Steady Effort and the Right Environment Pay Off

Larry Gasper used to joke that he moved like The Tin Man.

That’s how limited his mobility was when he started working out regularly three years ago.

Now, after exercising three to four times a week at ProActive Fitness, Larry’s movement and general fitness have improved so much that he’s planning to participate in a 58-kilometer charity bike ride.

Larry, 57, also has improved his eating habits, lost weight and is on track to be in better shape when he turns 60 than he was at 30.

“Pretty much everything is better now,” says Larry, who works in IT at City Hospital.

ProActive owner and lead trainer Shelley Turk is excited by Larry’s progress.

“He’s worked so hard at his mobility and has shown great improvement,” Shelley says. “Larry is a great example of how consistent effort pays off!”

Larry found in his 40s that years of work-related travel had limited his healthy eating and exercise habits. He tried several times to build better habits but found most gyms didn’t provide the right environment for him.

Then he signed up for a ProActive Six-Week Challenge. “And I’ve been going ever since,” he says.

Before long, he was progressing through different class offerings, and learning to cook more.

Training in a small group made the difference for Larry. He found it an encouraging environment. And he appreciates that trainers offered individualized alternatives to exercises that might aggravate a physical condition, like arthritis in his hands and wrists.

It all adds up to a positive way to implement steady change that pays long-term dividends.

“No matter how tough your day has been or how tired you are,” Larry says, “when you make it through the workout, you always feel great.”

Once overweight, always overweight?

While many people are able to lose a substantial amount of weight, very few keep the weight off for more than a year.

In fact, less than 1% of the formerly obese will maintain their weight loss for more than a year, according to a study conducted in the UK in 2015. Specifically this broke down to just 1 man out of 210 and 1 woman out of 124.

Does this mean that once overweight we are all doomed to stay overweight?

Participants in the study were told to eat less and move more, a method that failed to deliver long-term results. Clearly this sound bite advice wasn’t enough.

Now I could launch into a debate over whether or not this study practiced sound research and whether or not the participants really did eat less and exercise more, but instead, I’d rather share with you what I know to be true about lasting weight loss.

Make no mistake about it, long-term fat loss results are very possible and are enjoyed by many people – we have helped several clients do just that and keep the weight off!

Since there’s more to it than simply eating less and moving more, how does one go about losing fat and then keeping it off for the long haul? Here are 5 Steps to Lose it For Good…

Step #1 to Lose it For Good – The Right Mindset

There are only two mindsets to choose from when you approach your quest for weight loss:

1. This is a temporary change in my behaviour.

2. This is a new way of life.

There’s no middle ground, you either see it as temporary change or you see it as a permanent change. It’s pretty obvious which mindset produces permanent results!

Step #2 to Lose it For Good – New Habits

Understanding how to put new habits in place is the second step to losing the weight and keeping it lost.

As we just saw in step one, looking at your weight loss behaviour as a new lifestyle is the only way to ensure permanent results and this means adopting healthy new habits.

Habits are best taken on in gradual steps. This has been proven to be the most effective way to make the new habits stick. Approach building new habits with baby steps instead of grand leaps.

If one of your current, fattening habits is that you drink sugary soda, first switch to drinking diet soda. Once the habit of drinking diet soda has completely replaced your sugary soda habit then you can start replacing some of the diet soda with water. You didn’t jump straight from drinking flavourful, fizzy soda to just drinking water, that’s too extreme and will probably make success unlikely.

I’d highly suggest reading the book Atomic Habits​ by James Clear to learn more about losing bad habits and building healthy ones!

Step #3 to Lose it For Good – Your Environment

In order to permanently change your body, you must permanently change your environment. It makes sense that you won’t maintain a lean body in the same environment where you gained the weight.

The term “environment” sounds vague, so let’s break it down. Your environment is the world that you create around yourself. These are the foods that you see, smell and have easy access to. This is the ease or difficulty you have in consistently accessing exercise. This is the lifestyle of the people closest to you that casts an influence on your own lifestyle whether you realize it or not.

I’ll bet you could draw out the ideal environment for permanent weight loss. You know the path. Now put in the effort to walk the path.

Step #4 to Lose it For Good – Good Nutrition

The problem with the advice to eat less and move more is that it doesn’t make a distinction between calories. When total calorie count is your only goal you’ll end up consuming lower quality calories than you should, which leads to mindless eating and malnutrition.

Educate yourself on healthy calories versus nutritionally void calories. A great rule of thumb is that calories that are created in nature are always superior to calories created in a factory. Stick with real food over anything from a package.

Step #5 to Lose it For Good – Your Support System

If you just did the first 4 steps, you’d be well on your way to successfully transforming your body from fat to fit, and keeping it that way for the long haul. However, in order to fully ensure that you make the switch from where you are to where you want to be, it’s important to put a support system in place.

Nothing is more powerful than social accountability. Instinctively you don’t want to let people down, so you’ll work harder and more consistently in a support group than you would when working on your own. It’s hard to sleep in when you know someone is at the gym waiting for you!

This fifth and most important step is where WE come into your life. Our entire mission is to not only provide you with the action steps to getting into the best shape of your life, we are also here to provide you with the support that you need to make it happen.

We can take a few more folks for our “Stronger Summer” promo: 2x/week Small Group Training for four weeks, starting June 17th!  Cost is only $89 + GST.

Call or email us now to get started on a program that will get you fit for life! ​

Asian Shrimp and Noodles

There is no need for take-out with this quick-n-tasty recipe for Asian Shrimp and Noodles! This dish has all of the Asian flavours that you love, with a fraction of the carbs and calories of traditional take-out.

All of the flavours, none of the guilt!

This dish is pretty epic: plump shrimp and tender veggies combine with savoury sauce and satisfying veggie noodles. Yes, please!

What you need
Serves 4

For the Coconut Amino Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos (can sub in soy sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon liquid stevia
  • 1 Tablespoon chili paste (sambal oelek)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

For the Noodles:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper

For the Shrimp and Veggies:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 12 oz large shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • 2 cups (5oz) white cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced


For the Coconut Amino Sauce:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the sauce ingredients together. Whisk until fully combined.

For the Noodles:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and peel and saeed the butternut squash and run both through a spiral slicer to create long, thin noodles. Toss with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Set aside.

For the Shrimp and Veggies:

  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 2 Tablespoons of the coconut amino sauce and the shrimp. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until fully cooked. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the mushroom, bell pepper, zucchini and carrot to the skillet. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the shrimp, noodles and remaining coconut amino sauce back into the skillet and stir until fully combined.
  4. Remove from heat, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately. Enjoy!

193 calories, 4g fat, 20g carbohydrate, 6g sugar, 429mg sodium, 3g fibre, and 19g protein.