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In a Workout Slump? How to Stick with It to Get in Shape

If you've been making regular trips to your gym while also watching what you're eating, it can be more than frustrating when you're not seeing the results you wanted. It can even make you want to throw in the (gym) towel.

One of the main reasons you could want to quit your fitness journey is because you might have set some unrealistic goals for yourself.

But, don't give up just yet!

Getting into shape is like running a marathon, not a sprint. You want and expect quick results, but realistically, that's just not going to happen.

One unrealistic goal might be that if you're not a morning person and you vow to get your workout over before you head out the door, you're more likely to set yourself up for failure.

How can you get over those bumps in the road that come along with the journey?

Health, fitness, and nutrition expert, Joey Thurman, joins Dr. Mike to discuss how you can set reachable goals and how to stay motivated throughout your fitness journey.
In a Workout Slump? How to Stick with It to Get in Shape
Featured Speaker:
Joey ThurmanJoey Thurman is a health, fitness, and nutrition expert and the creator of The Lifestyle Renovation, a website dedicated to helping people achieve their health and fitness goals. He has appeared on CBS, FOX, ABC, and WCIU sharing his insights as a celebrity fitness trainer and published author.

Joey's work has been featured in publications such as, Racked, TimeOut Chicago, RedEye, and American Global Traveler. Joey is a fashion model represented by Chosen Model Management where he works with brands including Neiman Marcus, Abercrombie, Jockey, and Carson Pirie Scott.

He has also appeared on the covers of Healthy for Men and TimeOut Chicago. Joey is a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) with the American Council on Exercise, a Fitness Nutrition Specialist (FNS) and a FITchef.

RadioMD Presents:Healthy Talk | Original Air Date: March 23, 2015
Host: Michael Smith, MD

Living longer and staying healthier. It's Healthy Talk with Dr. Michael Smith, MD. Here's your host, Dr. Mike.

DR MIKE: So, is your goal to get into shape? I mean, I think if you're an average American, that's probably a goal of yours. But so often, I think we don't succeed in that or we have some minor success or something. We lose a little weight, gain a little muscle only maybe to lose all of that because maybe we get bored with our routine or don't stick with our routine for a variety of reasons. Maybe your goals are too high. I don't know. There could be a lot of reasons for not sticking with your regimen. So, we're going to talk about some advice, some ways to stick with your journey, so that you can get into shape.

My guest is Joey Thurman. He's a Certified Personal Trainer with the American Council on Exercise and the creator of The Lifestyle Renovation, a website dedicated to helping people achieve their health and fitness goals. He's appeared on CBS, FOX, ABC and many others sharing his insights as a celebrity fitness trainer and published author. He's been seen on and American Global Traveler. He's also appeared on the covers of Healthy for Men and Time Out Chicago.

Joey, welcome to Healthy Talk.

JOEY: Thank you, sir. Happy to be here.

DR MIKE: I appreciate you coming on. I think we've got to try and make this topic sexy. This is what people want because you know this is an important topic, right? But it's not something that is necessarily going to catch somebody's eye because so often I have patients, friends and relatives talk about how they want to get into shape. They want to do better. They want to eat better. They want to exercise. Maybe they get started, but so often two weeks later when I talk to them, they're not doing it anymore.

JOEY: That's right. They fall off the wagon right away.

DR MIKE: Yes. So, what's the first thing? So, you're talking to somebody, maybe my sister, for instance, who just called me up not that long ago wanting to get back into shape; back into a routine. What are some of the initial steps that she should be taking that are going to prepare her to succeed down the line?

JOEY: Right. Well, I think a lot of people don't realize that most of this is absolutely mental--getting into shape. One thing I tell people to do is to write down what your goals are; where you want to be. That can be as far as getting into shape and setting your goals if you write down where you want to be. That can be losing ten pounds; getting up every single morning and walking for 20 minutes.

Simply write down where you want to be and what your limitations are. So, if you know you're not a morning person and you say you're going to get up in the morning and work out, chances are you may start for a week or two, but all of a sudden, "Hey, doc. I'm not doing my workout anymore." "Hey, why is that?" "I can't stand getting up in the morning." Well, of course, you're not going to stick to that plan. That is not realistic. I mean, I hate the mornings, but you know what? I get money from getting up in the morning and training people. So, either I get up; I train my clients and I make "X" amount more per year or I get rid of that client and I make less money. You know, life is about choices, my friend.

DR MIKE: It is.

JOEY: Either choose to do something or you choose not to. I'm tired of everybody just saying, "Oh, you know, I want to get in shape. I want to do this." It's great that you talk about it but make a decision to actually do it and change your life.

DR MIKE: Yes. Joey, let's talk about goal setting in detail here because I think this is important. So often what I hear from, again, family members, patients, what have you, is these kind of like lofty type goals. They're not really specific. "I want to have more muscle. I want to look better in my bathing suit," whatever it is. How important is it to be very specific with goal setting?

JOEY: Here's the thing. You absolutely have to be specific because somebody says, "Joey, I want to get in shape." What does that mean to you? Do you want to look like Brad Pitt? Do you want to look like Russell Crowe? What is that? You need a visual. So it's great that you want to look like a movie star, but the only person that can look like Brad Pitt is Brad Pitt. There's all sorts of different ways. Nobody can look like me.

I can't look like you, Doc. We have genetic factors that set our limitations, so we can get our best genetic possible shape. So, it's great to have a goal and look towards this celebrity or somebody that you want to look like, but first of all, you need to set a big goal which is great, but how are you going to reach that big goal? So, if you want to lose 50 lbs. in "X" amount of time, then start with, "Okay, this week, this is my goal. I'm going to get up in the morning. I'm going to work out. I want to lose 2 lbs. this week." Alright, next week what's your goal? You start setting those small attainable goals, but every time you reach that goal you think, "Wow. Great. I've reached that goal. Now, I'm only 48 lbs. away from that goal," or "I'm only 2 lbs. of muscle away from that," or running a marathon.

Whatever it is, if you set those small attainable goals, that's much more beneficial for yourself than always thinking, "Oh, I'm looking over that mountain," you know? If you look at a mountain and then go climb a mountain, it's hard to imagine yourself getting to the top. It's not that hard to imagine going 100 yards. So, set those small goals and get those beneficial, attainable goals so you can be proud of yourself.

DR MIKE: In the long run if you don't end up looking like Brad Pitt, that's okay.

JOEY: Exactly.

DR MIKE: I think sometimes we get this body image issue with celebrities. I mean, that may be a goal you have, but just getting out there, being active and attaining these goals little by little, that's awesome and that's something to be celebrated.

JOEY: Yes. That's not going to happen. These celebrities, people they never talk about it, but they've got live-in trainers. I've been offered to live with my clients and follow them around and I don't want to do that. I would have to charge a ton of money and they can afford it, but here's the thing. They've got someone that's with them 24 hours a day watching everything that goes in their mouth. They're getting them up in the morning. They're smacking them in the face, "Okay. Let's go. You're making $20 million for your next movie and you only have three months." Well, of course these guys are going to get in shape. You tell me I'm going to make $20 million to play the next role as Superman, I will do anything I can at that point.

DR MIKE: Sure. That's nice motivation, isn't it?

JOEY: Money is a great motivator. Find your motivator. That's a good point. What is it that's going to motivate you and keep you going?

DR MIKE: Now, you started this off by talking about getting in shape is really a mental thing. Explain that a little bit. What do you mean by mental? Like, how can I improve my mental outlook about getting in shape?

JOEY: Right. Well, I think getting in shape is 100% mental. People say, "Oh, it's nutrition." "Oh, it's working out." Sure. Obviously, those come into play but if you mentally psyche yourself out and you can't get up in the morning to go for a workout or go to the gym, you're never going to get there. One thing I like to have people do is back to writing things down. I have them do what I call a clearing exercise. You know, we all have these negative thoughts about ourselves--about our self-limitations.

I like people to write down all of those negative thoughts that they have about themselves; that you have about anybody in your life. Things that you don't even want to tell people. You write down all of those negative thoughts. Then, you take another piece of paper and you write down your goals; your aspirations; where you want to be in life; where you want to be a month from now, 2 months from now, a year from now. You take that negative piece of paper and you rip it up. You burn it up. You throw it away. Now those negative thoughts are gone. Your mind is clear and anytime you start feeling bad about yourself or sorry for yourself, you look at that positive piece of paper because those negative thoughts are gone. Always reflect on what's good in your life because there's going to be more good than bad. Sometimes, it feels like things are overwhelming to you. Yes, we all have self-doubt and bad times.

DR MIKE: So, let me ask you this, Joey. So, okay let's go. We only have about 60 seconds. Back to my sister. So, in about two weeks she's going to call back and say something happened and something got in the way. What's one good piece of advice you can give my listeners for getting over those bumps in their journey in getting into shape?

JOEY: Right. We're all going to have bumps. It took you a couple years to put on 20 pounds. It's not going to take 2 weeks to get those 20 pounds off. Be realistic with yourself.

DR MIKE: Be realistic.

JOEY: Yes. I had a setback today. I ate a donut. That's okay. Don't eat the box. Get back on the horse.

DR MIKE: Joey, let's leave that there. We'll continue this conversation. The website is

I'm with Joey Thurman. Stick around. We'll be right back.