Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just Do...Something

Do you feel discouraged because, once again, you've let that New Year Resolution to get in shape slip away from you? Do you have a pair of "dream pants" that you've been keeping in the back of the closet that you just can't squeeze into? Have you found yourself avoiding the camera at family gatherings because you feel that you look bloated in pictures? You're no alone. Very often, when people learn that I'm a personal trainer, they will say, "Gretchen, I just can't seem to lose the weight. What can I do?" When I inquire about their lifestyle choices, I typically learn that they've truly not been making the lifestyle choices necessary to reach their goals. Usually, it's their overworked, busy schedules causing this. Sometimes, it's because they find themselves slowly drifting back to the old lifestyle patterns even after a short period of fitness success.

Something that saddens me a bit is when I see people, especially women, beating themselves up emotionally opver their struggle with weight. Once we allow that depth of discouragement get the best of us, it is easy to give up. So, I'd like to encourage you to reach your fitness goals in a way that is not overwhelming. What I often recommend is that you just do SOMETHING. Start by writing down or discussing your fitness goals with someone you are close to. Once you have set these goals, telling someone will help you stay accountable. If you have health concerns, then the first "something" you should do is to see your doctor and discuss any restrictions or recommendations he/she may have for you so that you can safely get on the road to better health.

When my personal training clients seem overwhelmed by the many new changes I may recommend, I often suggest that they make two lifestyle changes a week which will improve their health and to journal what those changes are. For example, the first week may include drinking the recommended amount of water and taking a walk twice a week. The following week, that same person may get rid of processed food in the house and pack healthy food to take with them to work. For many, trying to do too much at one time becomes overwhelming. Can you imagine what kinds of positive changes you can experience in one month with just two lifestyle changes a week. Within a month, you may very well find that you have lost a dress of pants size because you're finally drinking the water your body needs, you're incorporating strength training into your weekly routine, you're taking walks in your community, your family is getting used to eating vegetables every evening, etc.

Whatever you do, don't let discouragement stop you from being the healthiest, fittest you that you can be. I'm sure that you can do it! If you're an "all or nothing" type of person, perhaps this approach won't work for you. If you find that your tendency is to, time and again, fall short of your fitness goals, perhaps this approach will work for you. Remember, if you'reding nothing to reach your goals now, doing SOMETHING is a big step.

Best wishes in all that you hope to accomplish! Remember, you are worth the effort it takes to get healthier.

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