How To Get Your Body Back By Taking That First Step!
This article encourages readers to take positive action and make a start in working towards their fitness goals - particularly if they have been making excuses for a period of years. It touches on the huge amount of often contradictory information available.It points readers to the simple formula of moving more and eating less! It encorages the reader to take control with positive action rather than just wishful thinking or making excuses.
Copyright (c) 2008 Steve Cowley
Imagine coming out of a shower and seeing a lean, fit, and energised body reflected back at you from the mirror! Perhaps when you were younger (a lot younger) that may have been so, but now the passage of time and a lack of structured exercise has left you with a few too many wobbly bits where there use to be toned curves! It is so easy to let things slip and that diet and exercise programme you have been promising yourself can always wait!
The truth is that it is often getting started on a programme that is the hardest part. The Chinese sage Confucius said "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" and this is so true of people taking back control over their bodies. We put up excuse after excuse, "It's too expensive", "I won't stick at it", "I'm too old" and any one of a thousand other reasons why we won't take that first step on the road to a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.
Even when we acknowledge that something just has to be done the sheer volume of information available in the public domain can numb us into inactivity! Often this information can appear contradictory too, as various "experts" tell us that first one thing then another is good/bad for our health! I am reminded of a good working definition of "an expert": X is an unknown quantity and a spurt is a drip under pressure! It is often a good idea to keep this in mind when you are listening to the latest health "facts" being presented.
However, even if some of the exact details are a bit fuzzy there is a general consensus on the two biggest favours we can do for our health. Generally, we need to move more and eat less. Not exactly rocket science is it? And, unless you have been living at the bottom of the sea for the last 100 years or so you will know this too. This simple message of activity and diet is certainly at the core of my teaching for the past 25 years!
One of the most important coaching tasks for any fitness professional is in helping their client to set realistic goals! It is often the collective "abuse" over time that has led to one's current state. To expect to undo that too quickly sets up both a false expectation and would ultimately be unhealthy. I always stress that improving fitness and changing body shape is a marathon not a sprint. Any form of diet or exercise regime should be looked at as a long term investment in one's health and not a quick fix to look good on holiday or fit into a favourite party dress!
Overdoing the intensity of workouts, or crash dieting, nearly always causes the body to react - you will get a cold or the flu, which is the body's way of saying "Stop, I can't cope with this"! But slow, gradual, improvements lead to long term success every time.
It doesn't have to be all doom and gloom either. Eating a single lettuce leaf for lunch might be great for rabbits but doesn't work too well for us! Whatever changes we make to our eating habits must be enjoyable and nourishing or we simply will not keep them going. Several years ago my wife went on a radical diet programme for medical reasons - it seemed that everything that made food enjoyable was taken out! After six months of following the diet religiously she was so miserable that she decided to revert to more conventional eating. She still eats really sensibly and avoids certain trigger foods, but her general state of wellbeing is so much happier. Food is definitely one of the pleasures in life and it should always remain so. Following a healthy eating and exercise programme should not be seen as a punishment for past sins but as a way of getting more enjoyment and fulfilment from life!
Over the years I have worked with hundreds of people who have had the courage and strength to take their first step back to fitness and health. It isn't always the one's you would think that stay the path too! Some of our greatest success stories were with people who initially struggled but were motivated enough to keep at it - persistence being a much more important indicator of success than any other. Small changes made daily to lifestyle and eating habits quickly mount up and lead to massive changes over time.
Whether you are looking to lose weight, tone up, or simply to have a bit more energy to cope with the demands of your life then I would encourage you to take that first step and do something positive to make the changes you desire. Take action now and you might be surprised at the figure you see reflected back from the mirror this time next year!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Cowley has run full-time Fitness and Martial Arts Clubs for over 25 years. His goal is to empower people to take control of their own lives and achieve the fitness success they desire. For further information about his weight loss recomendations visit http://www.fitnesssuccess.info