Project Body Smart | Top 5 Tips for Sticking with It
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Top 5 Tips for Sticking with It

Norman Koplin decided that he had had enough. Enough nightclubs, drinking and smoking. In his late 40s, he quit it all cold turkey and never looked back.

But that amazing willpower led to another problem. Norman didn’t replace the bad habits with good ones, and weight began creeping on. Before long, his 6’2” body had ballooned from 161 pounds during his nightlife era to more than 300 pounds.

“The weight just crept on and on and on,” recalls Norman, now 72 and retired from the Los Angeles housing department. “I was so ashamed of myself. I stopped my social life entirely. I didn’t even go to family reunions.”

That’s when Norman again decided that he had had enough. He resolved to make another change – to start eating right and exercising. And again, he never looked back.

Sixteen years later, he is lean, ripped, strong and healthy. He works out five times a week with the same trainer he’s had all this time, maintains a healthy diet, and looks and feels great.

The Secret to Success?

Countless people give up before 16 weeks, let alone 16 years. So how did Norman stick to it for so long, and with such success?

“I just wanted it,” he says now. “I wanted to be healthy. I wanted my life back.”

He credits trainer Josh Carter with saving his life.

But Josh says it was all due to Norman’s commitment, compared to others who say they will try to get in shape.

“The difference is that he decided – he didn’t ‘try,’” Josh says. “We can all change. We can all decide, rather than try. Your success is assured when you decide.”

Or, in the immortal words of Yoda from the “Star Wars” movies: “Do or do not. There is no ‘try.’”

Norman’s Top Tips

Norman now has a six-pack and renewed confidence. He got his weight down to 190 and now likes to maintain it at around 205 by running on the treadmill and working with weights at Josh’s gym, Carter Fitness in West Hills, California.

We can all learn from Norman’s no-nonsense approach. Here are some of his suggestions.

  1. “The best advice is to just start,” Norman says. “People say they don’t have time, but you can always find an hour or 30 minutes.”
  2. “You have to go in with the mindset that success is not going to happen overnight. You have to get your body used to doing what you’re doing – eating right and exercising. You didn’t put the weight on overnight, and it’s not going to change overnight, either.”
  3. “You take the baby steps first and then you can start taking large steps as you go.”
  4. “It helps to find the right person you can relate to and who works you at the right level. I feel proud of myself and what I did, but I wouldn’t be alive today without Josh.”
  5. Change it up. “Josh made it interesting by changing up my workouts all the time. It was never the same every day.”

Anyone can learn from Norman’s no-nonsense approach. And we’re here to help you start on a healthy path and stay on one as successfully as he did. 

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