personal training lincoln park

Your Business Plan to Lose Weight (or Achieve Optimal Health)

Why do we develop business plans in the corporate and entrepreneur worlds but never for our personal health? If you're looking for a strategic change, consider this simple plan.

Section 1: Your Mission

Personal Trainer Wisdom: If you want to end the cycle of guessing and lack of control, you need to move and choose with intent. Be specific. What is your true, realistic weight loss goal and what is the objective based on? For example: To maintain a weight of ____ and a body fat of ____ while living a life with intent. Can your mission be summed up in one sentence? Do you have a bigger transformation goal in mind? This is the time to state it clearly. It will steer your approach (and the rest of your plan).

Section 2: Summary of You

Personal Trainer Wisdom: How can you build a solid foundation if you don’t know the material you’re working with? A contractor wouldn’t move forward without this awareness and you shouldn’t either. Now is the time to become a human scientist and study you! Who are you? What are the trends and patterns of you? How would you describe your emotional, mental, and physical selves? What is your approach to fitness? Do you like fitness? Why or why not? What do you prefer to eat? Why? When do you eat? How do you choose your meals? How do you handle stress? What is the relationship between this stress and other areas of your life? Be honest and list all of your attributes, strengths, and weaknesses here.

Section 3: Competitive Analysis Summary

Personal Trainer Wisdom: While your plan should be tailored to your wants and needs, you will need to analyze other weight loss and health plans to fully understand the full scope of practice. What are the most effective and efficient health models that you’ve researched? Should you reinvent the wheel or adapt a popular, successful plan? How have different body types responded to these theories? This section will not only shape the process you choose but also justify it.

Section 4: Strategy and Obstacles Summary

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Once you have observed yourself and considered the research, it’s time to develop your strategy. You will generally describe the implementation of your plan here. Include the answers to the following questions: How will this strategy reflect your strengths and weaknesses? What boundaries will you develop? How will you implement this plan? Will someone help you? What do you think will be the biggest obstacles to your goal? How will you overcome these obstacles?

Section 5: Specific Implementation

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Considering that losing weight or achieving optimal health requires a multifaceted approach, break down your strategy into several categories and specifically list what you need to incorporate into your lifestyle. Use this structure as an example:

Weight/Body Fat Accountability
-Check weight and body fat when you workout and record it on your phone (app Monitor Your Weight???? or Notes).
-Record what you're eating every day (no calorie count needed).

-Limit drinking alcohol to only 2 days per week.
-Print and stick the "Eating Pie Chart" (from this diet article) on your fridge as a reminder of healthy eating habits.
-If you're eating overnight....Eat a small meal before bed and when you first wake up. Post a note on your fridge that says "You will eat again when you wake up in the morning."
-Eat no more than 1 meal per day containing meat, dairy, grains, and/or refined sugar.
-Aim for a daily caloric range of 1200-1500 calories.
-Follow the recommendations for this month in the following article: Weight Loss: The Diet Questions You MUST Ask Yourself.
-Minimize caffeine to 2 cups (equals 1 small mug) of coffee per day.
-Print 1 restaurant menu: Choose a restaurant you love or want to visit and ask someone to help you figure out the best menu items.

-5-day workout: 3 days strength/2 days cardio

-Minimize any news content to 5 minutes per day. It will eliminate quite a bit of negativity in your life.
-Embrace new challenges as opportunities to refine your problem-solving ability.

-Write down 10 personal/professional goals on individual post-it notes and place them on your closet wall or another private place that you'll see at least once per day.
-Setup up alerts with positive messages on your phone using the app Simple Routine as reminders of goals and what you're trying to achieve.

Social Life
-Choose 1 new activity or interaction per week to satisfy your curiosity.
-Surround yourself with positive-spirited people daily.
-Seek out at least 1 person when you're in need of help.

What's missing from your business plan? What categories would you add? Tailor this section to support your mission.

Section 6: Timeline and Milestones

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Once you have decided on your steps of action, you need to develop a timeline. This section is not only important for accountability but also reflecting on your goals, what is a realistic timeframe to achieve them? What points of this process should serve as milestones? What are your realistic expectations for each of those milestones? How will you adapt this process if you don’t reach your mark?

Section 7: Financial Plan

Personal Trainer Wisdom: A financial plan can be interpreted a number of ways. In terms of monetary obligation, the range of money you spend really depends on your interests and the type of help you desire. What will you budget for a new gym, clothes, food, or personal trainer/fitness class? What areas are you willing to splurge on?

In terms of time, how many minutes will you dedicate to research, diet, meditation, and/or exercise? Within a strict schedule, what are you willing to sacrifice to make room for these endeavors? No matter what you prioritize during this section, you’ll definitely need to determine the true cost of your mission.

Photo Credit:–How will you race to this finish line?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
Your Business Plan to Lose Weight (or Achieve Optimal Health)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

"What 100 Calories of Your Favorite Halloween Candy Looks Like" Review

Halloween is almost upon us! How will you lose weight with a Chicago personal trainer while indulging in your favorite candy? Read this quick list (from the article What 100 Calories of Your Favorite Halloween Candy Looks Like)!


Less than half the bag (23.5 M&M's) is 100 calories. Split a bag with a friend for instant portion control.


Ninety-five percent of one Reese's Peanut Butter Cup hits the 100-calorie mark.


If you want to nerd out, measure it out: 2.22 boxes of Nerds is 100 calories.


Pick 14 pieces of this classic from the office candy bowl for a 100-cal sugar rush.


If you prefer to devour an entire bag of candy at once, this may be pucker-worthy news: Sour Patch Kids have 100 calories per 10.6 pieces.


Good with a ruler? For 100 calories, you can eat 40 percent of a Snickers bar.


Forty percent of a Snickers not quite doing it for you? Trade up to 42 percent of a 3 Musketeers bar for 100 calories.


Opt for five Starburst Original Fruit Chews for 100 calories. Bonus: Keep the discarded wrappers in your line of sight. This can trick your brain into eating less candy, a study found.


They may seem iny, but chew on this: 4.3 Midgees equals 100 calories.


Stick to 8.5 pieces for 100 calories. (Translation: If you opened a box of Dots and poured them straight into your mouth as a child, you may need to, ah, cut back).


Even though Twizzlers are touted as a 'low-fat snack,' you can't devour the whole package. Eat 2.5 pieces of Twizzlers Strawberry Twists for 100 calories.


Kiss chocolate guilt goodbye. Savor 4.5 Hershey's Kisses for 100 calories.


Enjoy a whoppin' 9.3 pieces of this malty treat for 100 calories.

Are you surprised that a few pieces of candy can equal 100 calories so easily? How will you practice weight loss self-control during the holiday?

Pictures Credit:
How much of each candy really equals 100 calories?

More to Read:
While many foods are still healthy with proper portion control, you may want to avoid the following list: "50 Foods You Should Never Eat" Review.


Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " What 100 Calories of Your Favorite Halloween Candy Looks Like " on
"What 100 Calories of Your Favorite Halloween Candy Looks Like" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a Chicago personal trainer.
Transform your life with Michael's  self-help book   Redefine Yourself here !

Transform your life with Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself here!


"How to Deal With All the Negativity on the News" Review

If you've been stressed or down on yourself, it may be time for a personal check-in. The negativity that surrounds you may be seeping into your unconscious. Check out Kate Cummins' suggestions for how to deal with this overbearing challenge (from the article How to Deal With All the Negativity on the News).

1. Check Your Emotions Regularly

News stations purposely engage you through emotional content. For them it’s just business. But unfortunately, negative news has the ability to keep you engaged without fully realizing how the information makes you feel.

So observe your news-watching habits. As you view local stations, do you pay attention to the way you connect to the information? Do you ever flip through channels and stop to watch a story that you never expected to be interested in seeing? Some content makes your heart race, holds your attention and keeps you engaged in the story, while other content fills you with anger or sorrow.

Then observe how your body reacts to the news you’re watching. Do you feel your heart racing? Do you feel your stomach twist with nerves or feel the weight of sadness coming over you? These bodily symptoms are connected with negative emotions, and they are called somatic symptoms. They engage your sympathetic nervous system (the part of your body that runs in attack mode) and can mimic anxiety.

So the next time you’re watching the nightly news or scrolling through stories on your go-to news site, check your body and feelings. If the information is making you stressed, turn it off. Get away. Detach. Knowing your limit of information flow will help decrease your connection to unhealthy emotions and keep you in control of your mental health.

2. Change Your Environment

Do you pay attention to where you get your news? Do you watch the morning edition while getting ready for work? Tune in at night while making dinner for your family? Or do you do one last check of Facebook/Twitter before you go to bed?

Negative information has the ability to wrangle its way into your long-term memories and means you’re likely to connect negative emotions to the place where you view the sad stories. Paying attention to where you watch news and limiting the environment can help you stay positive.

Think about it this way: Would you invite someone to sit on your couch if he or she told horrific stories the entire time? Probably not. As human beings, we need a place to detach from the world.

You work hard to create a peaceful living space and to make your house a home. Try to only watch the news on the bus, in your office or some other neutral location. Or bring your computer to a coffee shop and limit your news searching to certain spaces, so you can be free of negativity in your own space.

3. Talk About What You See, and Let It Go

It may seem counterintuitive to talk about the sad or horrifying stories you see on the news, but it can actually help you put them out of your mind. Do you have someone you feel safe talking about tragedy with? It’s important to engage in conversation with people you trust. Getting emotional information out in the open can release it from becoming internalized worry and concern.

There are also many community resources that you can use to discuss concerns and take action. For example, social-media groups and meetup events in the community are geared toward specific audiences. You can find like-minded people in these groups that may help you discuss the world around you.

Always make sure you have someone available to lend you an ear about negative information. If you can, find someone who will help encourage you out of the depression and anxiety that can arise from sad stories.

4. Be Aware of What Others Around You Are Saying

Social media has become a main source of connection in our world. However, it can also be a place of negative content. Do you find yourself cringing when a specific person’s posts pop up? Do your friends post a lot of negative information? If you’re surrounding yourself with people posting stories that are bringing you down, it may feel almost impossible to find positivity in life.

Sometimes the best remedy is disconnecting from social media. Don’t feel bad for unfollowing pessimistic people. Your social network, via online or in person, has to be a source of encouragement. Find stories that make you feel good. Most news sources have positive highlight stories in certain sections of their websites. Search for hero stories and you’ll find yourself in a better place emotionally.

5. Go Do Something to Change Your Tune

One of the biggest problem with disheartening news stories is that most of the time it seems like there’s nothing one person can do to change it. And that can make you feel like things are out of your control.

The best way to combat internal sadness is to do something good in your community. Turn off the television, get online and find an organization that compels you to get involved. Buy a meal for someone in need. Volunteer at a place that could use your help.

Behavioral activation increases your feelings of hope. And hopelessness is directly linked to depression. If you’re able to increase your ability to change something small in your environment, you will increase feelings of hopefulness. The world needs you to do great things. Go volunteer with your family or friends and get moving!

How do you deal with negativity? This topic is definitely worth reflection. You may also want to read "99 Ways to Redefine Yourself Today" for more life-changing inspiration.

Picture Credit: do you think the "news" is really making you feel about yourself and the world?

More to Read:
Are you having trouble losing weight? Read "The 50 Best Weight-Loss Tips From 2015 " Review. This list helped my personal training clients in 2015 and will help you today.

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " How to Deal With All the Negativity on the News " on
"How to Deal With All the Negativity on the News" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
Transform your life with Michael's  self-help book   Redefine Yourself here !

Transform your life with Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself here!


7 Common New Years Fitness Resolutions (and How to Keep Them)

Recently, I was interviewed by Brittany Smith of Muscle & Fitness Magazine and we discussed new years resolutions and the release of my upcoming book Redefine Yourself:  The Simple Guide to Happiness.  


****Please note that I don't support the use of the fitness supplements seen in the ads and articles on the Muscle & Fitness site.  I hope my interview will inspire people to choose the most natural options for optimal nutrition and weight loss.  You don't need supplements to reach your best SELF unless your doctor determines a medical necessity.

****The Michael Moody Fitness personal training programs ARE NOT Crossfit or Bodybuilding programs.  My personal training sessions are individualized based my clients' needs and wants. They participate in safe strength endurance programs to optimize their health with their strength, weaknesses, and range of motion in mind.

Your New Goals for a New Life

It’s easy to be distracted by the nonsense of life.  Besides our purpose, we need other day-to-day positive focuses to maintain a healthy and happy perspective.  A list of goals may bring you the positive direction you need. 

I realized a couple of years ago that I needed a new focus after my divorce.  When married, I felt like I was living a ‘status quo’ life.  I rarely pursued the things I wanted nor did I make an effort to achieve them.  I felt unfulfilled in life.  What was holding me back?  Me.

You’ve heard my story, and you probably realize by now that I was my worst enemy.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Think about your life and what’s missing.  What have you always wanted to be?  What have you always wanted to accomplish?  Where have you always wanted to travel?  What have you always wanted to see? 

With my clean start, I created a bucket list. It helped me pave the road for the things I wanted to accomplish, experience, and see before I died.  It kept me focused on the things that matter to me the most. 

Make your list too.  Don’t waste your time like I did continually putting off the things you want the most.  Don’t sit back and watch life pass you by anymore.  Create the life that you want by developing your bucket list.  As you complete specific items, replace them with something else.  This list will always be redefined depending on the period of your life.

Where do you start?  By stealing my list!  Adapt my bucket list however you please and start experiencing the life you want.

*Vacation in an igloo village in Finland.

*Do something that terrifies me.

*Set foot on all seven continents.

*Sip espresso in a café in Italy with Sammy while peering over the ancient relics of Rome (completed in the fall of 2014).

*Write a book (completed in 2015).

*Learn how to swim well.

*Learn how to dance without thinking.

*Be paid for what I love talking about the most.

*Attend the Olympic Games.

*Ride a hot air balloon ride in Egypt.

*Ride on the Singapore Flyer--the tallest Ferris wheel in the world.

*Ride in a Gondola in Venice, Italy (completed in the fall of 2014).

*Go on a safari in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.

*Bathe in the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa, a massive geothermal pool in a lava field in Grindavik, Iceland.

*Visit Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas.

*Swim with dolphins.

*Visit the Eiffel Tower (completed in the fall of 2014).

*Visit the White House.

*Take a helicopter tour over Kauai, Hawaii-film location for the original Jurassic Park.

*Forgive daily and let go of grudges (eternal work in progress).

*Attend the next White Sox World Series.

*See a performance at the Sydney Opera House.

*Visit Easter Island.

*Visit Iguassu Falls and Patagonia in South America.

*Reach the top 20 in Amazon self-improvement book sales.

*Marry Sammy.

*Raise children.

*Volunteer for at least two hours per week.

*Be able to meditate wherever I am for a moment.

Reflection Section:

1.)    Awareness:  Are you living the life you want?  Describe two goals you have always wanted to achieve.  What obstacles have you faced while pursuing these goals?  If you haven’t pursued them, why not?  

2.)    Acceptance:  Can you accept the responsibility of creating the life you want?

3.)    Adaptation:  Describe at least two answers for each of the following questions and compile your bucket list. 

·         What have you always wanted to be? 

·         What have you always wanted to accomplish? 

·         Where have you always wanted to travel? 

·         What have you always wanted to see?  


******Check out my new book Redefine Yourself:  The Simple Guide to Happiness on Amazon!!!!!!!

Self-Improvement Book by Chicago Personal Trainer and Author Michael Moody

Self-Improvement Book by Chicago Personal Trainer and Author Michael Moody