I Thought I Had Plenty of Time to Get Healthy

By Mike A.

Deep down, many of us want to eat better, exercise more and be healthier. We promise to ourselves and others that I am going to start getting in shape or eating better but I’ll start tomorrow.  Pretty soon, too many tomorrows become weeks, months and years and we never get on track to becoming a healthier version of ourselves. Sometimes those future promises to get healthy come at a cost. In my own case, I thought I had plenty of time to get healthy.

However, my own delays contributed to a health scare six years ago on my birthday. As I lay in the Intensive Care Unit recovering, I contemplated all I could have lost that day – my wife, my kids and my life.  I fully came to realize that what started out as a bad birthday, turned into one of the best birthday gifts I had ever received—a second chance to be with my family, to take control of my life and get back in shape, have a healthier lifestyle. I realized that I just could not say I wanted to do it—I had to take responsibility myself to take better care of myself. While the road back to a healthier lifestyle took time, I immediately changed my diet starting in that hospital bed. I then started exercising (under medical supervision) and lost 20 pounds over the next 6 months. Over the next several years, I got in much better shape. Although I liked the results I had achieved, I wanted to get in even better shape. Therefore, I hired Walter to take my fitness to the next level.

Walter is our fitness instructor at my employer, and I felt he always has a great approach to interacting with his clients. He could figure out what was motivating individuals to come to the gym. Walter also exudes a total positive approach to fitness, and always takes the right approach with his clients –  knowing when to push individuals to be their best and knowing when to back off. He was very sensitive to individual limitations, and barriers the person may be facing. He works with each person and helps them reach and achieve their goals.  Walter has like any great teacher the right “touch.” 

 Walter has been great, dedicated, and committed. He’s helped not just myself, but my wife, Jeanine, as well. Since training with Walter, we’ve incorporated a plant-based diet, with lower amounts of lean protein (chicken and fish) and more greens. We’ve also moved from a 3-based meal diet to 5/6 smaller meals per day. Also, I now exercise consistently 6 or more days a week, including a few two a days.

As a result, I’m much leaner, have reached my goal weight and body fat targets, and feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. Thanks, Walter!

Virtual Training Helped Me Find Time to Exercise, Eat Healthier, and Transform

By Elizabeth B

I put off hiring a trainer for a long time, thinking I could reach my health and fitness goals by myself.  After all, I am a runner and I eat healthy meals.

I was running at least three times a week and at a pretty decent pace for a 43-year-old mom (9:30 minute/mile) for three or four miles at a time.  But some warning signs had started to get my attention. Over the past few years, I had seen the pounds slowly creeping up, until I was 10 pounds heavier than I was when I had turned 40.  My clothes weren’t fitting as well as they used to, and the lack of any other type of exercise was putting a strain on my lower body at the expense of everything else. Plus, my running pace had slowed down with the increased weight and the repeated, similar workouts. I knew I needed to make a change, but I was nervous to try.

The challenge, in my mind, was finding time to work with a trainer.  I am a mom of three kids and an attorney whose work is not only full-time but also involves travel every month.  I didn’t have time to meet a trainer at a gym and I doubted my ability to keep up a routine while on the road. I also had never really worked with weights before. But when Walter told me about his virtual training program, with workouts programmed and pushed out through an app along with weekly phone calls, I decided to give it a try.

It was the best decision I could have made.  Walter helped me to identify my fitness goals: lose 10 pounds, improve muscle tone, and improve my running pace.  He developed new strength training workouts for me each week and sent them to me via his fitness app; with move-by-move demos, it couldn’t have been easier to follow along.  Walter had me start doing speed interval workouts to improve my running pace. He also gave me a customized meal plan with foods I liked; I tracked my meals through a food app that synced up with the fitness app.  Two big realizations for me from the food tracking process were that my serving sizes had been too big before and I wasn’t eating enough protein. Using apps made it easy to keep up with everything when I was on the road too.  I truly made my health and fitness a priority–and sometimes that required me to get creative with time. Blocking out an hour at lunch that I fiercely protected, going for a run while my daughter was at sports practice, or getting up 30 minutes earlier when on travel, helped me make time to exercise.

The results?  I couldn’t be happier!  I lost the 10 pounds, and my clothes fit normally again.  In fact, I am wearing suits that had become too tight, and others that I had purchased in the past year are now too baggy.  Even though I have more I want to accomplish on the strength training and toning front, I am proud to show my arms now, my stomach and legs are much more toned, and I have increased the speed of my running pace by over 1:15 minutes/per mile (now at 8:15 per mile!).  I am sleeping better and feeling amazing. Thank you Walter!!!

Working on My Fitness: An Interview with Wellness Guru Walter Lewis #SHRM18

Reprinted from SHRM’s blog

Every year leading up to SHRM’s annual conference, I get the daily digest emails and see threads and chats going back and forth. There’s the excited conference newbies wondering how to take it all in, people looking for deals on hotel rooms and professionals in certain states or industries organizing meetups. I understand their enthusiasm and appreciate the camaraderie these threads afford them. But there’s always been one group I don’t understand .. .the 5 a.m. runners. To that group, I ask: what are you guys thinking?

No, seriously. Tell me what you’re thinking. I’m so jealous. Philosophically, I support your right to run at the crack of no-one-should-be-awake-right-now o’clock, but I do not have that level of motivation. I need a good kick in the pants. That’s why I’m planning to head to the Smart Stage to see Walter Lewis, owner of Walter Lewis Fitness Solutions in Washington, D.C.

Lewis is a certified fitness trainer, speaker, author and corporate wellness specialist. He’ll be presenting about inexpensive wellness programs, leading a boot camp, hosting a 5K and leading a walk to kick off the SHRM Foundation Step Challenge.

From doing our interview, I can already tell he’s got motivation to spare. Here’s some of our chat.

What is your philosophy on workplace wellness? Why is it important? Why should employers care about it?

“Creating an on-site wellness program is important because employees spend so much time at the office,” Lewis says. Many chronic diseases are preventable. Employers should care because wellness plans can increase employees’ energy and productivity, reduce stress, lower turnover and boost morale. All of this can help the organization’s bottom line.

What trends are you seeing in wellness plans for 2018?

Companies are looking for more holistic programs that incorporate nutrition, fitness and mental health.

What are a couple of low-cost wellness options for employers that will generate a positive outcome?

There are many low-cost wellness options that will generate a positive outcome, Lewis says. “All you need is a motivated employee to lead the way. Here are some options.”

  • Walking challenges or running groups – If you work in a traditional office environment, it’s likely your employees spend almost the entire day seated in their chairs. A company walking challenge or running group is a simple and easy way to get your team out of their seats and engaging in physical activity, depending on their fitness level. Also, this is a low-cost initiative that requires little oversight, approval, or management, Lewis says.
  • Meditation Room – Work can be stressful. Providing any area to meditate, as well as some guidance on how to do so, can have a positive impact on employees.
  • Virtual Training – This is a very low-cost way to motivate employees and keep them inspired. In one course of the virtual training program I offer to SHRM members, four employees successfully lost a combined total of 60 pounds within a six week period.

What are some exercises that someone can do in their office or cubicle that will instantly get blood flowing and rejuvenate them in that post-lunch slump?

Get up and take a quick one-minute walk around the office, or a quick walk up and down a set of stairs.

Or you can stand up and do chair squats. Here’s how:

  • Stand in front of a chair with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your knees over your feet.

  • Slowly lower your glutes toward the chair without actually sitting down. Be sure to tighten your abdominals to help support your back.

  • Keep your knees over your ankles and place your weight on your heels throughout the full range of motion. Placing your arms out in front of you may help your balance.

  • Straighten your body upright and repeat.

Another good stretch that’s great for any busy professional is the carpal tunnel reliever. Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand at your desk with your arm extended downward and the back of your hand on your desk.

  • Apply light pressure for 15 seconds on each arm.

Are you excited to be heading to Chicago? Is there a cheat food you’ll be having? Maybe some deep dish pizza, Garrett’s popcorn or a Chicago-style hot dog?

I’m very excited to be heading to Chicago and I might actually include a cheat meal and indulge in some of Chicago’s deep dish pizza!

Kalomira talks about her Weightloss in Greeces People Magazine

Greece’s sweetheart and European recording artist is on the cover of People Greece talking about her new single “mommy loves you”, her weightloss, feeling more fit than ever and her family life in the States.

By Kalomira

I lost weight and got tighter working out with Walter 3 days a week.  He does a variety of exercises that target the areas that I wanted to really work on like thighs, butt and arms. He has also spent a lot of time teaching me the proper way to eat! This has been a game changer for me. I used his app for the first six months religiously which was a great help too. Now I feel confident that I have gained experience where I am very mindful of what I eat. (This is a first time for me and a big deal because I LOVE food.) I have three kids so it took a lot of hard work and dedication to really get it all tight again. I’m thankful for Walter for helping me achieve this.

Exercising Is My Top Priority

By Rose Jones

How exciting to be a “success” story! While losing weight and getting fit has been a goal most of my life, it was one I could never seem to reach – until I met Walter. He has taught me (and my fellow warriors) that you need both healthy eating habits and a good fitness workout to achieve that goal.

While I would lose weight periodically, I never lost a lot and I could never find that right mix of eating right and exercising right. Walter changed that. When I started with the Warrior Weight Loss program – I was psyched – really motivated to stick with it. After the first class, when I crawled out of the gym, I was dreading the next class and my motivation plummeted.  But after the 4th or 5th class, I started to actually look forward to going – to seeing my friends and actually working out. Crazy right? Every class was different – some days we used weights, some days we did cardio – and not your average cardio – the Walter cardio – stairs – sprints.

My motivation took off. Why? I saw results. I lost weight – maybe 10 pounds at first – and the weight I lost stayed off. Then another 10 pounds and that 10 pounds stayed off, and I just kept going. What was really inspiring was losing inches – all over! And my clothes fit better, I FELT better.  I got better at exercising. That may sound weird but it’s true. I got better at pushing myself. I got better at trying new machines. I surrounded myself with people that encouraged my goals. Instead of meeting for lunch, me and my friends meet to walk. Me and my running partner share different races with each other and encourage longer runs. My boss and I share different exercises that we think would help each other. I even text long distance with my niece and we share different ideas on meal prep and protein recipes. It’s all about developing your life around being healthy. It created for me a sense of well-being.

One of the biggest lifestyle changes I have made is I have made working out one of my top priorities. Not only does it help with stress, it reminds me to make better choices when I ‘m eating. When I work out, I am more apt to stick with healthier choices.  Kids, full time job, husband – stress is a given. So now I turn to the gym to reduce that stress and help keep me feeling good about myself.

Being part of the group fitness is huge! Walter is very inclusive with us in the group so it’s a tremendous support – we encourage each other – we truly become aware of each other’s accomplishments and we cheer each other on. I love that!

One of the things I am most proud about is what I can do now that I couldn’t before. When I first started, I could barely do a sit up. Now I can crank them out like crazy. I went from using 5 pound weights to 10-15 pound weights. Probably the accomplishment that has most affected my life is out of nowhere came a love for running! I remember the night I couldn’t finish a ½ mile but Walter showed me how to stick with it and get faster and run longer. Last November I finished my first 5K and ran the entire course. Then I did another, and another and now I try to do at least 1 a month. Me and a fellow warrior have become running partners and we trained together to run our first trail run – a 10K. Yes! – That’s over 6 miles! My first ½ marathon is coming up in May. Never did I think when I started last year that running a marathon would be a goal I set for myself let alone accomplish.

I still have goals and I always will but now, with Walter and my fellow warriors, I can see my achieving them and I look forward to it!