My name is Neale Bacon. I have lost (so far) 200 pounds with no pills, potions, shakes, short cuts or surgery. Join me for tips and tricks I learned on this journey. There may even be a laugh or two along the way.

bob-harper-300This is Bob Harper, one of the trainers on Biggest Loser. Let me say right off the bat I am NOT a fan of Biggest Loser because it is unrealistic and sets people up for failure.

I have said this before, but if I lived on a ranch with nutritionists and cooks and a trainer that beat me with a stick 8 hours a day, I could lose weight too. My concern is what happens when these people return to the real world. Look up past winners is all I am saying.

OK, with that out of the way, let me say I started using a new tool that Bob Harper promotes (not sure if it is his invention) called a fitness deck.

You see, a lot of us, myself included, don’t always get to the gym as often as we should. We also figure if we don’t have tons of equipment at home we can’t do a proper workout. This is a misconception.

The fitness deck uses cardio and exercises using your own body weight or minimal dumb bells. I should explain the fitness deck.

This is a regular deck of cards. I am sure you have a spare one around the house. There is finally a use for those tacky deck workoutdecks of cards in the plastic box. You know the ones – with the pictures of kittens or flowers or whatever on the back.

Next – decide on four exercises. For example with my deck, I use squats, push ups (wall or regular), jumping jacks and dumbbell curls. You can use others like burpees or mountain climbers or what have you.

Now assign one exercise to each suit. For example mine is Diamonds=Jumping Jacks, Spades=Push ups, Clubs=Dumbbell curls, and Hearts=Squats. I even made a little label for the box.

Shuffle up the deck, especially if it is a new deck as they are put in suit and number order, known to magicians as the deck order. Now you put the deck face down on a table of somewhere where it won’t be disturbed. You turn over the first card and the suit tells you the exercise and it’s value tells you how many.

For example, you turn over a seven of hearts, you do seven squats. Turn over the next card. It is a ten of clubs, so you do ten dumbbell curls. Face cards are worth ten and aces are worth eleven. If you deck has jokers, you can do a certain number of all 4 or do a certain number of whatever you like, kind of like a wild card.

When you have finished the workout, shuffle the cards before putting them away so your next workout will be totally different. You now have a complete workout tool you can take anywhere. If you want to do it with no equipment like dumbbells, just choose a different exercise.

Try to have your exercises target different areas and have one for cardio (like the jumping jacks).

Let me tell you, having done this workout, it will kick you butt! The other advantage for beginners is that you only have to remember 4 exercises. It’s very simple but very effective.

You don’t need to have a lot of expensive equipment to workout at home, and this deck proves it. I have mentioned that I travel a lot for shows, and I can’t always guarantee that the hotel I will be staying in has a gym.

I would offer a word of caution. If you are in a hotel or apartment, you may want to be careful with the jumping jacks. You don’t want people living or staying below you to think you are going to come through their ceiling.


I have used this illustration before but it is so true. We are a people of excuses. I don’t have time, I don’t have money, I am too fat etc.

I keep re-emphasizing this to people – Everyone can do SOMETHING.

I hear excuse after excuse from people. They ask me what can they do to lose weight. I give them a few ideas and immediately I hear the reasons it won’t work.

I know these people will not be good candidates for weight loss coaching because they are already have their excuses lined up.

Those that take a couple of hints soon find something amazing. They start making progress. It may be slow at the start, but you have to keep going.

Remember that (in my opinion) the biggest battle in the weight loss journey goes on in your head. Some of you are suffering (as I did and still do) a food addiction. Some of you have eating disorders (not the same thing by the way). There are a lot of things behind the why and that’s what you have to answer for yourself. WHY do I make bad choices? WHY do I seek comfort in food?

So what other tools can I recommend, especially for those at the beginning of this journey? Find an activity or exercise you like. Simply put, if you don’t like doing an activity, you will find reasons not to do it. If you choose an activity you like, you will even look forward to it.

There are a lot of things like walking, or tennis (check out free neighbourhood tennis courts), badminton or even playing with the grand kids. Just get up off the couch!

Some people also find in this highly scheduled that they need to schedule time for themselves. Schedule your workout or activity like any other other appointment. More importantly, don’t just make the appointment but KEEP the appointment.

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!


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