmarkontheworld.com/ Devin D. Thorpe

    Alex, good on you my friend! This year I hope to do my first triathlon and a second and to do another marathon.

  • Andrew Johnson

    @AJutah (Twitter)
    #FitLife works well!

    -I’d like to run two laps around Sugarhouse park by Feb. 1.
    -My eating plan is to drink 2 Nalgene bottles of water, and a fruit/vegetable smoothie in the morning each day.
    -My exercise plan will be to run 10 mins. on the elliptical to start, and progressively add 30 seconds each time. I’ll run twice each week.
    -I’ll track my progress on a spreadsheet.

    This initial goal is a precursor to a larger, more long term goal of losing weight, but I believe in setting these goal “sprints” because I’m more likely to achieve them. I’ve set many New Year’s resolutions that were too lofty, only to get discouraged and abandon them later on.

    • alex_lawrence

      Andrew – thanks for the twitter shout out!! Lets use #tmfit as per Dustin’s suggestion in his comment. Too much noise in the fitlife hashtag. Anyhow I love how detailed your plan is. Keep in touch a lot since your is more short term oriented. You can do it!

  • ronanvance

    Alex, first congratulations on your life change and transformation. You look great and I am sure you feel even better. Second, thanks for the post and inspiration. Perfect tone and timing. I am in!

    My goal is to lose 25 pounds by March 31. I will then set a new goal. I will be tracking my food intake on My Fitness Pal and the exercise in a spreadsheet. I’ll check out Strava. I have a Fitbit and will track calories burned during more vigorous exercise with a Polar heart rate monitor. (I plan to upgrade the iPhone so I can use the low energy blue tooth capabilities to sync a heart rate belt and track via Digifit.) I’ll have a weekly goal of net calories burned during workouts (Total minus BMR for the period) of 3,000 and inch that up each week–I am a big guy, so I can burn a lot right now.

    I have a trainer-guided cardio and strength program I do at a fitness studio which is very effective, when I go. So I am committing to getting there at least three nights a week and once on weekends. I will be active doing something every day, if that just means a 30-minute walk at lunch. It all adds up. And, I am shopping for a used road bike so I would love to work that into the mix. But I am not waiting for the purchase.

    Eating habits have to change. Smaller portions. Less starchy carbs and sugar. Less coffee, more tea and water. More greens. All will be tracked.

    #FitLife has staying power. Good choice.
    @ronanvance on Twitter
    ronanvance on Instagram (and MyFitnessPal too)

    Looking forward to this. (Oh yeah, it already started.) Thanks again Alex!

    • alex_lawrence

      Ronan — you are an animal man. Thanks for the support, too. Glad you are in! Friend me on my fitness pal and strava if you join. Love the specificity of your plan. Refer to it when sharing progress! Lets go with #tmfit though as per Dustin’s suggestion in the comments. A lot less noise than fitlife already has. Glad you started. I’m on the bike trainer right now!

  • Dustin

    Weird. My post didn’t work before. At any rate:

    @dustinnay on Twitter

    Don’t use Instagram anymore (I’m on Flickr though!)

    #FitLife is a great hashtag.

    I’m going to work on the public accountability thing. That may make the difference for me vs. the last couple times I’ve tried.

    My goal: 33 lbs. by March 21st (my wedding is March 22nd)

    I realize that’s rather ambitious, but I’m okay with shooting high this time.

    I eat fairly healthy already, excepting the sweets. I’ll be rationing my sweets somehow, not sure yet how. I already eat a fair portion of veggies daily and small portions of poultry & fish (I rarely touch red meat). I don’t use butter or margarine, even in baking, and I avoid processed sugars and flours already as well. I know I can improve my diet though. :)

    I will also be reducing eating out, & making healthier choices when I do (no more french fries– the grilled chicken wrap at Wendy’s minus the cheese and sauce is fairly healthy, as is their chili).

    Pro tip: you can buy a 6 oz. ‘kid size’ Frosty at Wendy’s for 49 cents– it’s not on the menu, but I used to work there in HS (& my fiancee is a manager at a Wendy’s store). That get’s you a chocolate Frosty fix with much fewer calories, if you can’t completely give it up.

    I will be joining Anytime Fitness and will be exercising 5 times per week, possibly more depending on the week for 30 minutes/day (to start- we’ll see where it goes). I have problems with my lungs, so I’ll have to start lighter and work up to a heavier workout as time goes on. My younger brother is training to become a personal trainer, and he is also a member of Anytime Fitness (and we live 1/2 mile apart), so we’ll go together to keep me moving.

    My office is also doing a biggest loser contest for January, so that will help keep me motivated for the first 30 days (I’m very competitive).

    • Dustin

      PS: I’ll be tracking this in a Google Spreadsheet, or an app if I find one I like. I really like spreadsheets… :)

    • alex_lawrence

      Dustin — good call on the hashtag. #TmFit it is! Lets connect on my fitness pal shall we? It shares food and weight and stuff. You can do it. We are all in this together. My all time high was 225 pounds at 5’7″. I’m at 183 this morning. 20 more to go. As for sweets, how about no sweet six days and cheat day one day a week with pretty much what you want? That’s had good success with a lot of people I know. Gotta track the calories so check that app out and friend me. We can help each other there. 5 days a week for 30 minutes it is. Starting today, right?

      • Dustin

        I’ll need ease into the no sweets 6 days/week thing, but I’m not opposed to doing that, hopefully soon. I’m fairly certain I’m actually addicted to chocolates (not joking). I tried quitting once- I made it 6 days but I thought I was going to die. Serious withdrawals. I think if I shoot for a certain portion, daily, then every other day, etc., I can trim it down. And I could start doing more dark chocolate and less milk– that would give me a chocolate fix without giving it up. My fiancee likes dark chocolate and doesn’t like milk chocolate, so I’m sure she’ll help. And she’s really good at being disciplined, which is good for me.

        I’ll check out the app. I’m really finicky about that stuff, but I need to use something, and having an app that shares everything as opposed to a spreadsheet is probably a smart move. Thanks!

        Considering I didn’t read this until today, I actually am fairly scheduled out for the day, but I’ll see about doing something tonight, if not 30 minutes. 30 minutes definitely starts tomorrow at the latest. I’ll check out the app tonight during dinner though. :)

        Thank you so much for the post and the challenge. This is what I need! Go #TMfit!

        • alex_lawrence

          Dustin — dude, definitely do what works for you. Just a suggestion :) You do need an app or method though to track what you eat. You’ll be shocked at how many calories different things have — also salt, sugar and other stuff. The reason I like MyFitnessPal is that it has everything in the world in their system, and it shows all of the nutritional info as well as calories. Pretty cool. Sooo, did you get your 30 minutes in? I went to Les Mis tonight as well! Loved it. But, you gotta do some workouts late at night or early in the morning, so get it in my man. I did 1.5 hours on the bike trainer in my basement while my family took a nap after sledding. It was tough, but got it in. You can do it!!

  • http://NerdyDork.com nerdydork

    @DustinDavis, xhenxhe on Instagram

    I suggest #AllFit or #tmfit (team fit) that is not currently being used much. I just searched for #FitLife there was too much noise.

    Lose 16 lbs by March 1

    Need to lower portions and eat less sweets. Going to be hard since I work for a company that caters every lunch and buys all the snacks we could ever want.

    I will commit to exercising at least 3 times per week for 1/2 hour each time.

    I will try to use “Lose It!” and RunKeeper since I have them installed already.

    BTW, great post Alex and congrats on the progress you have made so far! I think the exercise is going to be the hardest part for me. You wouldn’t know it now, but I was voted by my senior class as “most athletic”. I started varsity 7 seasons in 3 sports. I love sports, but I hate exercise. Crazy I know. I haven’t owned a bike since I was a teenager. I think perhaps I would enjoy mountain biking so perhaps I should save up for a mtn bike. Any suggestions on how to make exercising enjoyable, I’m all ears.

    • alex_lawrence

      Dustin — good call on the hashtag. As you know, we are using #TmFit per your suggestion. You and I have a similar weight loss goal by a similar date. It is my final 20 pounds, so I know I’ll have to eat better for it to happen (in addition to keeping up heavy exercise schedule). The food part is hard for both of us — I eat out business meals almost every breakfast and lunch, and often dinners, too. And the food is usually at good places, so tough to order light! But we gotta do it or we won’t hit our goal. As for exercise, we have similar stories there, too. I know what you mean. I should say I love to be active, not love to exercise. There is a big difference. I used to hate to run. Now I can’t. But in between now and then, I learned to love it. How? By entering races. I did a few marathons. I’d suggest you do that. It’ll bring out that old competitor in you and give you some additional sense of accomplishment. So enter a bike race, or a running race, or something like that. Enter it this week! Have the date be in March or April so you are forced to train between now and then. I think that might work. Give it a try and let me know!

      • http://NerdyDork.com nerdydork

        Yes, your story really resonated with me. Thanks for sharing. I chose 16 lbs because I weighed 220 when I got married and I haven’t weighed that much since then. It seems to be the magic number for me.

        Marathons terrify me. Probably because I ran in a school mini marathon in 3rd grade and took dead last. I’ll look around though and see if I can find a short one.

        • alex_lawrence

          The magic number it is then my man. Marathons scared me too. I was never a “runner” and never thought I’d do one. Anyhow, don’t start there. I did three 1/2 marathons first. You can do 13 miles. I bet you could go out and walk/run 13 miles tomorrow if you HAD to. It’d take awhile, but you could. Sign up for one!

  • http://www.facebook.com/taylorbhowe Taylor Howe

    Twitter and Instagram: @taylorbhowe

    My goal: To weigh 180 (I’m at 197 right now) by March 1st AND to have a visible six pack (or at least close to it)

    Eating/dietary plan: Eat strictly meat, veggies, legumes, beans, and proteins during week and cheat day where anything goes on Saturday.

    Cutting back on: Processed food, sodas, white breads

    Exercise plan: 30 min cardio 20 min weights/strength training 3 x per week

    Apps: Strava (Taylor Howe) and MyFitnessPal (taylorbhowe)

    Stoked for this!

    • alex_lawrence

      Taylor — nice to have a GroSocial dude on board. Get big Jim to join us :) Hey, love your plan. That is some serious strict eating. I need help there. I’m thinking of planning/prepping a lot of food on Sunday nights along those same lines and then having a cheat day, too. Lets connect on both of those networks, and I’ll see you on Twitter/IG with the hashtag!

      • http://www.facebook.com/taylorbhowe Taylor Howe

        Thanks, Alex! I’ll see if Jim is into the idea too.

        My eating plan comes from the slow-carb diet in the 4 Hour Body. Felt great when I did it in the past. I like your idea of prepping food on Sundays. Gonna try and do that myself as well.

  • http://twitter.com/mattsuthe Matt Sutherland

    Apps have actually been huge for me. Half the reason I go to the gym is so that I don’t lose being the mayor on FourSquare. I also use different exercise apps: JeFitt, Zombies Run!, and My Fitness Pal. Those are great too for keeping yourself accountable.

  • Sunny Hunt

    I’m in. Winter and I don’t get along and I need to get more exercise to help with the long dark days and the cold and, well, I just need it. It’s long overdue (I’m “skinny fat”).

    Starting tomorrow I’ll be run/walk/gasp/crawling up the hill with the dog every day and doing strength training every other day.

    I don’t have pounds to lose or a specific goal other than “keep moving to feel better” and making it a habitual part of my routine. Once part of my routine I’ll add some specific goals but know that if I initially overload myself or over-commit, I’ll punk out.

    Twitter @sunnyhunt
    Instagram sunnyhunt

    • alex_lawrence

      Sunny — you are awesome. I love your plan. I’ll be anxious to hear how the walk goes tomorrow. Good idea not taking on too much, no punks here, okay?

  • http://twitter.com/matthod Matt Hodson

    I will definitely join in. I am @Matthod on both networks.

    My plan is to cut back on sweet and sugary sodas. I already eat very little bread as I am the only one in my household that can eat gluten. I have been needing to start P90x back up and hope that my back and knees will allow it. i will be doing a modified version to lower the chance of injury.

    I would like to lose 15 pounds by the end of March. That would put me at right around 175 again.

    I will be using MyFitnessPal for tracking as I love that app. Helped me lose 19 lbs before my injuries. Thanks for setting this all up.

    • alex_lawrence

      Hods — so good to have you aboard. I already follow you on Twitter, but I’ll look for you on IG (both with the hashtags of course #TmFit). As for P90x, I know you can do it. Don’t make me send you some videos of people that have real health problems doing awesome things! Someone did that to me with my back and it got me thinking about how I have an injury (as do you), but I have an even bigger excuse injury! LOL. Let’s find each other on MyFitnessPal — I need help there. I end most days in a deficit, but I need to eat more protein and less sweets! Oh, and happy bday again :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/megan.c.quilter Megan C Quilter


    m10chris for Instagram and MegsQ10 on my fitness pal

    This post actually hit home for me. All of my life I have been very active and I have played soccer for about 19 years. A year and a half ago I was playing soccer when a boy came from behind and kicked my leg. This resulted in a completely torn ACL and partial tear in my meniscus. I went on to have surgery and physical therapy but I guess you could say I have somewhat let myself go. I’ve gained about 25 pounds and I am just unhappy with how I feel and look. Plus, at times I find it hard to find the motivation take control and put the candy down and get up and exercise.

    I keep making excuses that I’m too busy, or my knee isn’t strong enough. It was a huge blow to my ego when I received personal training sessions as a Christmas gift from a
    relative. I didn’t see it as an opportunity until I read this post. I am going to try to start exercising at least twice a week if not four times. I believe that if I am held accountable, I can accomplish my goal of losing at least 15 pounds, getting more toned, and most important, getting back on the soccer field by March as well. I realize this will be difficult especially since all I ever seem to crave is sugary sweets and French fries. I plan to cut back on both of these things. Even though I resisted it at first, and I’m still nervous, I’m starting the personal training session tonight at 6 o’clock. Wish me luck…

    • alex_lawrence

      Megan — awesome to have you aboard. I’m sorry to hear about your injury. You’ve hit the nail on the head though — we use our injuries sometimes as excuses. So glad you are headed to the trainer tonight! Let us know how it goes. As for your goals, I’d say commit to either two days or four, don’t allow the wiggle room. So which is it? :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/megan.c.quilter Megan C Quilter

        Well after talking with the trainer tonight…I’m going for six days a week!! No more excuses! :) I’m excited for the experience!

  • Ryan Quilter


    This post could not have been more timely. I’ve been married for only a year and half–and I’m already packing on the pounds. My wife and myself met with a personal trainer tonight. My goals are to exercise 5-6 times a week for a minimum of 45 mins, and to lose 10% of my body fat by March 23rd. I will be cutting back on sugar, and portions sizes-no longer will I be laying on the floor in pain after Sunday dinner. I need to become more familiar with the exercise apps before I commit to one.

    My twitter name in ryanquilter.

    I look forward to crushing this! Best of luck to all of my fellow #TmFit members!

    • alex_lawrence

      Hey Ryan — glad you and Megan are doing this together. Awesome. I’m following you on Twitter now, so look forward to seeing your progress with your plan.

  • http://twitter.com/jkhowland Joshua Howland

    – My Twitter and Instagram are both @jkhowland
    – I love the hashtag. The stream for it is already pretty fun to follow.
    – My goal is to get back to a 4:50 mile, and to run a full marathon in under 3 hours 5 minutes.
    – No more fast food.
    – My goal is to run 4 days a week: Monday (short), Tuesday (long), Thursday (short), Friday (fartlek). And to throw in abs and yoga workouts (probably from P90X).
    – I’m thinking I’ll use Nike+ and DayOne for now. I may throw together my own database app like DAYTUM… I’m mad they’ve really stopped supporting and building.

    • http://twitter.com/jkhowland Joshua Howland

      I haven’t exercised regularly since I played for BYU 4 years ago. This is going to be a big change for me.

    • alex_lawrence

      Josh – you the man. Thanks for joining in. I had an UP band and didn’t love it. Nike Fuel here Monday though, so I will give that a shot. Did you run yet today?

  • James Taylor

    Ok I am in as well

    10 pounds by march:

    -Crossfit four times a week
    -Protein shake for either breakfast or lunch
    -At lunch just get a sandwich with out the fries or soda.

    • alex_lawrence

      JT! So glad you are on board. I’m following you now on Twitter. CrossFit 4x a week is a good plan, and I love the no fries/soda at lunch. Me too. Let’s help each other out there.

  • cuteculturechick

    I’ve got the advantage of already being in a good groove with my health. You know where I was at with my health at the beginning of 2012, and I plan to keep rocking it through 2013. I plan to continue to stick to the eating plan suggested by my surgeon and nutritionist, and exercise at least 20 minutes 3x a week (but strive for more). I’m also going to be doing a 5k in a few months…and I’m planning to be able to run most, if not all of it. When things warm up in the spring, I’ll be selling my cruiser bike and get a more suitable street or mountain bike for going longer distances.

    MyFitnessPal: cuteculturechick

    Twitter: @cuteculturechic

    Instagram: cuteculturechick

    Yay #FitLife!

    • alex_lawrence

      Nicole! You have been doing so well! It has been really fun to watch you progress. So my question for you is this — how about upping it to 30 minutes 3x a week? You can do it. And I know you’ll be able to do the 5k. I plan to see you achieving that no problem! Keep up the great work. Let us know if you accept the 30 minute challenge so we can all help you (and you help US) keep accountable. Okay?

      • cuteculturechick

        Man. 30 will be tough for me on days that I’m spinning. I felt like I was going to fall off the bike at 17. I guess on those days I can walk the track to get up to 30.

        I have been working with my doctor and nutritionist to get my reactive hypoglycemia under control (RH is a tough side effect of gastric bypass). They both told me to exercise LESS and eat more carbs in days I work out.

        • alex_lawrence

          Definitely follow doctors orders. I didn’t realize you were still under restriction. My bad.

          • cuteculturechick

            It’s tough to push it so hard when I’m still just having 700-900 calories a day. If I burn more than half of that, it can get dicey with my blood sugars.

  • http://www.facebook.com/keddington James Keddington

    Alrighty, I am in. I am floating somewhere between 215 and 220 today at 5’9. I would love to be 170 again. That’s 50 pounds I need to lose. My initial goal is to lose 15 pounds by Feb. 11. Thats when water polo season starts up again. I start today with 30 minute workout.

    • alex_lawrence

      James — my man. So glad you are in, and hope your wife joins, too. So give me some more specifics on your plan. How many days a week (I say go for five!)? What will you be doing for 30 minutes a time? Any dietary changes?

      • http://www.facebook.com/keddington James Keddington

        yeah, 5 days a week. 30 minutes each. I plan on mixing it up with swimming, stationary bike, walking the dog and weights. Reduce how much I eat is the game plan, especially on the sweets.

        Just got back from my first 30 minute dog walk and jog. I left at 11 PM, but had to get in it on day one. Today when the family made brownies, I ate just one. Had a suggested serving size of oatmeal for breakfast, lunch was portioned down and so was dinner. I am starving. Is it OK to have a protein shake this late at night? Anyone know that answer to that? Right after a jog?

  • http://twitter.com/jimmyjacobson Jimmy Jacobson

    Here is a great post recently on Hacker News about fitness, along with other tech people comments on working out.


    I’m @jimmyjacobson on Twitter. I’ll be riding my bike, meditation, doing yoga and calorie restricting.

    I’m using Fitbit, Strava and the iOS Lift app to track my goals.

    The biggest thing I’ve learned is, find a buddy. If it’s someone else that you are going to let down if you skip your workout, you’ll get up in the morning to ride/workout/etc. You don’t have to go it alone. Make sacrifices to work out together.

    • alex_lawrence

      So, so, so happy you are aboard. I know you’ve already been doing a lot of this anyway, but still…
      Love the link. Thanks for sharing. I just bookmarked it for later, too. Looking forward to our biking adventures in Las Vegas soon!

  • http://twitter.com/bcweekes Brandon C Weekes

    In and excited.

    MFP: bcweekes

    Thirteen years of focusing on family, businesses, and schooling. I’m a snacker, when stressed. Not a pretty site.

    Weight loss goal: 100 lbs by year end 2013. Starting with 35 lbs by end of March.

    Eating plan: greatly reduce portion size, healthier choices, drastically reduce sugar intake, no soda, and minimal grains.

    Exercise: I’ll aim for an hour a day, five days a week. (Walking/jogging with my lab, Branson, will be part of daily routine. He could really do with some trimming down also.)

    I know I’ve need to commit to better health for a long time. This will really good for me. Thanks


    • alex_lawrence

      Brandon — glad to see you join in the “fun”. I’m following you on Twitter, so I’ll look for your #TmFit updates there. So one hour a day, five days a week. Great. Did you go today yet?

  • http://twitter.com/_SeanMcNeely Sean McNeely

    Great post Alex!

    I started paying a lot of attention to my health and body about 2.5 years ago, and have enjoyed my life and the hobby that I’ve made out of it so much since I started.

    I really agree with everything you said about eating things in moderation and creating an eating pattern that is sustainable. Many restaurants have good substitutes to the foods we all love. For example: yesterday I reduced fat and simple sugars from my breakfast at IHOP by asking for sugar free syrup, egg whites instead of eggs, and turkey bacon. Another trick that has helped me cut fat is substituting fibrous vegetables like asparagus or green beans for some of the more caloric dense carbs in a diet. This change allows you to eat more volume, if that is what you prefer or have been used to.

    I also like the public accountability a lot. I Plan on putting on 1-2 pounds of muscle (and unfortunately a few pounds of fat in the process) by February, and then leaning down to around 4-5% bodyfat for a bodybuilding show in the spring.

    Best of luck to everyone, you can do it! I’m excited to see what everyone will accomplish!


  • Withwendover

    I’ve tried to post and it didn’t work. Bottom line-I’m in. @withwendover
    Just had my first kid and I need motivation to get back to working out…

    • alex_lawrence

      I just followed you on Twitter. Use the #TmFit hashtag. Wonder why your post didn’t work? What’s your plan — how many days a week, how long, doing what, dietary changes, etc. — YOU CAN DO THIS. Glad to have you aboard!

  • http://twitter.com/unculturedswine Joel Jenkins

    Alright Alex, I’m joining in but not quite yet. I’ve got to stabilize a few of my foundations before I can commit to an improved life routine. January 15th it is, just like we agreed on Twitter.

    I would like to improve my routine and my eating schedule. I’ve spent my entirely life always working for someone else, doing favors for someone else, etc and don’t give near enough of my time for myself to take care of myself. I am a terrible client for myself, both physically and at work. For me, this challenge is more than just getting fit, it’s giving myself the time I need to succeed in all facets of life. I’m grateful for a place to be more accountable.

    So, I’ll be cutting back on eating out and eating fast food. More vegetables, more home-cooked meals that are better balanced. I want to add much more variety to my cooking regime.

    I’m going to be walking, lifting weights, and jumping on a mini-trampoline during TV time. I’ll be buying a new bike soon (my last was stolen) so I can get back into that.

    I’ll have to look into the apps I’ll use, but I’ll be sure to be accountable on twitter for ya.

    This is a good thing, I need to get my life in better shape. Thanks for the challenge.

    • http://NerdyDork.com nerdydork

      Welcome aboard Joel!

    • alex_lawrence

      Joel — so happy you are in on the 15th. It will be great to accomplish this together. How many days a week will you exercise, and for how long (one you start)?

  • http://twitter.com/_KenKaufman Ken Kaufman

    Alex, I’d like to participate. Thanks for getting all of us inspired to help each other!

    Twitter: @_KenKaufman
    Instagram: kenkaufman

    I will exercise 6 days/week for 1.5 hours (60 mins cardio, usually stationary bike, and 30 mins strength training with dumbbells).

    I will drop my calorie intake to between 1,600-1,800 per day and track that on myfitnesspal (kenkaufman).

    I will cut out all sweets, stop eating after 7pm, and get a full 64 ozs of water per day.

    I currently weigh about 228 lbs at 6’2″, and I would like to drop to 205 lbs (that’s where I was as a senior in high school and where I was at as recently as 2 years ago) by the middle of June when I leave on a 50+ mile backpacking trip.

    • http://twitter.com/_KenKaufman Ken Kaufman

      Oh, and my wife and I are joining a health start-up challenge, so I’ll have her support as well. #tmfit

    • alex_lawrence

      Ken – I’m happy to see you join in. Your plan is very specific, and intense! Love it. 6 days a week for 1.5 hours a day, that’s about what I’m doing so lets keep each other accountable daily.

  • http://www.igobydoc.com igobydoc

    Hey Alex, or _Alex…

    Finally made it, and I love that you pester me. Thanks for that BTW. Even after eating that lovely meal today at Denny’s I had you in the back of my brain.


    igobydoc on Twitter
    Instagram / rarely use http://instagram.com/igobydoc

    Rock on with #FitLife

    As for accountability, I have been pondering creating blog posts to #1 name the goal, and to post at least weekly updates

    I would like to be down at least 30lbs by end of March. Seems attainable, but it is a big goal.

    Plan: TBD… I know you said no “Fads” but I have a Dr. telling me I need to make change (have not listened for years, and the diabetes is catching up) so he wants me on the Tim Ferris 4-Hour Body plan. I need to get the body regulated, and metabolism turned back on. So, I have been reading the book… and trying to decode the sucker as Tim does not give too many details. While it may not be the life long plan, it is something I can do for 6 months then move back to normal… whatever that is.

    But I need to cut back on sweets, and carbs. Almost anything white or made with white. Go more protein, and legumes. No sugary beverages for fruit juices. Vut back on the diet soda and drink a lot more water.

    Exercise is TBD… gonna try what is in the 4HB. Simplistic, and makes total sense. Great book my the way, if you like to read that stuff.

    As for an App… no idea. What is out there? I will prob keep track in a Google doc.

    Anyway, that is my plan. Although I am not starting before the end of the year, it will be after the 1st, but not be a resolution because I hate those too. It will be a commitment to me to make change.

    Now to make that BodPod appointment!

    And now you know… let’s all have a #FitLife


    • alex_lawrence

      DOC!!!!! Really glad you are here and that you are going to get healthy again. You are adding pounds to your frame as fast as you can before the New Year, aren’t ya’? Hey, glad you are doing it either way. I need more specificity on the exercise though. I do like 4HB, but need to know how many days a week and for how long so we can indeed hold you publicly accountable for it. Vague doesn’t work, details do :) As for an app, I really like MyFitnessPal to track everything you eat and to connect with others to see what you/they are eating. Friend me there. As for exercise, you should get a FitBit, Nike Fuel or Jawbone UP. They track your exercise and in some cases, sleep. The hashtag is going to be #TmFit (since #FitLife had too much noise), so I am stoked to see you post that after Tuesday. Really hope you can help me and others as we help you, too. Let’s do this my man!

    • http://twitter.com/KileyG Kiley Newbold

      For what it’s worth, I followed Tim’s diet for several months and it really kickstarted healthier eating long term for me. I still use a lot of what he talks about in that book, but with some other tips and tricks added in.

  • http://www.igobydoc.com igobydoc

    Ummm… I just typed out a mega comment, does not seem to have saved. =(

  • http://twitter.com/LukeGundy Luke Gunderson

    Twitter and Instagram: LukeGundy
    Goal: Drop 60 pound by July and become a tough mudder in 2013.
    Dietary plan: No fast food, drink more water, and smaller portions all around.
    Exercise plan: Swimming, lifting, and yoga each 1/2 an hour twice a week.
    Apps: DailyBurn?

  • http://www.onlineadvertisinggeek.com Mandi Hudson

    Twitter and Instragram: Advertisinggeek
    – #FitLife works for me
    – Working out 5 days a week is my goal, no specific weight goals. Just need to get in and stick to a regular workout
    – Eating plan 5 servings of veggies and fruit a day, more whole grains. I am not huge on sweets (the holidays sort of mess that one up a bit though)
    – I use Striiv and MyFitnessPal, but I just got a Jawbone Up so it may replace them if I decide I like it more!

  • http://twitter.com/TySpace Tyler Riggs

    Twitter: @TySpace

    Instagram: Triggdor

    My public accountability goal is to be 200 pounds by June 1. I topped out at 272.5 back in July and here on Dec. 31 just weighed in at 238.2 (I was really happy with this too because I spent 15 of the past 18 days on the road in Las Vegas and my parents’ house in Utah and that really made getting regular exercise and healthy meals difficult, especially with it being the holidays. I was 240-245 before all the traveling.)

    My for my eating plan, I am not going to do anything extreme, I am just going to try to be smart. Watching portion sizes, cutting out some danger areas (no cheese on sandwiches, for example) and looking to increase fruits and vegetables wherever possible.

    For my exercise plan, my aim up to this point, except when traveling, has been to get in at minimum 30 minutes, and preferably 45-60 minutes at the gym, daily, or, if not at the gym, on a run (ran 10k in one run last month for the first time ever). The goal I’ll set though, being realistic, is to average 45 minutes a day of exercise 6 days a week. I mostly do cardio, but I will try to pepper in a little light weight lifting.

    Finally for apps, I will start using MyFitnessPal again (used it very dedicated for a while, but fell off for whatever reason and regret it.) My username on there is Triggdor. I also use Nike Plus and would love friends to compete with on the leaderboard there, my username is [email protected].

    Let’s go #TmFit!

  • Adam Q. Cannon

    I think this is a great idea, I’d love to join in (heard about this from a G+ friend).

    I love the idea of a lifestyle change rather than a fad diet or “program”.

    If there’s still room, I’d love to join in. Here’s my info:

    I’m on Twitter: @aqcannon, but very, very inactive there. FB and G+ are my social media of choice.

    Not on Instagram
    #FitLife works great

    My goal is to get back to the gym (I’ve been on crutches and in a wheelchair for 9 months of 2012), to lose another 50+ lbs (140 lost in 2012), and to continue to monitor my eating and healthy habits.

    I currently use MyFitnessPal religiously (coming up on one year of constant logging) to monitor my diet and exercise. I’d like to cut back on the diet sodas.

    Currently my exercise consists of maneuvering around on crutches…a fairly good cardio workout when you’re my size (6’7″ 360 lbs). I plan to get back to at least once a day six days a week with the hopes of bumping that to twice a day at least 3 days a week.

    As I said, the app I use is MyFitnessPal. I’m on there as aqcannon.

    • cuteculturechick

      So glad you’re joining in Adam!

    • alex_lawrence

      Adam, welcome! Please share and get some more G+ peeps aboard if you can. I shared it there as well, but I’m not very active on G+. We do have a FB group though. Feel free to friend me and I’ll add you to the #TmFit group. My FB page is http://www.facebook.com/alexlawrence — as for you’re plan, dude, you sound like you know what you are doing! Let’s connect on MyFitnessPal as we both work daily to achieve our fitness goals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rex.baxter.9 Rex Baxter

    #tmfit count me in! I’ll lay out my plan shortly. Thanks for the invite Alex!

    • alex_lawrence

      Cool, Rex! Check out the other posts. We need to know what you are committing to doing, what your goals are and how (specifically) you are going to get there. Then we can help keep you accountable (and you can help us do the same). Looking forward to your updated post with those details. Be sure to include where others can find you (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MyFitnessPal, etc).

  • http://twitter.com/jeterfanz Jared Geisler

    Great way to get losing weight, Public Accountability!! HAHA. .I suck at this already, but had a phone call about a month ago from Alex on my cell phone, out of the blue, and basically told me to get going! Hows that for a sign? Thanks Alex for caring enough to pick up the phone.
    Twitter Name: @jeterfanz
    Ultimately, I would like to lose 100lbs over the next 12 months, but a shorter, more simple goal will be 50 lbs by the 4th of July. . With the way I lose weight, once I get going, I can throw it off pretty easilly. I have some pretty good lifestyle change instruction from a buddy who is a former NFL’er (just retired from San Diego), and I want to do this to show my kids that I will be there long term for them. I want to be able to shoot hoops, hike, and snowboard with my kids as they are growing up.
    The eating regimine is pretty easy to follow. . I have the plan written on paper, but it is too long to post here. It allows for alot of good foods, just in moderation. I have a 32oz Mtn Dew every morning, that I plan on cutting out. . I have cut it out before, and it wasn’t too difficult.
    I really need to figure out the excercise thing. . I have a very busy work life (probably not busier than most of you) but I need something to commit to. I leave for work everyday at 6:15am, fulfilling a long work day, so my workout will have to be early morning, or late night. . A mid-day workout is out of the question, to be completely honest. I would love to work out 5 days a week, but I will need to figure that out. . I have plenty of pals that are currently working out 6 days a week, so I have people to go to. I am also using myfitnesspal, as well as Lose It!
    I am looking forward to this. I need to be held accountable~!

    • alex_lawrence

      Jared — great to have you here. A few comments:

      More specificity on your workouts. We’ve already talked about that and you have committed to six days as week, every morning for one hour. So what you do during that hour, so far, you haven’t disclosed. We need to know. As for eating, MyFitnessPal I know is your plan. Be religious and honest there, right? Awesome. We look forward to your updates on FB group page bud. You can do this. It’ll be harder than you lead on, but I know you can.

  • Tiffany Peterson

    I choose to have more energy & vitality. I will be juicing daily plus eating at least one more green veggie daily with my juice. I am leaving sugar – processed sugar – for 90 days. I have found sweet recipes with agave or raw cocoa powder. Sugar has been my addiction and I’m taking my power back. I choose to have life and to have it more abundantly. Although I’ve been thin my whole life, I want to be, I choose to be healthy, fit, and full of juicy, joyful life force!! Thanks for doing this Alex!

    • alex_lawrence

      Hi Tiff! I’m so glad you are joining in. I hope you’ll inspire others you know to do the same. So no sugar — awesome. Any plans to exercise more/different? Also, what is your Twitter/IG name so people can connect with you here? Would love to see you in the FB group, too.

  • http://twitter.com/BCimmino Brandy Lee-Cimmino


    Thank you! I am inspired by you and others with whom you associate every day. This post has been circling in my mind for a few days. I know it is cliche to post this on Jan. 1, but I started a week ago making small changes to my diet and work out regime.

    @bcimmino (twitter) and greendaisy (Instagram)

    My goal is to lose 30lbs by the end of March 2013. I am already down four! 😀

    I have an allotted amount of calories I will eat each day. This worked for me the first time I made some major changes a few years ago. I have already been feeling better by taking out the junk, sweets, and soda.

    My goal for exercise is to hit the gym once a day for at least an hour. I am running in the Ogden Half at the end of May and have signed up for the Winter Running Circuit through Striders in Layton. I will also ride in at least one half or full century again this year :)

    I just downloaded MyFitnessPal and I really like it. There are many on my phone and I haven’t found one for me yet. Maybe this is the one. I am using it under “brandyalee”.

    Thanks again for your inspiration and community building!

    • alex_lawrence

      Hi Brandy — thank you for joining in! Sounds like you have a good plan. Will you be updating in the FB group?

  • http://twitter.com/Bryan_Packer Bryan Packer

    I’m in Alex! As I mentioned on Twitter, I have been a runner for about 9 years now, but I’ve always struggled with my weight because I love to eat and I love to eat a lot! I’ve put a few more pounds over the last year while we have built and moved into a new home. I’d like to run my third half marathon and my 9th Ragnar Relay in June and my first full marathon in the fall. In order to do this, I need to drop at least 40 pounds — so that’s my goal. Here the rest…

    Twitter: @Bryan_Packer

    Instagram: @bryanpacker

    Weight loss goal: 40 pounds by May

    Eating/dietary plan: Cut back on portion size

    Exercise plan: Workout 5 days a week for at least an hour — somedays will be more based on half marathon training plan. Workouts will be made up of running and also stationary bike.

    Apps: To track my runs, I use MapMyRun. I’ve used it for a few years and love it. For dietary tracking, I’m going to five My Fitness Pal a go. I’ve never really used any others faithfully.

    • alex_lawrence

      Bryan — found it! Sorry I didn’t reply sooner. Glad to have you aboard man! Good plan, now time to follow thru. Update us on Twitter/IG with hashtags, and make sure you are in the FB group, too (are we friends on FB?). Also, are we connected on MyFitnessPal?

  • http://twitter.com/eEditor Steve Bryson

    Okay, count me in.

    Between October 31 2011 and May 2012, I lost 41 pounds. Since then I’ve taken 15 lbs back, mainly because I freaking love food and I take the path of least resistance whenever available. It’s time to become a calorie scrooge again.

    My twitter name is @eEditor and my Instagram name is the same.
    My public accountability goal is to lose 15 pounds by March 2013, and be back to my 2012 low of 174 pounds.
    My eating/diet plan is to cut back portions so that I am in a calorie deficit six days a week.
    I hate exercise in 95% of it’s forms, so don’t be looking too hard for any news on that from me.
    I’ll be using the MyNetDiary app again to track everything, as it worked for me before.

    • alex_lawrence

      Steve! Wow, I’m surprised. You are such a maverick, are you sure you want group accountability? Also, a question. You do know that if you don’t eat like this for the rest of your life, the pounds will always come back just like they did last time? If you are unwilling to exercise at all then you should dust plan on not having much fun eating. I’m glad you are here, but just saying’…

  • Libby

    I am Libby Mitchell on Facebook and @KSLBrowser50 on Twitter. I want to lose 30 pounds by August 8th. I am using My Fitness Pal to track food, and hope to get out and walk at least five times a week, dragging my husband with me. We both have the “eight year married” bodies.

    • cuteculturechick

      My husband and I have been married 8 years, and he mentioned in the FB group how he wants to get back to his college weight. Which was before we got married. He’s feeling a little competitive because I’ve lost so much weight this year.

      Glad you’re joining in, Libby!

    • alex_lawrence

      Hi Libby — thanks for joining us. I haven’t seen you post many updates on FB or Twitter. How is it going? Daily accountability to the group is important. Did you hit your calorie deficit? Did you walk yesterday? I also think you need to say how long/fast you are going to walk. “getting out” can be justified as 10 minutes, which won’t get you to 30 pounds. Also, I have a 12 year married body, but I’m changing that too :) You can do it!

  • Brandi Hammon

    Brandi Hammon, I am in. Need to lose 20 by March 30th. Back to eating paleo with one cheat day a week. I commit to two days of crossfit per week and at least 3 other days of something. I like to mix it up…
    brandi_hammon twitter.

    • alex_lawrence

      Hi Brandi! I just added you to the FB group. Will you participate in the daily update post on your cross fit? Also, what are your other 3 days likely to be? More specific the better. As for eating, you should try the MyFitnessPal app — it makes you track everything and connects you to others so they can see what you eat and if you hit your paleo goals.

  • AustenjAllred

    Sup guys. I’m in.

    Basically I don’t have too many pounds I would like to lose, maybe 10? I eat like crap and play soccer twice a week, and luckily I haven’t been destroyed because of it.

    Twitter: @AustenJAllred, instagram: austenallred FB: No one else spells their name “Austen”, so search it. I’ll probably be posting the most in Twitter.

    So my goals:
    Exercise daily.
    No soda.


    • alex_lawrence

      Hey Austen — glad you are joining in the fun. Haven’t seen you post updates anywhere though. Exercise daily for how long? Six days a week or seven? And no soda of any kind? How is that going so far? The place to answer these questions is on the FB page for #TmFit or on Twitter with the #TMFit hashtag. Hope to see you achieve your plan my man.

  • http://twitter.com/KileyG Kiley Newbold

    I’m officially in. I actually started a work out streak around Thanksgiving, so I am happy that TMfit will help to keep me going.

    Twitter: @kileyg
    Instagram: thekileyg

    I plan to work out 6 days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes each day. Most days I will get more than 30 minutes in, but I will ALWAYS get 30.

    I don’t have weight loss goals, but I do have some specific fitness related goals:

    1) Run at least 1 marathon (or further) in 2013 – assuming my ankle stays healthy
    2) Keep my ankle healthy
    3) Be able to do 30 pull ups without dropping off the bar by the end of April
    4) Learn to swim ( I can swim to save my life, but would like to be able to swim laps and eventually complete a triathlon)
    5) Continue to stay away from caffeine

    I plan to make several trips into the Wasatch mountains for trail running, hiking, snow shoeing etc. If any other TMfit members are interested in joining, let me know!

    For diet, I try to keep it pretty simple. Essentially I eat lean proteins, veggies, fruits, lugumes, selective on my carbs, stay away from processed foods, limited dairy. Lots of water.

    I use Runkeeper to track my runs, and a spreadsheet to track my other workouts. I’ll check out MyFitnessPal.

    Let’s do this!

    • alex_lawrence

      Kiley — so glad you made it here from Twitter. This will be great. I love your specific plan. The key is to report to the group so we can help hold you accountable to it. FB page or Twitter with the hashtag. If you are on MyFitnessPal, find me. It is a big help to me.

  • steph k

    I tend to do WORSE when I’m in an accountability group, but here we go!

    I lost about 50-60 pounds between 2010 and May 2012. I gained most of it back because of a whole bunch of emotional trauma in my life this year. Even though I changed my habits, nothing was working. It’s starting to come off again SLOWLY.

    twitter: @stephkdesign (which is private right now), instagram: @thedesigngurl

    I WANT to lose that 60 pounds again by the end of the year. If not more.

    I follow a clean-eating/Precision Nutrition plan suggested by my personal trainer. I need to be more compliant on it (like 95% instead of 80%).

    I work with a personal trainer (lifting weights mostly) for 1 hour 3X a week. I need to add cardio and HIIT back in on another 3 days a week. (Hopefully I can get a bike and start riding it the 4 miles to work when it gets warmer!)

    I use MFP! TheDesignGurl.

  • http://twitter.com/CoachSel Gary Seljaas

    I have been involved in the Health and Fitness industry for over 20 years and have remained fairly active. A number of years back i was diagnosed with Arthritis(AS) in my Spine and was told that it could be managed by medication and exercise. Recently I was approved for a drug called Humira and it has been a miracle in controlling the back issues. The one issue is i have gained over 15 lbs. in the past few months without changing much in my life.
    My goal is to get to 210 lbs. from a current weght of 230 lbs. by March 1, 2013. In addition i want to log 365 hours of exercise in 2013. Need to start by cutting out simple sugars and controlling portion sizes.
    Twitter = @coachsel
    Will start using MyFitnessPal again.

  • Kathy Dalton

    Hello everyone! I’m Kathy Dalton

    Twitter: aka @kathydaltonslc or @adventuremomtv
    FB: Kathy Dalton
    Insagram: kathydaltonslc

    Goal: Lose 7 pounds (down to 147) and replace fat with muscle in time for my brother’s wedding May 4th. Work out 3 times a week: 1 hour of cardio + 30 min weights.

    My eating plan is to eat 5 smaller meals a day and count calories.

    I’ll be holding monthly meetups where we can go for hikes or bike rides together on my AdventureMom.TV blog.

    • alex_lawrence

      Kathy! Glad to have you aboard. Love the plan. Please post daily updates to your exercise and eating plan on the FB page, okay? Love it when you use the #tmfit hashtag on twitter as well. This will be fun to tie into your new site down the road.

  • http://twitter.com/kirkandjen92 Jennifer Stickler

    Ok:) I talked with your cute mom today and she talked me in to doing this!! So here goes:

    Twitter: @kirkandjen92
    Instagram: kirkandjen92

    I would like to lose 20 lbs by April 7th, 2013…I currently weigh 153
    I will cut back on sweets and carbs…only drink water and milk with an occasional Chai Tea:)
    I started working out at French Kiss Fitness and have been trying to go 3 times a week…typically Beginning Pole on Tuesdays, Fly Fitness on Thursdays and Beginning Silk on Sundays….Sounds like crazy workouts…I know…but they are HARD!! I need to get some runs in on my off days…I got in to the Ogden Half in May and I would like to run that in 2:30…my last half I did was 2:59…
    I just downloaded the My Fitness App…I will check it out!
    I LOVE accountability! Should be Fun!!

  • http://twitter.com/Bryan_Packer Bryan Packer

    I’ve been a runner for about 9 years now. I’ve run two half marathons, 8 Ragnar Relays and countless 10Ks and 5Ks. But, I’ve always struggled with keeping my weight down because I love to eat. My intention in joining #tmfit is to motivate me and help me be accountable with what I eat. Doing this in addition to my weekly workouts will help me drop the 38 pounds I’d like to lose at the moment. My beginning weight this week was 288. I’d like to be to 250 pounds by May 1. I’m going to train for my third half marathon that will happen in June. I will also run my 9th Ragnar in June. I’d like to wrap up the year by running my first full marathon in the Fall.

    Twitter: @Bryan_Packer

    Instagram: @bryanpacker

    Public accountability goal: 38 pounds by May 1 (288 to 250)

    Eating/dietary plan: Track food intake daily and watch portions

    Exercise plan: 4-5 days a week of running. I will also be spending two mornings a week working on basketball skills and fundamentals with my oldest son. My running will increase in March when I start a 12 week training program for the half marathon.

    Apps used: I will use My Fitness Pal to track my food intake. I started using it this week and really like it. I use MapMyRun to track my running. I’ve used MapMyRun for years and love it. I would like to save up to purchase a Nike FuelBand.

  • http://twitter.com/collin_s Collin Searle

    Making this thing official!

    Twitter: @Collin_S
    Instagram: collcoll

    This year has been a crazy and health and exercise was the lifestyle item that took the biggest hit. I’m not in this for losing weight, but getting a healthy balance back in my life. My plan is to consistent exercise, better eating habits, and limit/kill off soda.

    My eating plan will be to keep daily calories around 2000/2200 (still wanting to add mass) and this will mean I have to cut out second helpings, my favorite meal. :)

    I will exercise 4-5 days per week. This will consist of weight training and running. I would like to run a half marathon this year, but need to get endurance and education. I would love any running advice/groups to help accomplish this one. Then once summer hits, it will be a heavy dose of mountain biking!

  • http://twitter.com/yellowagj Adam Jacox

    I’m in! The last 2 months of 2012 I did the full Insanity workout (from beachbody) – my wife begged and pleaded for me to do it with her and I finally gave in. It was definitely difficult and I saw some good results. Problem was I continued to eat like a horse.

    2013 Goals:

    – Restart this workout program – which consists of 6 workouts a week (about 40min-1hr long) and continue it indefinitely. I am also going to track my calories with the myfitnesspal app to keep me accountable to my wife and myself (this saved me from eating a bowl of choc fudge ice cream last night).

    – My weight loss goal is to loose 2lbs a week – down to 175lbs (I’m currently at 190 – ouch). This amounts to 1340 calories net each day. After that, I fully intend to maintain my new exercise and eating habits.

    The best part of this is that I get to work on it with my wife – who has similar goals, and we can keep each other accountable.

    Good luck to everyone!

  • http://twitter.com/CErickson85 Craig Erickson
  • http://twitter.com/CErickson85 Craig Erickson
  • http://pacobelle.blogspot.com Scott Duehlmeier

    Alright…I’m gonna do this thing.

    In 2012 I lost almost 50 pounds , but over the holidays I threw about 12 back on, and I can feel it…feel like garbage again.

    So I am @Paco_Belle on the twitter, and pacobelle on Instagram.
    Public Accountability is to lose another 30 pounds by the end of summer.
    I plan on cutting back portion sizes and not eat after 8:00 pm (if I do, just fruits and veggies)

    I am love walking, and once I head out, I will go for about 3-8 miles…always feel good afterwards.
    I am going to be using the iOS apps, Weight Watchers Mobile/Scanner & Fooducate to track my food, WalkTracker and the American Heart Association Walking app. for my exercise as these are what helped me lose the weight before.

    Ok, you win Alex…let’s get goin’

  • http://twitter.com/peterwride Peter Wride

    I’ve been in on Twitter and Facebook, but it is time to put my goals in public:

    Twitter: @peterwride
    Your public accountability goal: 20 lbs down by March 9th

    What is your eating/dietary plan? What are you cutting back on? No eating after 8. Period. This is my big weakness. I do modified weight watchers.

    What is your exercise plan? How many days a week and for how long? 4 days a week at the gym, at least 30 minutes of cardio each time. Would like to build in weekly tennis or bike ride on Saturday once the weather gets nicer.

  • Clint

    Hello,my name is Clint and I am looking to make a big change in my life. I want to quit drinking, lose 25 pounds, and also I have gone vegetarian. I also enjoy road biking. I would like to get back to being healthy and fit.

    • cuteculturechick

      Glad to have you in #tmfit, Clint! Make sure you give Taylor a good razzing when he doesn’t check in.

  • http://SterlingRMorris.com/ Sterling R. Morris

    Great post, @alex_lawrence:disqus! Who would have guessed you’ve ever been anything but an elite athlete?!

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