Jorge Cruise on Practical Weight Loss

Fitness expert Jorge Cruise struggled with his weight as a child. He was picked on and referred to as "fatty butt" — and insult which only fueled his emotional eating.

When Cruise finally found his own path to healthy eating and practical fitness, he shared it with the world in his first book 8 Minutes in the Morning.

In his new book, 8 Minutes in the Morning for Real Shapes, Real Sizes he addresses all of the obstacles everyday people face when trying to become fit on their own.

Read chapter one from his latest book:

Are you short on time and have more than 30 pounds to lose? Frustrated with complicated, expensive, and time-consuming weight-loss programs that require you to count calories, starve and deprive yourself, buy expensive exercise equipment, go to the gym, or perform movements that hurt your knees or back?

You've come to the right place. Welcome to the first weight-loss program specifically developed for busy people with real shapes and real sizes. how it all began

It had been less than a month since I appeared on CNN and Good Morning America, and my Web site was crazily abuzz. In those few weeks, membership to my site jumped from 3 million to 3.4 million Cruisers. More than 450,000 people had joined my Web site in less than a month. I was amazed! Before I knew it, I received a call from my publisher, who told me that my first book, 8 Minutes in the Morning, had hit the New York Times best-seller list.

I felt proud to know that my childhood struggles with weight and the related emotional pain-whether it was being picked on by other kids, not being able to keep up in gym class, or hearing myself referred to as "fatty butt"-had served a purpose. If it weren't for those initial struggles, I would never have dedicated my life to helping others lose weight and get healthy and happy.

So many people had e-mailed me, telling me how my program helped them to consistently shed 2 pounds each week. I read thousands of e-mails from people who had lost 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 pounds with 8 Minutes in the Morning. They thanked me for a nutrition plan that allowed them to eat delicious foods, an exercise plan that took only 8 minutes to complete, and an overall program that was simple to follow. They loved being able to lose an average of 2 pounds each week in just 8 minutes a day. They were busy people, and they told me that this was the first weight-loss program that actually fit into their busy lives. But I began to notice a defining trend to these e-mails and letters. Almost none of those who wrote to me had lost more than 30 pounds. I began to wonder why. my awakening

I didn't have to wait long for the answer. A few e-mails and letters began to trickle in from people who wanted to lose more than 30 pounds. More and more similar e-mails and letters soon arrived. Then, it seemed everywhere I went-whether it was Indianapolis, Dallas, Seattle, Portland, Miami, Kentucky, St. Louis, New York City, San Diego, or Los Angeles-full-figured people began pulling me aside and telling me their stories, needs, and desires. They opened my eyes.

They would tell me, "Jorge, my sister bought your first book and has lost 15 pounds. She is very happy. But I have more than 30 to lose. I need your help because I can't do some of the moves in your program. They are too advanced." Other men and women were making similar comments. Others wrote and told me that they became out of breath when trying to do my original 8 Minutes in the Morning routines that required them to switch back and forth between laying, sitting, or standing. Some complained of knee or back discomfort with particular exercises. Others said using dumbbells was not practical for them when they traveled.

There it was, the answer to my question. It was as if someone had flipped on a light switch and I could finally see the reality. I realized my first weight-loss program simply didn't work well for people with more than 30 pounds to lose. At that moment, I realized that I had really developed an initial program for the average person who wanted to lose less than 30 pounds. For full-figured women or men, these exercises were too hard on the joints, particularly the knees. It all came together one day when I picked up USA Today and read the following headline on the front page: "6 in 10 Are Overweight; Health Fallout Is Feared." The story went on to quote new statistics from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, statistics that placed a startling 65 percent of American adults in the overweight or obese category. The story quoted the same definition for obesity that I had seen years before when I studied weight control science and nutrition at the University of California at San Diego and when I studied biomechanics at the Cooper Institute in Dallas. It defined obesity as being 30 or more pounds heavier than a healthy body weight. Bingo! I got it. I knew what I had to do.

Designed for You

I realized that millions of men and women needed a weight-loss program designed specifically for those with more than 30 pounds to lose. They needed a simple weight-loss program designed for real shapes and real sizes. That realization led to the creation of this book.

Welcome to the revolutionary weight-loss program designed for your body shape and size. It requires no exercise equipment, no aerobics, and no trips to the gym. I tested all of my Cruise Moves in 8 Minutes in the Morning for Real Shapes, Real Sizes on people just like you. They work. They won't feel uncomfortable. You'll love them.

In addition to an exercise plan custom fit to your body, 8 Minutes in the Morning for Real Shapes, Real Sizes also offers my special Cruise Down Plate eating system. It's an extremely simple and delicious system that will help you shed pounds. The Cruise Down Plate will bring back the joy of eating without calorie counting, deprivation, or starvation dieting. You'll be able to eat all the foods you love-and still lose weight!

But it doesn't stop there. I've learned from my millions of clients that the best eating and exercise program in the world will never work unless you first make a change deep inside, a change that will help you to effortlessly fuel your motivation for weight loss. This deep inner change is so crucial that I've spent two entire chapters of this book-chapters 2 and 3-laying out the framework needed for you to make it happen. Once you flip this deep inner switch, you'll literally train your brain for weight loss. So get ready to lose 30 or more pounds once and for all. You'll feel fantastic in just 8 minutes a day! I hope you're as excited as I am about this program. I know you'll love it.

My Background

Well, believe it or not, I haven't always looked like the photo of myself on the cover of this book. Just look at the picture of me on this page, and you'll see what I looked like as a kid. At that time, I was traveling quickly down the road to an unhealthy life. I'm convinced I would easily weigh well over 300 pounds today if I had not changed my eating patterns and lifestyle.

So, you see, I know what it's like to feel embarrassed about extra weight. I've been there. And so has my dad, my sister, my grandfather, and my grandmother. We were a family of large people, that's for sure. I grew up in Southern California in a Mexican-American home. My mom was from Mexico and my dad from Pennsylvania. Both sides of my family loved to eat huge food portions. In our home, food and love were woven together as tightly as a silk cocoon. Because my mom loved me so much, guess what she did? She fed me big portions. And because I loved my mom, I wanted to make her happy, so I ate everything she fed me. My mom's mom, Abuelita Maria, also lived with us. And, of course, she loved me, too. My mom would feed me one meal, and before I knew it, my abuelita (grandma in Spanish) would feed me another. I consumed enormous quesadillas, bologna sandwiches, and nachos. If I didn't eat everything on my plate, mom or grandmom took it very personally. I soon lost touch with my true hunger and began to eat not as a way to fill my belly, but rather, as a way to fill my heart and my soul.

By age 10, I was a roly-poly kid. My mom began calling me el rey, which in Spanish means "the king." I was also extremely unfit. My family believed that exercise was hard and time-consuming. My mom and dad were busy, working 10-hour days. We never moved or exercised as a family. I can't remember ever playing football, basketball, or baseball with my dad. I have no memories of doing anything active with him or my mom. As I grew older, the lack of exercise and excess food began to take its toll. By the time I was 15, I had severe asthma, very little energy, and daily headaches. My extra weight hurt me the most at school, where the kids teased me and called me names. I was that kid who was always picked last on any sports team. One day in gym class, the teacher asked us to do a number of push-ups. I couldn't even complete one. I felt embarrassed, and the other children teased me. I began to feel like a reject, a nothing. But I wasn't the only one in my family who was suffering from body size.

My Dad Teaches Us All a Lesson

When I was 18, my dad, who until then had had a big belly for as long as I could remember, was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The doctors gave him 1 year to live, with no medical intervention, and from 5 to 6 years with prostate surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

The death sentence scared my dad much less than the implications. He knew that surgery would probably render him incontinent and impotent. He decided to forgo medical intervention-a decision that not only changed his life but also the lives of everyone in his family, including mine. Instead of opting for surgery, my dad enrolled in an alternative health center in San Diego. I was so shaken by my dad's diagnosis, I checked into the center, too. We learned about nutrition, particularly about fiber, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Dad and I completely overhauled our diets. We began drinking more water, eating more vegetables, and reducing our food portions. One day I realized that my headaches and asthma symptoms were gone, and my energy levels had improved. Dad's recovery was much more dramatic. He lost 30 pounds. Remember that 1-year death sentence? Well, that was more than 14 years ago, and dad is still going strong!

Dorothy, My Big, Bold, and Beautiful Grandmother

A year later, during a summer break from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, I visited my dad's parents who lived in Altoona, Pennsylvania. I had not seen them in a few years and couldn't wait to get to know them better. During that break, I spent a lot of time with my big, bold, and beautiful grandmother, Dorothy. She was a very loving soul. All her life she was a big lady who loved to eat and hated to exercise.

She was just like me. Food was her friend, and exercise was time-consuming and hard on her joints. I do have to say that she did go to the mall with my grandpa for about an hour once a week to do a little walking and a little window-shopping. She looked forward to it every week. Unfortunately, these trips never did help her lose much weight. After spending time with her during that summer break, I could see that it was getting very difficult for her to walk up stairs and to even walk at the mall. At 5 foot 4, she weighed almost 200 pounds and had high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

She did not think much of it, until she had her first stroke. After that stroke, she and my grandpa decided to move to San Diego to be closer to my dad. Unfortunately, it was too late for my grandma. Shortly after they arrived, she suffered a second stroke and passed away.

My Sister Accepts and Wins

If you read my first book, you also met my wonderful and gorgeous sister, Marta, who lost more than 40 pounds. But I didn't tell you then that the real secret to her success was learning to accept herself, no matter what her size. She, like many of us, got hypnotized into thinking that she had to be skinny and a size 0 or 2 to be healthy. That's just not true. In fact, a size 2 or 0 may actually be as unhealthy as a size 30.

As much as we hate body fat, all of us, particularly women, need some of it to survive. You see, fat cells secrete a hormone called leptin. Among other things, leptin tells your brain whether your body has enough stored calories (a.k.a. body fat) to support the growth, delivery, and feeding of a baby. When your brain senses that leptin levels are too low, it responds by shutting down your reproductive cycle. Ladies, I know some of you might be thinking, "Yay! No more menstrual cycle." But before you start looking forward to this, you must know that lack of menstruation is not normal. When your brain shuts down your reproductive cycle, it also lowers the female hormone estrogen. This is the same hormone that helps to protect you against bone loss and heart disease and gives you your womanly shape.

Numerous studies show that superthin athletes, models, and people with anorexia tend to suffer from abnormally low bone mineral density and advanced stages of heart disease. And reports from Hollywood personal trainers, nutritionists, and other insiders reveal that the increasing number of actresses who weigh less than 100 pounds and stand more than 5 feet 5 inches tall achieve their unnaturally thin looks in unhealthy ways.

Armed with those facts, I helped my sister discover that, though thin might be in, thin certainly is not normal or healthy. In fact, the average American woman is a size 12 or 14, not a size 2 to 6. Once Marta understood this fact, she stopped aspiring to look like superthin models or actresses and instead began aspiring to look like normal-sized women, women with realistic body shapes and sizes, women who wear a size 12 or larger. (You'll learn how to do the same in chapter 2.) She chose role models such as supermodel Emme, actress Delta Burke, singer Queen Latifah, and models Mia Tyler, Carré Otis, and Kate Dillon, real women who look great-even if they aren't a size 6-and who are healthy!

Once Marta accepted that she may never look as thin as a supermodel (who spends all day at a gym and probably subsists on carrot sticks), she was able to find the motivation to stick to a weight-loss program. Today she's lost more than 40 pounds. She's a size 12, and she looks and feels fantastic. So you see, over the years, I've learned many important lessons about weight-loss success through my personal experiences as well as those of my family members. I've also learned quite a bit by studying weight control and nutrition at UC-San Diego and the Cooper Institute. But I probably learned my most important lessons about weight loss from people just like you.

Thousands of E-Mails

As I already shared with you, I received countless e-mails and letters from busy, full-figured women and men who begged me to adapt the exercises from 8 Minutes in the Morning to their fuller bodies. They told me that these original exercises were too advanced. They told me that they wanted an even simpler program, one that required absolutely no equipment-not even dumbbells. They wanted a program that they could do anywhere.

Erin McLeod was one of those people. When she first wrote to me, she weighed 75 pounds more than her healthy weight. She's a single mother with two children, attends college full-time, and holds down a part-time job as a bartender. "There is just not a lot of time left for me," she told me. "Some days I am so busy that I can't even fit a shower into my schedule!" Can you relate to that? Erin is just one of hundreds of people who inspired me to design 8 Minutes in the Morning for Real Shapes, Real Sizes. (Read her story and see her before and after photos on page 12.) Feedback from Erin and others made me realize that I needed to write another book, one for the millions of people with real shapes and real sizes, for the millions of busy people who wanted to lose much more than 30 pounds. I realized that I had to write the prequel to my first book, one that would help people lose enough weight and get in enough shape to move on to the original 8 Minutes in the Morning program.

Unfortunately, I now realize that I should have written this book first. I wasted no time. I busily went to work to create a specialized and exclusive 8 Minutes in the Morning plan for my larger clients. I tested exercise after exercise, food plan after food plan, and motivational concept after motivational concept on thousands of clients-online, over the telephone, and in person. Erin, who lives in San Diego, was one of those testers. I'll admit, writing this book and designing this program wasn't always easy. I didn't get it right on the first try, or even the second, or the third. More than 10,000 people tested the entire program more than once, telling me over and over what worked and what did not. Finally, I got it right. I am thrilled to tell you that the book you hold in your hands contains everything you need to lose 30 or more pounds in the easiest manner ever. You will truly love it.

Erin sure did. These days she's out of bed by 6 a.m. She does her 8 minutes of moves first thing, while her kids are asleep. Then she drinks a pint of water, eats breakfast, and has even found the time to relax and watch the news for 10 minutes before waking her kids up at 7 o'clock.

"Every morning, my two-year-old wakes up and says to me, 'Mom, you are the best.' Now I feel like I deserve his praise," she told me after losing 75 pounds with the program. "The quality of time I share with my children has improved a thousand times since I started 8 Minutes in the Morning. My energy level is so much higher. I feel better now than I have in years. I don't want to sound like a cliché, but if I can do this, anyone can!"

As Erin's story shows, 8 Minutes in the Morning for Real Shapes, Real Sizes is the only weight-loss book that specifically addresses the needs of busy people will fuller figures. When you embark on this journey, you will:

Learn to accept yourself and your body, no matter what your size Replace emotional eating with a smarter method that allows you to experience the ultimate sense of support and comfort-without food Consistently lose up to 2 pounds a week Transform your life and feel fulfilled, whole, and happy

Follow 8 Minutes in the Morning for Real Shapes, Real Sizes, and you will see amazing results in just 28 days. why fat is not your fault. Earlier I mentioned my sister's story, how she couldn't find the motivation to stick to a weight-loss program until she first found realistic role models and chose a realistic goal. She couldn't succeed until she first fixed the source of her problem. She needed to first work on her internal demons, the ones that were telling her that she wasn't good enough, before she could find the energy reserve she needed to lose the weight for good.

Marta needed to walk away from the concept of losing weight to look better and embrace the concept of losing weight to feel better. Most people try to lose weight as a form of body punishment. After seeing image after image of superthin actors, actresses, and models, this is understandable.

As I mentioned earlier, many Hollywood actresses and actors are abnormally thin, and they achieve this superthinness in many unnatural and unhealthy ways. According to surveys, the models for Playboy centerfolds have been getting smaller since 1959, and since 1980, 99 percent of them have been underweight. One study found that 25 percent of them meet the criteria for anorexia. Researchers have also suggested that some of the most popular Hollywood actresses meet the criteria for anorexia. Finally, scientists also speculate that if most clothing store mannequins were actual human beings, they wouldn't menstruate.

One study in particular powerfully shows just how much the media influences the way we feel about our bodies. It looked at the differences in body dissatisfaction and eating attitudes in visually impaired women-women who could not be influenced by superthin media images because they could not see them. The researchers found that women who had been blind since birth were much less dissatisfied with their bodies than women who had lost their sight later in life. Sighted women had the highest levels of body dissatisfaction and the most negative attitudes toward food!

So, you see, you are surrounded by images that trick you into thinking that you are not good enough, that hurt you so deeply inside that they destroy your motivation to stick to a program. At the same time you are being bombarded with these body-image-damaging symbols, you're also being bombarded with marketing messages that encourage you to overeat. For example, it costs fast food restaurants very little to supersize your meal. They spend the majority of their revenue on labor, packaging, and marketing. To a fast food chain, supersize french fries actually cost them the same amount of revenue as small fries.

So they push the big portions in order to make you feel as if you're getting a bargain. The large fries may only cost you a few cents more than the small, but they add a huge wallop to your waistline. For example, a regular hamburger, fries, and 12-ounce soda used to amount to a reasonable 590 calories. The chain now advertises its supersize "Extra Value" meal with a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, supersize fries, and supersize soda for a total of 1,550 calories! Fast food restaurants aren't the only establishments that are dishing up more food. Restaurant portions have also increased. And studies show, when we see more food, we tend to eat more food, regardless of our true calorie needs.

End result: We've become a fatter nation. While the average weight of a Hollywood actress has dipped below 110 pounds and the average dress size below a size 4, the real, everyday woman has grown an inch larger than only 10 years ago, bringing the average dress size for real women to a size 14. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 64 percent of U.S. adults now weigh 30 or more pounds beyond a healthy weight. That totals more than 97 million people!

I tell all of my clients that nothing feels as good as knowing that you took charge of your life and changed your body. It's the difference between knowing you earned a trophy for your accomplishments or just going out and buying a trophy without actually earning it. You'd only feel proud about the trophy you earned. Weight loss is the same. Once you-not a pill or patch or cream-take control of your weight, you will feel terrific. That's a real success.

The Power of Acceptance

By following the plan in this book, you can lose a realistic and healthy 2 pounds a week. That's the average amount of fat you can lose in a week-healthfully. Some of you might lose more the first week or two. On average, however, you will lose what doctors deem safe, effective, and realistic-2 pounds a week. That's 8 pounds in 28 days. If you want to lose 30 pounds, it will take you 15 weeks to take off the weight. If you want to lose 60 pounds, it will take you 30 weeks.

8 Minutes in the Morning for Real Shapes, Real Sizes will help you lose a realistic amount of weight, bringing you to a realistic size, and do so with a realistic amount of exercise and by eating realistic food portions. When you embark on the 8 Minutes in the Morning for Real Shapes, Real Sizes journey, you will lose 2 pounds a week by exercising and following a realistic-and simple-eating plan. End result: You will reach a realistic weight for your body. Most important, you will keep that weight off for good. No more yo-yo dieting. You will lose that excess fat once and for all-and you'll feel fantastic as you do.

The Secret Ingredients

Remember earlier when I told you that my program would teach you about a deep inner switch that would help fuel your motivation to lose weight? Well, here's the secret: body acceptance and nurturing. This is the most important ingredient to your success and what truly sets 8 Minutes in the Morning for Real Shapes, Real Sizes apart from other weight-loss programs.

You see, one of the most important lessons that I've learned since writing my last book is that some of my clients were turning to food to lift their spirits, drown their sorrows, soothe their stress, and even calm their fears. Food had become their closest friend. I realized I needed to create a concrete plan to help my clients reduce their dependence on food as a source of comfort. So I developed a two-step plan, outlined in chapters 2 and 3, to help them overcome emotional eating.

In chapter 2, you'll learn how body acceptance can fuel your weight loss. You see, study after study shows that positive body image provides the spark to eating healthfully and sticking to an exercise program. Body acceptance boosts your self-esteem, which in turn destroys self-destructive thought and eating patterns-which in turn helps you naturally gravitate to your realistic weight. This is the most important key to your success. Once you accept and nurture your body, your nutrition and exercise efforts will literally become effortless.

In chapter 3, you'll learn one more secret to help you heal your hungry heart and put an end to emotional eating. This secret lies in what I call The People Solution. The source of your problem lies deep inside. You must reach inside yourself to change your outer appearance. Only when you are emotionally fit will you be ready to start using my revolutionary Cruise Moves and Cruise Down Plate eating system. So before you start the eating and exercise programs, you must complete all of the exercises in chapters 2 and 3. You must accept your body, heal your hungry heart, and enact The People Solution. You'll learn more about this exciting program soon, but first, let's take a look at the overall structure of 8 Minutes in the Morning for Real Shapes, Real Sizes.

About the Program

8 Minutes in the Morning for Real Shapes, Real Sizes will give you the tools you need to stay healthy for the rest of your life. Here's how it works. Each morning you will work on three things: your emotional success, your physical fitness success, and your eating success.

Each day before your 8-minute exercise routine, I will help you get emotionally strong and fit. You will accomplish this with what I call The People Solution. This system-outlined in chapters 2 and 3 and expanded in chapter 7-will give you the advantage you need to move beyond self-sabotaging thinking and motivate yourself to love your new, fit lifestyle.

You may feel tempted to skip your daily People Solution exercises. Please don't! They are critical to your success. These daily secrets will help you to fix yourself from the inside out, zeroing in on the source of your problem deep inside. They will help you to fully accept your body and nurture your heart and soul, helping you to flip an inner switch that will help you to naturally stop overeating and start exercising. They are the keys to your success.

My all-new Cruise Moves are the center of this program. They take only 8 minutes a day and require absolutely no equipment-not even dumbbells. You can do these moves anywhere. You don't need a gym membership. You don't need to buy anything. The only props you'll ever need-a wall, a chair, a table, a phone book-are already in your house. No matter what your size, you will love these moves. Each morning, I will give you two new strength-training moves specifically designed to help you speed up your metabolism. I tested these moves on clients just like you, so I know you can do them. They are designed so that they will not hurt your back or knees. Not one move will make you feel off balance. Not one will make you feel like a failure. Rather, my moves will help you firm up your body and burn fat as efficiently as possible.

Each Sunday you'll take the day off. You'll learn more about why Cruise Moves are so effective in chapter 4. In chapter 5, you'll learn why I strongly suggest you do your Cruise Moves in the morning.

The Cruise Down Plate, which you'll read more about in chapters 6 and 10, is my latest secret that makes eating healthfully extremely easy-without counting any calories. Plus, it will never leave you feeling hungry or deprived again! The Cruise Down Plate will teach you to fill up on low-calorie, delicious foods, how to use the right amount of fat to lower your appetite, and how to eat the right types of foods in the right portions-automatically. There are no forbidden foods on the Cruise Down Plate. In fact, I suggest you eat a yummy treat every day. Get ready to bring back the real joy of eating!

So there you have it. The three elements of the program that you will tackle. But it doesn't stop there.

Recipe for Success

Right now, I want you to find a quiet place to read chapters 2 and 3 without interruption. Why? Before you learn my specialized 8-minute moves, you must first accept yourself whatever your size, and you must heal your hungry heart. These are the two most critical secrets to real weight loss.

Chapters 2 and 3 will give you the essential foundation you require. Think of 8 Minutes in the Morning for Real Shapes, Real Sizes as a recipe. If you were baking a cake, you wouldn't carelessly omit the baking powder or the flour or the sugar. If you did, the cake might not rise or taste all that great.

It's the same with 8 Minutes in the Morning for Real Shapes, Real Sizes. If you decide to skip any element of the program, you might not end up with the best results. Just as the baking powder and sugar are essential to the success of baking a cake, so is each aspect of this program. For example, if you skip your homework in chapters 2 and 3 and proceed directly to the program, I can't be certain you will lose weight. Similarly, if you do just one exercise a day rather than two, you may not achieve the best results. You must include all of the suggested ingredients in the right order to experience fantastic results. So please, commit yourself right now to following every aspect of the program to your fullest potential.

In return, 8 Minutes in the Morning for Real Shapes, Real Sizes will change your life. So get ready to get to it!