You or someone you love is struggling with their perception of their body. It affects their self-confidence, attitude, and decisions. They think about it when they look in the mirror, get dressed, see a model in a magazine, eat dinner, etc… It haunts them day and night.
As a personal trainer, my career is helping people achieve the healthy body they desire in a safe way. I hear the heartbreaking stories on a daily basis as people struggle to gain control of their health. There is a disturbing trend of desperation and failed previous attempts at achieving a perfect body. They follow extreme diets, undergo surgeries and injections, and are willing to try anything that promises to work. Rarely do they achieve permanent results, and this leads to more emotional and mental baggage from another failed attempt of trying to regain their health. Taking steps to get healthier can be a life saving decision for many of the people I meet, but how they get there is crucial to their chance of success.
When striving to achieve a New Year’s Resolution of weight loss, there are some things you need to know.
• The shape you are in does not dictate who you are. The beauty of the body is that it is adjustable. Saying that a mistake (weight gain) defines who someone is implies that one can never change or improve. No matter what shape we are in, we are all still human. Don’t allow a poor self image keep you from trying to improve your health or push you to take dangerous risks. It is never too late to make a positive change in your health.
• There is black and white, but there is also a lot of grey. We seem to know the difference between what is healthy and what is unhealthy, but we fail to remember there is a lot of grey. This forces many to try quick fix solutions of extreme diets and dangerous medical procedures. When we realize that we don’t have to be perfect to be successful, we can relax enough to tackle our weight loss issues the right way. Take your time and make small, positive changes. Do things that will create long-term, positive results, instead of another quick fix.
• The gym is a training ground for the things you enjoy. We often think working out 3-5 times a week is our goal, but that is a boring goal that often results in people burning out and stopping their weight loss resolution. Formal exercise is to help you live an active, fun life full of adventure. Working out in a gym is just a way to condense a lot of exercise in to a short period of time; not necessarily an entertaining experience that makes you excited to come back again. If you want to be healthy and in shape, strive to find activities you enjoy and use the equipment in the gym to help you achieve it.
• Mind your thoughts. It is so easy to be critical of ourselves. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are usually right.” You have to think positively about your future goals, speak it consistently, and believe that you are capable of achieving it. If you are not confident in your plan, find help.
• Seek help from people that care. Take the time to do your research and choose someone you feel comfortable trusting your health and emotions with. Weight loss is both physical and mental. Finding someone who will walk with you through your journey is important to your long term success.
2012 is a great time to start moving towards a permanent solution to achieving a healthy weight. It might be an old habit to be negative and hard on yourself through this process, but you are more likely to be successful when you make safe, long-term, positive mental and physical changes. Seeking help from health care professionals could be necessary for you, but make 2012 the year you regained control of your health.
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