Thursday, February 5, 2009

Reality check

I cringe when people ask me if I watch the Biggest Loser or read Body for Life. The before and after pictures beckon to people wanting to lose weight...and lose it pretty much over night. And worse, there are trainers who say it can be done.

OK, reality check. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But if you're willing to give your dream of "being in the best shape ever!" a bit more time than 6 weeks, you should check a recent New York Times article Personal Best-Fitness is Not An Overnight Sensation. It can be done. Just takes dedication and more than 6 weeks.

Are you now calculating how long it'll take to realistically reach your goal? Thinking "I have to workout for 9, 12, 24 months to get in great shape?!" Well, yes, it will.

But wait! Don't flop back on the couch yet. Let's consider where you'll be in another year, 5 or 10 years if you do continue with your current lifestyle. Are you one of the many who gain, on average, 10 lbs a year? Continue on the path you're on and by February 2011 you will be 20 lbs heavier!

OK, now let's flip that fatty forecast. If you started some new habits--exercising a bit more, eating a bit less--and lost a half pound per week, by February 2011 you could be 52 lbs lighter. Sweet!

Personal best is just that: personal. There are exercise addicts and then there are the rest of us. If being in super shape is your goal, go for it! To me fitness is about maintaining quality of life. So if you have aches and pains, can't easily tie your shoes, or balance on one foot, then you really do need to get moving.

If you want it, you can do it. You just have to work at it as hard as you want it. That's reality.

No go take it outside!

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