Frequently Asked Questions

1) How did you lose all that weight?

I used the Body for LIFE program by Bill Phillips. It's not the only successful program out there. But it is a program that is based in reality, utilizing common sense, basic exercise that focuses on the major muscle groups, good eating habits that you will continue to use for the rest of your life, and goal setting skills that you can also apply to work, finances, family, and any dream you wish to achieve. It's not a fad diet using some magic pill or gadget. It's not a crash diet where you starve yourself to death and then gain all the weight back when you go back to eating "normal" again.

There is no magic bullet! Get over it. Only proper eating and exercise. Most people don't want to hear that. They want the easy way out. And the so-called easy road will only yield disappointment, shatter your self-esteem like there's something wrong with you personally, or you have bad genetics, etc. I'm Polish, and my genetics have the propensity to yield a big woman. But genetics don't control what I put in my mouth or if I go to the gym versus watch TV. So don't hide behind excuses. Keep trying. If it doesn't work, keep educating yourself. Education, not more money spent on pills, is your best remedy.

2) How do you stay motivated?

Motivation and Inspiration are similar but different concepts. I stay motivated because of committment and fear. I stay inspired by immersing myself in the proper environment. I surround myself with inspiring people. I read inspiring stories of triumph. I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to be born in this country. I appreciate the comfort I have in this country no matter how many bills I may have to pay or that I have not achieved a certain financial status yet. I give thanks to God for my health, and the ability to be able to do what I do in the gym. All I have to do is look at a child in the Make A Wish program, the Special Olympics, Saint Jude Children's Hospital, or in a sponsor child program overseas, to be inspired. They fight for their lives and still find it within themselves to play and smile. And who am I to complain with the life I have? Who am I to not show my appreciation for the health I have? How do I show it? By being the best I can be physically, mentally, and spiritually. Then in turn I do the most important exercise anyone can do..... lean down to help give someone a hand up. I give back what I've achieved by teaching proper eating and exercise. I give back what I've learned educationally and earned financially. It's contagious...I guarentee you feel like doing something for yourself and those around you in the world just after reading this paragraph. THAT'S GOOD!!! Becuase that's my intention with this website, and my life. THAT'S Inspiration.

3)What exercise can I do to get rid of this? (referring to any area on the body that has unwanted fat)

There's no such thing as spot reduction. Sorry if that's something else you don't want to here. 75% of fat loss is in your nutrition. The other 25% is in cardiovascular and weight training exercise by increasing your metabolism and muscle mass. Starvation and low-carb diets will reduce your "weight" temporarily only until you start eating like you used to, then your body springs back to the weight it used to be. To change your body, you have to change how you eat, exercise, and live. If you eat less than your body burns during the day, then your body will be forced to use its fat stores for energy. This is achieved most effectively by lowering your intake of fat, and keeping your portions of protein and carbs small. If you eat too much less, like the popular method of one meal a day, then you will not be successful because your body will defend itself by going into starvation mode. This is characterized by a conservation of energy, a drop in body temperature and metabolism, therefore you feel tired and cranky. It's not pretty. For longer lasting results, and so your body will trust you to give it what it needs, start with the basics. Eat a small portion of quality carbohydrates and a small portion of lean protein 5-6 times throughout the day, which is every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. A portion is the size of your open palm or closed fist. Need help? Read Body for LIFE by Bill Phillips, or email me.

4) Will I get big and bulky like a man?

No. Men naturally have a high level of testosterone. Females do not. Additionally estrogen opposes the addition of excess muscle. In order to get that big, an increase in testosterone is required either by natural production or by ingesting performance/muscle enhancing pro-hormones or steroids. Naturally, a woman does not have to worry about this. Those professional female bodybuilders at some point in their lives, if not currently, have done cycles and cycles of steroids to produce those larger than masculine muscles...and those deep voices and other SCAREY side effects. Case in point, as I've said previously, I'm Polish, and genetically pre-disposed to being large and putting on muscle easily. I have been consistently working out for seven years. I've been lifting heavy for all seven of those years in an aggressive attempt to put on as much muscle and gain as much strength as possible because I do not fear size. I know that I won't look like "that", so I train full out. And after seven years this is as big as I've gotten. Five years ago I was squatting 240 pounds, so don't worry.

This leads into the next question.....

5) I'm eating and exercising (or doing the Body for LIFE program) and I am not seeing results.

It's time to make an HONEST assessment of what you are doing. During most evaluations I find that the most common issue is in eating, usually portion size being too big. Also, there is little honesty in keeping to the program because of those little indulgences like a cookie here and there, regular colas, that one bag of potato chips, etc. The calories all add up. The mentality of "I'll burn it off in the gym" is defeating. You don't want to burn off that cookie you just ate, you want to burn off that fat on your butt!!! Something so small, like a cookie, can actually take 1/2 of a workout to burn off.

Another issue I find when a program is not working is intensity. Refer back to question number 4 in regards to fear of muscle. This fear has many people resigned to using 5 pound dumbbells and sets of 20-30 for their entire workouts and entire programs. By increasing muscle mass, even slightly, your body will have to burn more calories to maintain itself. Doing the same movement, a larger muscle requires more energy to move than a smaller one. That includes your daily living activites as well as sleeping. So start increasing your resistance gradually, do not fear sets of 6-10 reps in your routine, rest a full minute between sets, and most of all work that muscle to failure on the last set.

The other issues I've come across with programs not working is lack of proper sleep, lack of adequate water intake (go for 3/4 gallon a day, more in the summer), overtraining (too much exercise, not enough rest), and medical conditions such as thyroid problems which require blood work to diagnose and medication to fix.

6) Are you a bodybuilder?

For the time being, no. I'm an IFPA & NGA Pro Figure Competitor. Figure is a division in bodybuilding characterized by a lean, toned, conditioned physique that's not overly muscular or striated. There's a big difference between bodybuilders and fitness competitors. One of the biggest reasons I did not go into bodybuilding was because of the rampant use of steroids. I won't use steroids. However, I recently found the OCB. They are a natural organization that requires their competitors to be urinalysis and polygraph tested 5-years drug, steroid, and pro-hormone free. I have been told by several people that I have the genetics to do well in bodybuilding and I gave it a try once. I had so much fun that I know I will do bodybuilding again soon. I used to do obstacle course and fitness competitions, but I'm really attached and loyal to the OCB & NGA right now, so that's where my committment is. I don't compete in fitness routines as much, but I'd still like to do one about once a year just for fun.

7) What's your opinion about having a personal trainer?

When I started Body for LIFE I did not have a trainer. If I did, I do not know if I would have had results faster or not. I was uneducated and could have ended up worse off. Most trainers in gyms are salesmen, not trainers. They are more interested in closing the deal and making money, sorry to say. Therefore, their interest is in keeping you around so you keep paying them. They put you through minimal workouts that seem difficult, usually they are "exercises that strengthen your core" which is important but really doesn't help you reach your ultimate goal of losing fat unless the basis of the workout is working the major muscle groups.

My best advice: get a referral. Ask your friends or people in the gym who have shown progress in their physiques. If it's taken them a whole year to lose a few pounds, then go somewhere else. Additionally if you are interested in competing most trainers do not know specific training that is required to achieve that specific shape for figure and bodybuilding. So find a trainer who is a professional or national level competitor who trains other competitors or find a trainer who specializes in training competitors. Also know that just because a trainer is certified, sometimes with multiple certifications, doesn't mean they are any good at what they do. Any schmoe can pay the fee, take the test, and get certified. But it takes someone who is truly experienced, motivational, a good communicator and a good listener to be a good trainer. The best trainer I know is not certified. Educate yourself. You can always buy a book on training and learn to train yourself. Get a workout buddy if you need someone to be accountable to and to help spot you for safety in the gym. I've seen people without trainers start with the basics of the "Body for LIFE" program and come out with outstanding transformations better than people with a trainer.

MORE TO COME .......submit your questions to: nicole@nicoleweeks.com





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