By Brett Yokley

This is going to be a straightforward, matter of fact, pun intended commentary on what happens to almost everyone when one day you take a good hard look at yourself in the mirror and wonder “what the hell happened to my body”. You know what you used to look like – but now after so many years have passed you don’t even recognize the body you have now.

It seems like it happened almost overnight, but in reality your body has been aging and changing for quite a while until one day you realize how unbelievably out of shape you are. You have fat in places where before you didn’t have places, you think back when you were younger and thinner and staying in shape seemed so much easier. Maybe you just write it off as normal aging and you eventually adjust to it and it becomes the new you. Another 5-10 years pass by and you put on even more weight and it’s not good weight.

Somewhere in this period of time desperation usually kicks in and you start paying more attention to the weight loss infomercials or start the newest bestest diet of the year or diet pills. You might lose a few lbs. but eventually you gain that back and you end up feeling frustrated and disappointed in yourself and your efforts to get in shape.

What I’m going to tell you next is something you already really know.


  • If our dog is overweight, we take him to the vet and he says “cut his food in half”, 8 weeks later your dog is back to normal healthy weight…Yet we can’t seem to apply that same logic to ourselves!
  • Most people can tell you the crude protein, crude fiber and ingredients in their dog’s food but they can’t tell you how many calories were in their dinner from last night.

Enough of the dog analogies, even though they are silly, they are still true.

In my personal training business I have always used the analogy “Carrot or the Stick”. The “carrot” represents something good or pleasurable as a result of taking action and the “stick” represents pain or being very uncomfortable. What I have observed in my 34 yrs as a personal trainer it’s “always the stick” that is the main driver (motivation) that get people to take massive action and to really lose weight and get fit.

The “I Want To” group VS the “I Have To” group:

  • The “I Want To” group

When someone hires me and their reason is…“I just think it’s time for me to lose weight”, or “I want to lose weight for my Daughters/Sons wedding”, or “I want to lose weight”….

  • The “I Have To” group

When someone hires me and their reason is…”I have to lose weight so I don’t have another heart attack”, or “I have to lose weight because I just got done with my cancer treatment”, or “I just got or am getting divorced”.

 What I realized many years ago is to listen to the “why” and over the period of time with all my clients keeping track of their progress I see a big difference in the overall weight and fat% loss with the “I Have To” group. The driving factor (motivation) to lose weight and get in shape is at a much higher level of importance and will last much longer. These people have made a paradigm shift mentally and it happened automatically. They were thrown out of their comfort zone literally! None of us voluntarily would choose to be out of our comfort zone, it doesn’t feel good and it’s unpredictable.

The “I Have To” group has made a “decision”…which literally means cutting off the possibility of any other choice!

For the vast majority of people who are over 40 losing weight, getting fit and getting back the body they once had seems like a nearly impossible task. It won’t happen overnight or you won’t “get lucky” and find a miracle product. You need to be honest with yourself in the first place and know why you want to get back in shape. I feel my responsibility to you as a very knowledgeable fitness expert with 34 years in the trenches helping people reach their goals is to be honest with you and not schmooze you and tell you it’s not as easy as buying “this weight loss product” or “that weight loss product”. If your motivation for getting in shape is resolute then your persistence in keeping at it will be resolute.

Every client I have screws up….a lot! I’d be lying if I said everyone stuck to their personalized meal plan and didn’t cheat. Every time somebody messes up, I say that was yesterday, you can fail at your diet yesterday but you can be a total success at it today. The clients that I have seen get the best results are the ones that don’t quit – they don’t beat themselves up – they don’t have unrealistic expectations or unrealistic time frames to reach their goals. They are going to do it “no matter what”.

You’re not an expert at getting fit and losing weight – don’t beat yourself up – and don’t give up on yourself, ever!

  • Question – “How long do you try to teach the average baby how to walk before you finally give up”?

Some facts on Aging and Weight Gain

  • We get fatter as we get older
  • Obesity is at its highest between 50-59 yrs old
  • Obesity affects 30% of Women and 24% of Men
  • Greatly increases risk of heart disease, diabetes & high blood pressure
  • Menopausal Women’s estrogen levels drop up to 90% resulting in fat distribution more on the waistline

 What can you do about it?
There’s no magic fairy wand or magic formula to losing weight and getting fit especially when you are over 40; the answer is the same as it’s always been – regular exercise program involving lifting weights, eating a sensible healthy diet that is low-calorie, low-carbohydrates and cardiovascular exercise.

There is no doubt losing weight and staying fit gets harder as we get older. That is the #1 reason why I decided over 20 yrs ago to concentrate primarily on people over 40; they are the group that needs help the most.

I understand the entire biological cascade of events that happen to your body’s hormones as you age and how that in turn affects your loss in your body’s muscle which in turn kills your metabolism and energy and you end up gaining fat everywhere (especially in your waist).

All my Fitover40trainer programs are designed to build back that valuable muscle you’ve lost over the years which is your body’s metabolic machinery and that will not only increase your metabolism it also helps to burn more body fat. Your program is personalized for you. Your personalized meal plans are designed for your exact calorie needs as well as your personalized exercise plan is designed to match your fitness level and ability. Your trainer will contact you regularly to make sure you are staying on track and to help you with any issues that come up.

You are accountable to us! When you are only accountable to yourself you will skip workouts, eat badly and that’s why people fail at their attempts to lose weight. Accountability is one the main reasons personal trainers work.

Want some advice on losing weight? Contact me at I’ll do my best to answer your question.

 Talk to you soon.

Brett Yokley
Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Senior Fitness Trainer.
Certified Nutrition Specialist.
Owner/BetterBodies Fitness Personal Training Gym.