I Lost 80 Pounds and My Confidence is Soaring

Time for Change

My breaking point was being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 5 years ago.My liver and kidneys were failing.  If I did not change my bad habits I would need mediation and dialysis. I made a deal with my doctor to give me some time to change my life around.  I didn’t want to go on any medications or dialysis at 25.

Obstacles

I quit smoking cold turkey and drastically changed my eating habits while fighting cravings.  My blood sugar was checked all the time and learned to meal plan. It was frustrating, I was way out of my comfort zone. There were times I felt completely sick.   My body was detoxing the chemicals I was putting in it for so many years.

I have triedMANY different dietsand exercise programs. Some worked, some didn’t. It’s constant work. I learned what worked for me and when to change something in my diet or workouts. I did research and trial and error.

My Plan for Change

For exercises I did 2 hours of cardio 6 days a week on the treadmill, elliptical, stair master, along with high knees, jumping jacks, and football drills. For weights the Push, Pull, Leg and leg day. I changed my workouts every 3-4 weeks.  I increased my weights weekly.

The 80 Pounds Lighter More Confident Me

Being stronger has made my life better.  I will be around for my kids.  I feel I have purpose. I have found something that I am confident and great at.  It gave me my new career path ( Personal Trainer).

I have confidence in myself that I never had before.  My kids have seen how hard I’ve worked to get healthy.  They have watched me train and not give up.  I have met some amazing people in the process.

I have lost is 80lbs.  I am proud of all that I’ve accomplished and the person I am today.

Do you have a Strong Story to share?  Message or email us!

ray@fitworkz.com

#EatbyColor @EatbyColor EatbyColor.com

Ray Binkowski is the former owner of a hybrid training gym, author (all of his titles are on Amazon), and trainer. He has lost over 60 pounds and kept it off for over 15 years. He has worked with thousands including professional athletes, police/fire/military, physique competitors, even corporations like 3M, and most often people looking to make a long term change in health, wellness, and weightloss.

#fitdad #fitover40 #fitmom #instafit #instafood #eatbycolor @eatbycolor #theprojectstrong @theprojectstrong

Ouch My Knees and How to Make the Pain Go Away

Ouch My Knees Hurt

3 Steps to Make 50 Year Old Knees Feel Like 25, and Your 40 Year Old Knees Feel Like 20!

3 Steps to Make 50 Year Old Knees Feel Like 25, and Your 40 Year Old Knees Feel like 20!

You come from the factory with two knees and no spare. You better care of them. The cost of not doing so is feeling every bit of 50.

Once middle aged your knees have some miles on them. The knee joint can start pop, creek, crack and hurt.

If the hurt is great enough you will live to avoid activities that cause pain. Which really is not living and certainly does not feel like 25.

Step 1

Get new shoes every few months. Even if they look brand new replace them. You cannot see the inside of the sole of the shoe that can be worn. Especially true of gym shoes only worn indoors.

The material inside the sole of the shoe breaks down creating an imbalance about the knee joint. Imagine opening and closing a door that has a screwdriver stuck in the hinge. Same thing when you wear shoes that are worn out.

Expert Tip:

Do not demote those shoes to cleaning, yard work or anything else. Throw them out. New shoes are cheaper than new knees. Feeling like you are 25 is priceless.

Step 2

If you are carrying a few extra pounds. Get rid of them. Simple. Lose the extra weight.

Step 3

Learn and do exercises that restore balance to the knee joint. In lay terms removing the screw driver from the door hinge. Add the program below to your weekly exercise routine and stop doing things that aggravate the knees.

Help those 50 year old knees feel like they are 25 with this program.

Execute 2–3 times per week.

3 Sets of 10 Reps of each exercise

Step Up

Step Down

2 Leg Concentric 1 Leg Eccentric Leg Press

Limited Range of Motion Leg Extension

Quad Set (hold for 30–60 seconds)

Do these things and start feeling like you are 25 and get out and start living.

#EatbyColor @EatbyColor EatbyColor.com

Ray Binkowski is the former owner of a hybrid training gym, author (all of his titles are on Amazon), and trainer. He has lost over 60 pounds and kept it off for over 15 years. He has worked with thousands including professional athletes, police/fire/military, physique competitors, even corporations like 3M.

#fitdad #fitover40 #fitmom #instafit #instafood #eatbycolor @eatbycolor #theprojectstrong @theprojectstrong

How to Build the Ultimate Home Gym

How to Build the Ultimate Home Gym

Build the Ultimate Home Gym

As a former gym and training center owner I have been asked numerous times what I would put in a home gym.

Here is the list of equipment to build the ultimate home gym.

  • Squat rack ($800 though I would have a local shop fabricate)
  • Powerblocks 0-90 lbs ($1300)
  • 3-6 Kettlebells 10 lb, 20 lb, 40 lb something like this... one of each weight or a pair of each. ($350)
  • 1 Olympic Bar with 1 set of bumper plates 2 10 lb, 2 25 lb, 2 35 lb, 2 45 lb. All plates full olympic plate outside diameter (Bumper Bar Set $668)
  • 1 Echo or Schwinn Air Dyne style Bike ($750)
  • 1 Rower ($1200)
  • 1 Erg Maybe? ($700)
  • 1 Tractor Tire (donated by tractor dealer or implement company)
  • 1 Sledge Hammer ($25)
  • 3 Slam Balls 15 lb, 30 lb, 40 lb ($250)
  • 1 Hex Bar or Trap style Bar ($100)
  • 1 Land Mine with Handle ($130 though fab shop could make them)
  • 1 each of 12" Box and 18" Box...  though box jumps are NEVER allowed (can make these at home and if they are Line X’d they will last forever)
  • 1 Adjustable Bench
  • 2-4 ¾ inch thick barn stall mats ($30 each)

The prices listed above are for brand new.

Most of this equipment can be found used on Facebook marketplace or craigslist for a fraction of the price.  As an example, I purchased a set of commercial Powerblocks from 5-90 lbs for $500.

I have the equipment listed above in my own home gym. It is the right equipment to get a quality workout at home.

Set up a time to consult with the author.

#EatbyColor @EatbyColor EatbyColor.com

Ray Binkowski is the former owner of a hybrid training gym, author (all of his titles are on Amazon), and trainer. He has lost over 60 pounds and kept it off for over 15 years. He has worked with thousands including professional athletes, police/fire/military, physique competitors, even corporations like 3M, and most often people looking to make a long term change in health, wellness, and weightloss.

Secrets to Eating Right and Training While Traveling

After losing over 60 pounds I took a job in sales and was scared to death I would gain the weight back.  Here are my secrets to maintaining my lifestyle and with it my weight while on the road traveling.

4 Secrets to Traveling and Eating Right

  1. Breakfast. If the hotel offers a free continental breakfast

grab a piece of fruit and a yogurt or a couple of hard-boiled eggs with

whole grain toast.   Pack your shaker cup and a few baggies of protein before you leave.  This is your plan B.   Have a shake on the way out of the hotel.

  1. Snacks. Gas stations are great for snacks. They all have jerky, protein bars and mixed nuts.Grab one or the other and a bottle of water or diet beverage and get

back on the road.

Note: When you top off the tank of the rental car enroute back to the airport, gas stations are a great place to get a snack. They are also a third of the price of food at the airport.

  1. Lunch. Grilled chicken breast salad.
  1. Dinner.Largest piece of red meat on the menu, salad and a side of vegetables.  Ask that they hold the bread basket.  Funny, but when you order the 8 oz filet medium rare, the salad and vegetables no one is aware you are watching what you are eating.

4 Secrets to Traveling and Training

  1. Get your workouts in before you travel. Plan your off

days for your travel days. If you are going on vacation and will be gone

for an extended period of time, plan a week or so off from exercise. You

will return full of renewed enthusiasm to be back training in the gym.

  1. Most hotels have some type of equipment. Call ahead or check online if your hotel has an exercise facility onsite. If there is cardio equipment, start your day with 20 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training.  If they have machines do a circuit.  Three sets of ten repetitions of each exercise on each machine, rest 30-60 seconds between sets.
  1. Call the hotel and ask about local health clubs. Sometimes

they are even able to secure a free gym passes to local facilities.

  1. Hit the road. Some vacation destinations are great places to put a few

miles on your walking or running shoes while seeing the local sites. Just make sure

your route is safe. In fact, some communities have running tours, so

you go for a run and see the sites. Grand Rapids, Michigan is one such

locale.

#EatbyColor @EatbyColor EatbyColor.com

Ray Binkowski is the former owner of a hybrid training gym, author (all of his titles are on Amazon), and trainer. He has lost over 60 pounds and kept it off for over 15 years. He has worked with thousands including professional athletes, police/fire/military, physique competitors, even corporations like 3M, and most often people looking to make a long term change in health, wellness, and weightloss.

#fitdad #fitover40 #fitmom #instafit #instafood #eatbycolor @eatbycolor #theprojectstrong @theprojectstrong

#1 Step to Success is Failure!

#1 Step to Success is Failure!

There is no question failure is many of the steps in the staircase to success.  There is no skipping it.  If you are going to be successful, you are going to fail. And you are going to fail a lot.  Ask anyone one that has been successful, there is always a backstory littered with failure before success.  Climbing the steps to success takes time, and many of these steps will be failure.

Failure, when used in the proper context is a competitive advantage.  How? Easy.  Your competitors will evetnaully fatigue and tire after so many failures.  They will succumb to the failure and give up.

Success lies on the other side of just one more try.  One more iteration.  One more phone call.  One more email.  The one that keeps getting up, tries one more time or alters the approach and carries on just a bit further often finds success.

Keep this in mind. When the obstacles are piling up. When you are starting to get tired and questioning the reason to carry on.  Carry on.  Keep grinding.  Stand back up and keep going.  Remember your competitors are growing tired of failing.  They are going to cave and give up.  Use this to your advantage.  As long as you persist, one step at a time you will climb the steps to success.

#EatbyColor @EatbyColor EatbyColor.com

Ray Binkowski is the former owner of a hybrid training gym, author (all of his titles are on Amazon), and trainer. He has lost over 60 pounds and kept it off for over 15 years. He has worked with thousands including professional athletes, police/fire/military, physique competitors, even corporations like 3M, and most often people looking to make a long term change in health, wellness, and weightloss.

Plus the Get Fit and Live Healthy podcast FREE on Itunes (just search Get Fit and Live Healthy on Itunes).

#fitdad #fitover40 #fitmom #instafit #instafood #eatbycolor @eatbycolor #theprojectstrong @theprojectstrong

Secret to Wanting to Eat Vegetables

Secret to Wanting to Eat Your Vegetables!

These are vegetables. When was the last time you had some? Not out of a bag, but that started out looking like this fresh in the produce section?
 
You should eat your vegetables…. You can eat quite a bit of them for not many calories. I really realized this while doing the nutrition calculations for my new book Healthy Simple & Tasty, Recipes for Living Well. Vegetables also keep you regular, are loaded with water and vitamins/minerals.
 
I know who picks fresh vegetables over chips…. Get creative and you might start picking the vegetables. Creative is using infused oils and vinegars like Renee’s from Driftless Glen Distillerygreat on salads and more.
 
Chicken Ginger Lime Asparagus Page 84
 
Or on a great summer side like
 
Caprese Tomato Mozzarella Page 117
 
We have been making a weekly vegetable tray and using dips like in the new Healthy Simple & Tasty book…. Even some new recipes like Taco Ranch. Seriously get the vegetable tray out that typically only sees daylight on holiday. Wash and slice a ton of vegetables and make some dip. The whole family will end up snacking on vegetables from the tray for the better part of the week. Add some of the great dips like below.
 
Dipping Sweet Peppers and Ranch Page 193
High Protein Ranch Dip Page 202
 
 

Ray Binkowski has lost over 60 pounds and kept if off for over 20 years! He is the Former Owner of a 15,000 squat foot, 24 hour hybrid fitness training center, author of several fitness and health books and the producer and host of the OCB Midwest States bodybuilding and fitness competition. Most importantly to us, he is an expert on functional fitness that has consulted military, law enforcement, tactical entities, professional athletes and people from all walks of life to optimizing their physical readiness and capabilities. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Northern Illinois University and various fitness certifications. He is also a husband, father and loyal dog owner who does not appreciate clowns.

ENJOY Cake, Cookies, Ice Cream and the Rest of Your Forbidden Favorite Foods…

Cake, Cookies, Ice Cream and the Rest of Your Forbidden Favorite Foods...

First no foods are off limits.***

Second if you really want it have it.

Third there are ways to make great tasting snacks, treats or what have you that will not wreck your progress.

Any of these sound appealing?

  • Key Lime Protein Pie (Triple Zero Yogurt, Graham Crackers and Whipped Cream)
  • Pumpkin Protein Pie (Pure Pumpkin, Protein Powder, Pumpkin Spices)
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Protein Pudding (Peanut Butter, Frozen Berries, and Protein Powder)
  • Cookies and Cream Protein Yogurt (Greek Yogurt and Cookies and Cream Protein Powder)
  • Retro Protein Pudding (Heavy Whipping Cream and Protein Powder)
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Moose Poop (Protein Powder, Oats, Peanut Butter, Water)
  • Protein Popsicles
  • Chocolate Mocha Pudding
  • Of course they do appealing

Yes, most are protein based. But this allows you to get your protein but not all of the excess carbs and fat.

Everyone of those recipes is in Healthy Simple & Tasty.

At 55 I Feel Better Than Ever!

At 55, I feel better than I ever have in my life, but it has not always been this way.  Most of my adult life was living on a diet and exercise roller coaster, with my weight fluctuating up and down over the years.  But with the right mindset and hard work, I have lost over 50 poundsand made it my life mission to achieve and maintain the best health possible.  After making changes in exercise and nutrition, I was able to achieve a new level of fitness that I previously thought impossible.

Enough is Enough

From my 20's to my mid 40's I lived on a roller-coaster ride of yoyo dieting.  Like a lot of women, my weight had fluctuated throughout the years.  At my high I weighed 173 pounds.

A Wake-Up Call

At one point I landed in the ER.  I was told I had a heart attack.  After meeting with a cardiologist, it was revealed that it was not a heart attack, but it was a serious wake up call.  If I was going to see my kids grow up, I had to make some real lifestyle changes.  Both of my kids were in scouts, I wanted to start engaging physically in life again.  I loved the outdoors and I wanted to participate in the physical challenges alongside them.

Change is a Process and does not happen overnight

It did not happen over-night or involve an all at once lifestyle change.  It was a process of learning, adding on, and evolving my activity level and nutrition.  Getting fit is a very long process of adding strength, building muscle fibers, and shedding fat.

First you have to have a CAN-DO mindset.   After mindset the right tools are needed to achieve the body you want.  I had to build muscle, strength and endurance. This allowed me to burn fat until the point that I wanted to maintain.  A steady combination of the right types of exercises, diet and rest days I found were keys to success.

Nutrition is also a mindset. I found the word “carbs” is not a bad word.  The right balance of carbs, fats and protein is necessary.  Some days are a challenge, but it's just part of the journey.  Life is meant to be enjoyed and some day's you just need to enjoy life by treating yourself to something unhealthy.  It's not the end of the world.  You just enjoy it, not stress over it and get back to business the next day.

How has being stronger made your life better?  Not just the bathing suit before and after.... life! Confidence, esteem, relationships, career, school, and healthy?

In my 50’s now, I feel and look better than I have my whole life.  I have accomplished amazing things going from overweight and stuck in midlife spread to being where I am now.  Everything is better by living a healthier lifestyle from more confidence to do the things I want to do and better relationships with people.  I have also learned that taking care of yourself is a priority not a self-indulgence. If you want to be a better person and help other people, you have to start with yourself.

Follow Reba @Reba_Fitnessand check out her site RebaFitness.org

Have a motivating story of change of your own?  Interested in sharing it?  Let us know!

Professional Opera Singer Drops Pounds and Inches and Becomes Pioneer and Role Model to Women

     I’ve always had problems with my weight. Starting all the way back in college. My body loved to yo-yo.  2004 was my breaking point and needed to change my life after I found my mother dead. She dropped dead at 57 years old from a heart attack. She weighed over 320 pounds. I wasn’t that heavy but i was obese and was heading down that road because of unhealthy eating habits, minimal exercise, and drinking lots of alcohol.

My husband at the time and I decided to go on a diet and we did the Body for Life Program by Bill Phillips. I got down to my goal weight and got interested in taking my fitness goals to the next level by competing in fitness competitions. I competed for 7 years until I had a car accident that changed my life completely. I ended up with neck-back spinal injuries that forced me to retire from the sport.

I had to go to physical therapy for months and was told I was unable to do overhead movements, pull-ups, running or plyometrics. I got very discouraged and depressed. I was used to training all or nothing. I ended up quitting exercising and would emotionally eat. I ended up blowing up to over 200 pounds and couldn’t get the weight off for many years.

I tried losing weight numerous times and failed. I reached rock bottom.  I wanted to completely give up until one day I decided to change my mindset to positive thoughts and starting believing in myself through self help books, subliminal affirmations, solfeggio music, mediation, crystal therapy, prayer, and the Herbalife program.

The Herbalife program helped jump start my fitness goals and helped me to get to my goal weight. After I got to my goal weight, I decided I wanted to compete again and hired a trainer. I’m currently training for my comeback show in September with IFBB Pro Kelly Lynn. I will be doing a crossover physique/figure and plan to bring home some hardware and qualify for nationals.

Current Diet

  • Lean Protein
  • Green Vegetables
  • Complex Carbs

Current Training Program

  • Weights and Cardio six days per week

It has been a very long road but triumphant one.  My results are truly a miracle. I thought my fitness career was over because of my injuries and I essentially gave up on life until I change my mindset and then my whole world changed for the better. I’ve gained confidence, esteem, positive relationships, and boost in my music career.

   Being a professional opera singer demands a lot on the body stamina wise because Opera singers use their whole body to produce sound. Opera singers are essentially like athletes. When I was heavier, I would get tired easily, I had a lot of issues with supporting my sound and with my breath support because I was overweight. Now that I’ve lost the weight I have more energy and I’m able to sustain vocal phrases with ease and power.

I want to motivate and inspire others by sharing my story. I want to be a pioneer and role model to women and my 9 year old daughter. My future plans are to go back school to get my Doctorate in Music, write a book titled, “Overall Wellness for the Performing Singer”, compete in fitness competitions, be a personal trainer, and start my own line of exercise videos.

Yetta Mae Hansell
Professional Opera Singer

Do you have an inspiring story of your own to share and motivate?  We would love to hear it!

Find and follow us on Instagram @TheProjectStrong and DM us if you have a story.

Don’t Think, Just Get Going

Don’t Think, Just Get Going

Sometimes what you need to do is the last thing you want to do.

Don’t want to work out?  Stop thinking about it and just get going.

Don’t want to run?  Stop thinking about it and just get going.

Don’t want to write?  Stop thinking about it and just get going.

Don’t want to eat the meal on your meal plan?  Stop thinking about it and just get going.

Don’t want to do your homework?  Stop thinking about it and just get going.

Don’t want to get up with the alarm?  Stop thinking about it and just get going.

Funny thing is one you get going it is easy to keep going.  That short workout turns into a legitimate training session.  The short run becomes the 3 miles you were supposed to run.  The paragraph becomes and essay, a short story or a book.  You find yourself full and satisfied after that meal you were supposed to eat.  The homework is done.  Turning off the alarm and starting the day…leads to a more productive day.

When I was a fat guy trying to lose weight here is how I made myself get going.  After working all day as an engineer and commuting to and from work, the last thing I wanted to do was exercise.  Recognizing this, when I got home from work, I would put my workout clothes on, set my alarm for 5-10 minutes, and then sit and relax.  No music or tv just silence.  When the alarm went off I would get going to the gym.  No thought, no debate just up and moving to the gym.  A little over an hour later I would be back home, workout done and feeling accomplished.

Don’t think, just get going.

Eat by Color nutrition is not a diet and teaches interested members how to make better food choices. There is no counting calories, points, macros or anything else with Eat by Color. Get your copy of Eat by Color on Amazon Today!  Subscribe to this channeland take advantage of the more than 1,500 videos on nutrition, exercise, motivation and more!

#FitWorkzDeKalb#EatbyColorFitWorkz.com EatbyColor.com

Ray Binkowski has lost over 60 pounds and kept if off for over 20 years! He is the Former Owner of a 15,000 squat foot, 24 hour hybrid fitness training center, author of several fitness and health books and the producer and host of the OCB Midwest Statesbodybuilding and fitness competition. Most importantly to us, he is an expert on functional fitness that has consulted military, law enforcement, tactical entities, professional athletes and people from all walks of life to optimizing their physical readiness and capabilities. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Northern Illinois University and various fitness certifications. He is also a husband, father and loyal dog owner who does not appreciate clowns.