When Ted first started out on his health and fitness journey more than 20 years ago, he made many mistakes. It has taken him years of trial and error and constant learning and teaching to get to where he is now.
Whether you’ve been working out hard and eating healthy for years or you’re just starting out, you can learn from his mistakes.
In this Ted Talk episode, Ted shares the 3 things he wishes he had known when he began his health and fitness journey.
Listen to this episode to save years of trial and error and make 2022 the year that you transformed your body, upgraded your health, and lived your best life.
- Why setting a New Year’s resolution is a good thing and how we can make it stick
- Things Ted would do differently if he was starting his fitness journey in 2022
- 3 Tips for starting a successful fitness journey
- Tip #1: Keep it simple
- Tip #2: Ditch the “all-or-nothing” mentality
- Tip #3: Prepare for the “suck”
- How Ted builds his own simple meals
- Effective strategies to stay motivated in your fitness journey
- The importance of having a coach to guide you
- Simple stress reduction strategies
- How to get through hard times
- And much more…
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Podcast Transcription: If I Was Starting My Journey in 2022, This Is What I Would Do Instead
Ted Ryce: A survey from YouGov America said that one quarter of Americans who made 2022 New Year’s resolutions say that they set a goal to live healthier, probably in no small part due to COVID. The connection with severe COVID, or even death from COVID and poor health makes sense. It’s on our minds. Not only physical health, but mental health as well. And certainly, the two are connected.
And then when they asked people, “well, how confident are you that you’ll achieve them this resolution, to be healthier, in addition to the other resolutions that people made?”, nearly four and five Americans making resolutions said that they were very or somewhat confident they will be able to stick with him.
Now, you’re familiar with the stats that I’ve shared previously, where most people 0give up, most people give up by February, and many don’t even make it past January 19, Quitters Day, according to that data from Strava, the wearable who crunched the numbers of their users.
And if you’re in this situation, if you’re going strong right now, I want to share with you today the things that I would do differently if I was starting my fitness journey.
So, these three things that I’m going to share with you today are what I would do, if I were setting a new year’s resolution right now. Because New Year’s resolutions, although they’re cliche, although it’s a little bit amateur hour to set them, it’s still a good time of year to follow through on the high after the holidays, the high that you get when the year turns from the previous year to the next after New Years. We all feel it, right? Everyone gets excited, even me.
And if you’re listening, if you’re tuning in again, welcome back to the podcast. And if you’re tuning in for the first time, welcome. I’m your host, Ted Ryce, coach to entrepreneurs and executives. And this is Real Talk Friday, where we take a break from the Monday episodes, which are usually interviews, and we have a real conversation. And today, let’s talk about this.
So, here’s what I would do different: number one, make a simple meal plan. If your goal is to live healthier, make a simple meal plan. What do I mean by that?
Well, most people start with an elaborate meal plan and/or food prep schedule. They want to incorporate all the superfoods, they want to feel like they’re covering all the bases—so fancy, so sophisticated.
The problem with this, although it might be founded, or the goal might be coming from a good place, you want to hit all your nutritional benchmarks, get in your superfoods and your longevity ingredients, whatever, from whatever blog posts you might read. The problem is, as soon as you get busy or stressed, you give up.
And here’s the thing: if this isn’t your job, you will get busy, you will get stressed from your job and you’ll give up on this. And you don’t need to tell me that, right? You don’t need me to tell you that because you’ve done it before, probably more than several times.
Now to give you some help here, I want to give you an example right out of my own kitchen, right out of my own strategies. Now, I have three or four foods for each macronutrient. For example, protein, in my hotel that I’m living in right now, I have Fage Fat Free Greek yogurt, chicken breast, egg whites and whey protein. Those are the four proteins that I rotate.
For carbs. I’ve got purple potatoes, can hold tomatoes where I make a three-minute tomato soup. I’ve got oatmeal, and I’ve got oranges. For fat, I’ve got olive oil, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and mozzarella cheese. I want to ask you after hearing that, what do you think? Are you surprised? Did you think it would be Himalayan grown goji berries with raisins harvested from Santorini Island, in the Greek islands? What did you think? I keep things simple, folks, and I’m efficient and I get results.
Now sometimes I get a bit fancier, depending on my goals. And my goal right now is not to be the fittest most healthy, diversified diet eating person. It’s, I want to build my business. I’ve got business goals this year. Things are going well. I want to take things to a different level. We just hired a new person, or we’re testing a new hiree. I don’t even know—see, that’s what I mean, I don’t even know the proper terminology to use, but we’ve just hired someone new. We’re testing them out to see how it works, that’s my focus, growing the business.
So, I need to keep things simple, because the primary focus is to show up for the podcast, for my clients and to do the things on social media and some of the other platforms we use to get our message out there to promote what we do and to help educate people, of course, help people get better goals. And for those people who want to take the next step to say, hey, we’ve got something that will help you.
So, I keep things simple. So, you can do the same thing. Just choose three or four foods for each macro, and build meals around that.
And here’s the other thing I want to say. Because you might say, “Well, that sounds a bit boring.” Well, of course, I’ve got spices, I’ve got other things. But here’s the other thing that I didn’t mention, I go out to eat, too. But by keeping it simple when I’m at home, by keeping it simple when I’m not having those meals, and I’m really looking to enjoy, it makes my life so easy, it makes getting lean and staying lean, so easy.
And I’m getting back to the point where I’m going to be making those obnoxious comments about veins on my abs again, that I know you probably miss so much.
In all seriousness, though, I’m getting great results. Even though I went to the parks the other day to kick off my New Years and ate a bunch of –I ate a brookie for the first time, that’s a combination of brownie and cookie, I had to try it. It wasn’t as good prefer regular fudge brownies, but you know, that’s what you do in your in the parks.
So, when I came back from the parks, I was able to have my fat free Greek yogurt with some berries and some other things. And that was it. It makes it so simple. Even if I go off plan, I come back to my simple meal plan and I’m good.
And so, let me ask you: what is a simple meal plan, you can create? Choose three or four foods for each macro and build meals around it.
No, it’s not going to be Instagrammable, nobody’s going to be impressed with your plate. But that’s not what this is about. This is about getting results; it's about being ruthlessly efficient.
Next tip here, set a consistency goal with exercise, a consistency goal. So many people, they set different goals. They set, maybe, I don’t know, inconsistency goals, I’m going to work out. I’m going to do CrossFit three times a week. And then I’m going to do Barry’s Boot Camp on the weekends, and then Orange theory a couple times in between the CrossFit workouts.
It just doesn’t work folks, what you have to do is you’ve got to ask yourself what you can commit to and then stick with it. And if you can’t stick with it, you’re screwed up. You don’t get this yet. And more importantly, have an awareness issue.
I want to tell you about a client I have right now, Michael. The guy is doing well, but when we initially talked, Michael told me, “Hey, listen, I want to change train jiu-jitsu a couple times.” And I started telling him because I have this really cool approach to workout programming that gives great results with muscle growth, but also improves performance in sports like jiu-jitsu.
And so, I wrote him this elaborate plan. However, when we looked at his calendar, and we looked at how many workouts he was hitting, it was really low, it was only one to two workouts per week. And so, he was way off plan, not consistent at all, really. He wasn’t even making the jiu-jitsu, and this isn’t anything against him.
Of course, it was during the busiest time of year for him, not just family wise, but also business wise, very busy time of year, and so he just couldn’t make it happen.
So, what we did was this: after speaking with him on a coaching call, both Michael and I gameplay, and we said, “Man, you’re not making these workouts, what I have to do, or what I recommend, is let’s keep your workouts the way that it is because he said, “You know what, give me another shot. It’s been a crazy end of the year here, I’ve spent a lot of time with family, it's been amazing. But give me another shot to hit these workouts.”
But in addition to those longer workouts, we came up with some shorter workouts, short workouts that he couldn’t say no to. There is no, “I just don’t have the time.” They were short workouts. And as a result, he’s already been more consistent because we got those short workouts in, and he’s at the body fat level where if he really wants to transform his body, he’s not a very overweight person, so he really needs to get in the resistance training to drive the change.
When you have a lot of fat to lose, it’s very easy. It’s not easy to change your behaviour, but it’s easy physiologically, you just start working out a couple times, the weight starts falling off.
Sometimes you don’t even have to change a person’s nutrition that much at all. You just get them exercising, if they’ve been warming the couch. But if you’re in a situation where you’ve already got some good muscle mass going and you’re more on the average side—maybe you’re around 20 to 24% body fat, then it’s going to take some exercise to get you to that next level, some consistent exercise.
I want to tell you about another client of mine, Barbara. Barbara is just crushing it right now. Now, she’s been in the position where she has been dedicating more of her time to her family and her work, so she’s got a long journey with her health. No problem! But she doesn’t have a ton of time to work out. And so, what we did was we started with 10 minute workouts. And as of two weeks into the program with me, she’s down six pounds already. And what Barbara told me was really interesting.
Now, she’s a total badass, total rock star, such a pleasure to work with the clients that I have. And what she said was kind of interesting. She said, “I would have never…if you would have told me, oh, all you’ve got to do is 10-minute workouts, it’s going to change everything for you and get you in much better shape.” She would have never believed it. But of course, when she joined the program, and that’s what we came up with, for her to stick with.
And she said, “Okay, Ted, I’ll try it,” and she’s down six pounds in two weeks, she feels amazing. She already notices her body getting stronger. She’s already feeling a difference, seeing difference. She’s already getting compliments from her co-workers and from her family, all because of 10-minute workouts.
Now, of course, the nutrition, but 10-minute workouts. I just wanted to share something with you personally, what am I doing to get in shape right now? Well, I go to the gym almost every day and I do something.
And I’m just doing an upper body routine, a lower body routine. That’s all I’m doing. I’m squeezing some cardio in there. I was doing more cardio before, now I’m not doing as much. And so, I’m just going every day.
Now, what you have to ask yourself though, are you more like a Michael? Are you more like a Barbara? Are you more like me? You’ve got to ask yourself what you can commit to, and then stick with it. Make the goal consistency. So commit to consistency. And don’t worry about the 60 minutes. Now, of course, just a little side note here; we’re talking about lifting weights, all right? We’re talking about some type of resistance training.
If you go run for 10 minutes, or walk for 10 minutes, probably not going to get you far. In fact, most likely not going to get you far – still better than sitting on the couch, but resistance training is where it’s at for results, for body fat loss. If you’ve got limited amount of time, don’t waste that on doing like…It’s better just to get your steps in and hit short workouts than it is to try to do like a 10-minute cardio workout. So, I just want to be clear there.
But again, set consistency goals; commit to consistency.
The third step here is prepare for the suck. Look, if you’re already at the beginning of the holidays here, or I’m sorry, the beginning of the year here, you’ve got a lot of motivation, the happiness from the holidays, that fresh start feeling that happens when the year changes. But that’s the honeymoon energy. And if you’re married, you know that honeymoon energy wears off.
You’re not in Fiji making love every night or several times a day, it changes, and that’s okay, that’s normal. And the same thing is true with the journey to transform your body. You’ve got high motivation right now. But eventually, the motivation dips, and it dips for a number of different reasons, it dips, because the time changes, you’re no longer excited, you’re no longer coming off the high of the holidays, you’re no longer getting the easy results.
Because when you first get into the zone, you get easy results. You show up for a while. When you start showing up consistently, you see fast changes, but three months in, four months in, five months in, the results come slower. You’ve got to invest a lot of energy just to stay in the game, as the inevitable challenges happen. Like, “Ah, whatever, you know, it was so great at the beginning of the year, but, whatever. I’m not getting high on those changes.”
And when I say high, I really do kind of mean high because results give us a little squirt of dopamine in our brain and that dopamine keeps us coming back for more. And that’s why that’s the number one thing, though, the number one thing to stay motivated is to get results. But there’s always a period of time when those results get slower. And this is where we see who’s got their reason why really dialed in, who’s got the commitment dialed in.
Now look, me personally, I can’t relate to this in terms of your fitness journey. I’ve been doing it for so long. It’s my business, but I’ll tell you, when I first started this podcast, it was the honeymoon phase, I was so excited. I had just started a podcast. For me, I felt like I just launched a business.
And of course, I wasn’t making any money. In fact, I was spending money to produce the podcast. It’s not a business at all—at least the way it started. But I was so excited. I was talking all these people, interviewing people, if you’ve been listening since that time, you remember those days, and probably some of my awkward interviews and episodes, thanks for sticking with me, I’m really grateful for you.
And then you may have noticed there came a time when “Ted’s lost his edge, he’s not quite as happy.” I was really intense for a while because I was in that suck phase. I was in that phase where I felt like I was wandering in the desert, desperate for an oasis. I wasn’t fighting fast enough. But I pushed through it.
And what I can tell us this, things always get easier, but you have to push through, you have to push through.
And if you’re in that desert, right now, who knows, maybe you started this last year, and you just have been going through the holidays with the same sort of plateaued feeling. But even if you’re not there, this will happen to you. It’s not an if, it’s a when. This will 100% happen to you. And I want to tell you this, the only thing that helps really to get those faster results is having a guide, a mentor, or a coach who has the experience to coach you through the process.
Another thing that’s really important, is having some fun experiences or stress reduction strategies. Because one of the things is that stress just gets higher during the monthzs, because we don’t… Or I should say, our perception of stress, because you’ve got a lot of fun experiences. I mean, I hope you had an amazing, amazing time during the holidays. But if this is your favourite time of year, and you love the Christmas music, and just the whole vibe, it just brings you up a notch.
But that goes away. There’s no Christmas music in April. It’s just the grind.
And so, what you need to do here is to not recreate Christmas in April, but have some fun experiences planned—really helps. I mean, I try to do something really fun every week; something fun, something scary, something challenging, some adrenaline or maybe something just very meaningful.
And again, stress reduction strategies, too. I haven’t got them now, but I was getting massages when I was in Asia, when I was in Mexico even, and Brazil, I would get regular massages and acupuncture.
Right now, it’s a little bit trickier because I’m in Orlando, and I’ve moved around a little bit. So, what I’ve been doing is I’ve been doing my meditation, I’ve been hitting my meditation almost every day.
So, I’ve been a lot more consistent with my meditation. That’s my stress reduction strategy. Although I did get someone’s number, an acupuncturist number. Actually, this is a good reminder, I've got to follow up with them and figure out what they charge, when can they do it and set something up because it helps so much.
So, what I wa nt to ask you is what are some strategies that you can use to either plan some fun experiences, a vacation, it could be a staycation, it could be whatever, but have some fun things planned. Lower stress can help you get back in the game. And when you have these funny experiences, if you can kind of connect them with health in a way, it can get you through the “suck” period. And certainly, stress reduction strategies help too.
And just one more thing; one of my clients was just talking to me about, “Oh, I have trouble turning off my mind at night. We haven’t even talked about sleep yet, Ted,” and she was telling me how anxious she was feeling.
And I was like, “Listen, I don’t think you’re really that anxious of a person, you’re a high-performing person, what I get the vibe from you is that your job is very demanding and that raises stress. Even though you’re making great money from your job, you have a great team, you love your team. But it raises stress.
I had another client, Damon, who created a $65 million business, and his business is just exploding, in other words. He started out 10 years ago making 300,000 and change and now his businesses were 65 million.
And when we were talking, he was talking about how business was so great, things were going so well, opportunities were just coming from left and right all over the place but he felt really stressed, but it’s all good stress, but he still felt really stress.
And we had to have the talk about how it’s not about, you know, good stress is good but going to the gym is good. But what if you went to the gym, instead of one hour, 30 minutes or 10 minutes, like some of the clients who I talked about today, what if you went for five hours? Even good things get stressful, if they’re too intense, if you don’t have that recovery period.
So having recovery periods or stress reduction strategies, they can help you get through this suck when you feel the dip in motivation, when the results aren’t coming as much, when you might be a little bit more negative, fun experiences and stress reduction strategies help.
That’s why I went and rode roller coasters yesterday, because I knew I was going to have a really busy week, so I had it planned. Now I’m feeling great today. And these are just three ideas that if you do them, they’re going to help you succeed.
And I just want to recap really quickly here. Number one is make a simple meal plan. Just choose a few foods for each macronutrient and those can be your foundational meals, just rotating those three to four, or even five foods from protein, carbs and fat. Commit to consistency with exercise. So set a consistency goal, instead of some lofty goal that you may not be able to stick with.
And three is prepare for the suck. Just know that if you’re in a good moment with your fitness routine—I feel bad saying this—but it’s going to get challenging and it’s going to kind of suck. And the only way to really get through that faster is having someone help you.
But some things that you can do on your own. If you’re not ready to work with someone is plan those fun experiences and come up with some type of stress reduction routine: cold plunges, saunas, acupuncture, massage, whatever works for you, test different things out, try new things, flotation tanks, and that can help you get through that period that will definitely come.
So, I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. And more importantly, I want to ask you, what was the big lesson from listening today to today’s episode? What was the big lesson? And more importantly, how can you make that lesson actionable?
What can you go and do to start to get better results for yourself, for your health? Go do that.
Have an excellent weekend, and I’ll speak to you on Monday!
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