100 Days of Fitness: An Introduction

How long does it take to change your life? Follow author Robert Fure as he begins a 100 day trek to a fitter, healthier life by following this simple program. Today, an introduction to the 100 Days of Fitness program.

Well, 2010 is four months old. Have you met your New Year’s Resolution yet?  Ready to hit the beach and wash clothing on your abs? if you have – good work. If you haven’t, welcome to the club.  It’s a big club, full of people who set a goal of weight loss then fall off the wagon somewhere along the way.  Odds are you just set a resolution because you’re supposed to.  January 1st.  Has a nice ring to the start of something new.

Well, I’ve got a new date for you.  Today.

Today is the day, friends.  Today is the day you set a goal and take step one towards a better, healthier you. A more attractive and confident you.  But today is not day one.  No.  It is day one hundred and one.  Over the next one hundred days, you’re going to become a leaner, stronger person.  All you’ve got to do is get it together for one hundred days.  If you would have started this program January 1st, you’d be done by now.  Not that long of a time period, but it’s plenty long enough to change your life.

Why do most diets fail?

Unrealistic expectations.  You try to overload on the gym and the diet.  You eat nothing but egg whites for two weeks.  Then you eat a whole pizza, guzzle down a two liter of Coke and probably grab some french fries.  Then you quit.  Or someone designs a program for you.  It forces you to do what they think is best for you.  That doesn’t work. You’re not a runner.  You hate jogging.  You quit.

The secret to the 100 Days Program is I’m not building your house and filling it with what I like.  I’m just putting up the frame and leave the decorating to you.

The 100 Days of Fitness program is simple.

Give it 100 Days and you’ll see a better you.  One hundred days of what?  Eating smarter.  Exercising more.  The way you want to.

There are few rules on this program and if you don’t break them, you’ll win.

What do you need to get started?

  • A desire to change
  • A calendar
  • A pen
  • A goal
  • A way to weigh yourself

That’s it.  Other things will help, and we’ll get to those in the coming weeks.  But to start, that’s all you need.

The program works like this:

You start at Day 100.  Every day you meet your goals, you get a day credit. Get 100 credits and you win.  How do you earn a credit?  Eat smarter.  Exercise.

What do I mean by eat smarter?  Come on, you know that already.  Cut the soda (diet is fine).  Cut the chips. Cut the fries and the fast food.  Next week I’m going to go a bit further and tell you more about nutrition.  I’m going to advocate a reduced carbohydrate diet – but only targeting refined carbs like bread, cereals, and sugars.  Vegetables are great.  The more fiber the better.

So for this first week, I want you to be aware of your carbs. Get a sandwich open faced.  Have two servings of vegetables with dinner instead of bread.  Skip the cereal for breakfast, have eggs and bacon.  Yes, bacon.  See, this isn’t going to be too hard.

In terms of exercise – if you belong to a gym, go and work out.  We’ll cover exercise more in week three.  Realize though that an hour of exercise might burn 400 calories.  You can get eliminate far more calories from your diet by replacing breads/cereals with servings of vegetables and meat. So while in this first week you should exercise, it’s not the most important part of the program.  The most important is that you sign up for the full one hundred days.  The second is diet.

Now, about those credits – how do you use them?

Say you start tomorrow.  You eat well.  You skip the bread.  You don’t pig out.  You eat smart.  You go for a run.  You lift some weights.  You walk the dog twice as far.  On that calendar on that day you write down “100.”  Next day, you do the same – write down “99.”  You get the idea.  Record your starting weight and write it down next to day 100.

If you mess up, or have a birthday party, or schedule a cheat day (we’ll talk about those later too) you don’t get the credit.  So let’s say Wednesday you have pizza and birthday cake.  Skip it.  You right nothing down.  If Tuesday was day 98, then Wednesday is blank and, if you eat smart on Thursday, that’s day 97.

Why approach it like this?  Why count down?  Why no strict rules?

Simple.  I want to succeed. I want you to succeed.  But more than that, it takes time to get a program to stick.  Being fit for the rest of your life is about changing your habits. That’s why crash diets or 2,3, even 4 week plans fail.  Because when it’s over it’s over.  With this, after 100 days, hopefully these habits will stick.  It’s like muscle memory.  We’re training you to be a better you.

Now, you can’t abuse the freedom of the system.  One hundred days spread over four years isn’t going to help you at all. The program lets you “mess up” once a week.  You don’t have to.  But if you’re craving a slice of pie or a half-dozen cookies, once a week you can indulge.  If you start missing 2 days a week, you’re going to fail.  One day a week you can cheat on your diet for one meal.  It should help with the cravings.

So, pick a goal.

How much weight do you need to lose?  In one hundred days it is completely within the realm of possibility to lose 30 pounds of fat.

What’s my goal? Well, I want to look great.  I want to see my abs.  By my best calculation, I figure they might show up down around 200lbs.  Unfortunately, shedding the 51.5 pounds necessary to get to that number is probably outside of what can be done realistically in 100 days.

Thirty pounds we’ve already established as being well within the realm of possibility, so that’s too easy of a goal.  I’m setting my 100 days goal at reaching a weight of 215 lbs.  That’s a total loss of about 37lbs. I’ll have to lose an average almost 2.5lbs a week. With motivation, some exercise, and a smart low carb diet, I’m confident I’ll hit it.

Here’s the best part – you’re not going this alone.

I’m doing it too. You can see my stats and my weight and embarrassing pictures as I embark on my own 100 Day journey.  Every week there will be a new article talking about a different aspect of the plan or filling you in on what I did in a given week to get the results I did.  There will be difficult days.  There will be good days. There will be great weeks of fat loss and disappointing ones.  But I’m sticking it for 100 days.  You should too.

Next Week:  Nutrition.

Robert Fure is a fitness, lifestyle, and entertainment writer living in Los Angeles. He is also a certified Personal Trainer and the Creator/Editor of Fit and Furious, an online outlet dedicated to the pursuit of a fit lifestyle. His entertainment work can be viewed at Film School Rejects.