Ready for a fresh start in 2021? Amelia Peck just spoke with Jared Thompson, aka Captain Gains, on his journey pursuing a healthy lifestyle. And how you can have one, too.
This time of year, we are usually looking at our New Year's Resolutions and hoping we haven’t broken them yet. But this year, many people found themselves significantly less motivated to make major resolutions. While news about the COVID vaccine has signaled a light at the end of a tunnel, there are likely still months of distancing and remote everything.
At the beginning of 2020, people were racing into the new decade, ready to take it by storm. Goals were high, and then came March. The constant turns and challenges brought fatigue in a way many of us had never experienced before.
So what is important to focus on in this new year? Many are focusing on it being a year of renewal, but with so much ongoing stress, where do we begin? Jared Thompson, aka Captain Gains, is a personal fitness and nutrition coach and tells us about how he approaches these popular New Year’s resolutions like exercise and weight loss. And much of his motivation to help others comes from the goals he set for himself.
Jared Thompson started his career path like most people: straight out of college into the workforce. He spent about 12 years doing the standard corporate gig. Long hours, a stationary lifestyle, commuting long distances and eating junk food.
“I could sense my health was deteriorating quickly,” Jared told me. “The internet had not really proliferated back then. Fitness information was very sketchy and sponsored by people who were just selling you stuff.”
As Jared dove deeper into his own health and fitness goals and sustained a better lifestyle, he chose to not only leave his 9 to 5 but also move onto his boat. Jared had been an avid sailor for years. So the healthy life Jared sought also brought him into a lifestyle of pursuing dreams he had wanted to go after for some time.
“The boating lifestyle was simply an extension of me following a crazy dream of sailing the world one day,” he said. “Rent is crazy expensive in LA. So I decided to move onto the boat. This fusion of healthy living and boating created ‘Captain Gains.’
“The boat taught me that it doesn’t matter where you live, what you do, or what you have going on in your life. You CAN make progress with your health and fitness goals. It’s ALL mindset.”
2020 has officially been rough, to say the least. It’s likely that 2019 weight loss and fitness goals got off track. Since we are still uncertain of what 2021 brings, what would you say to someone feeling on the fence about making health and fitness goals for themselves?
“I find it’s the most important decision you can make for yourself. We spend long hours working jobs to provide for our kids and our futures. But who wants a 401k with millions in the bank and a broken and diseased body to experience it with? I view workouts and healthy lifestyle contributions like investments that actually pay off NOW, not 40 years from now. Your health, energy, mindset, relationships, and overall outlook on life improve exponentially. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Health pays off now!
There are so many added stressors (virtual school, working from home, etc.) that complicate our lives. Many feel that wellness plans require too much prep for foresight. How do you address this concern?
“I think this idea of chasing a ‘perfect’ workout plan; a ‘perfect’ diet structure is complicating the start of a lot of fitness journeys. I believe we should all start small and make tiny changes throughout the day during this pandemic.
“Play with your kids in the yard more. Pick them up! Run around your yard or park more. Our actual ‘workouts’ are such a small piece of the equation. We need to walk more. Move more. Carry our groceries to the car. There are 1,000 ways to move and be active more throughout the day, which will yield far greater health results than a 30-minute workout followed by a sedentary lifestyle afterward.
When you work with a new client, how do you assess their mindset and address areas that you know are potential pitfalls?
“I just listen. Allow them to explain things in detail. Dig further into their issues and problems. I’ve learned that I really can’t ‘tell’ a client what to do. They have to have these ‘AHA!’ moments for themselves. I help them to see these barriers and blockers more clearly, and how they affect their goals they have set for themselves.”
There are so many resources for fitness tracking out there. What ones do you think are most helpful, or do you have one you’ve created that you use?
“I believe tracking workouts and nutrition is huge! Of course, you can get there without them, but they can help a lot. Personally, I use MyFitnessPal as a calorie tracker that I really like. Any app which has structured workouts is great.
“The important thing is finding something that works for you and your lifestyle. Some people like group training classes and videos. I’ve never enjoyed those, but a lot of people do! Some people like working out alone and taking their time getting through their own workout. I’d say the important thing is to play around with a LOT of different options and find something that resonates with you. Consistency is key.”
Helping people achieve their personal goals can require a lot of self-accountability for your own health. How have you managed the strain of 2020, and is there a baseline you aim to maintain?
“I’ve learned not to be so hard of myself for missing a scheduled workout. If I’m not able to do something that day, at least get a walk-in. Walks have been my savior during this pandemic. I was never a big walker before the pandemic. My gym was two miles away, and I drove there all the time. Now I value that downtime and the reset a walk brings.
“I’d say a great baseline is a daily walk. Multiple tiny walks, a big long one. Whatever works for you. Simply put, walking is a great healthy and achievable baseline during this pandemic.”
You offer online fitness coaching. Tell us about what it’s like to go through a program with Captain Gains!
“I analyze where people are, what they’ve done in the past, and work on a personalized plan that is Achievable, Accountable & Adaptable. It’s AAA-rated for success. I’ve learned I can’t throw the kitchen sink at people thinking change will happen. Slow and steady wins the race. Implementing lifestyle changes that stick is the goal, not short term flashes in the pan. Rewiring bad and negative patterns is tricky but absolutely achievable for those who want them enough. I also provide enough flexibility and customization to find something that works for people. It’s not one size fits all!
For more fitness tips and inspirations, or just a glimpse of life on a boat in beautiful southern California, check out Jared’s Instagram posts at @captain.gains.