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Archive for December, 2013

Close-up-of-explosion-of-champagne-bottle-cork2

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve.  For many it is a night filled with dancing, partying, eating and drinking…all to some level of excess.  Typically this is followed up the next day with some sort of self-flagellation, a swearing off of certain foods and drinks, and a trip to the gym that is more an act of repentance than of self-improvement.

STOP!

Yeah, I know we all set goals on January 1st.  Yes, many of us may indulge in a bit of debauchery the night before.

It’s.  All.  Good!

Getting fit, eating better and becoming better human beings does NOT mean that you can’t have a little fun during the holidays.  No, you shouldn’t live a healthy lifestyle so you can occasionally partake in unhealthy behavior.

That’s silly.

BUT, it is one of the nice side benefits.  Too many people measure every calorie, every gram of fat/carbohydrate/protein, every ounce of water they put into their bodies and when they fall off of that wagon, they plead for forgiveness and become even stricter with their self-control.

What kind of life is that?

Eat a healthful, colorful diet and participate in vigorous physical activity because you want to…because it feels good…because ultimately, it’s fun.

If you choose not to dance or eat or drink, that’s okay too.  I’m sure your body will thank you for it on the 1st…but will your heart?  Obviously I am not advocating abusing the various foods or substances people may use on New Year’s Eve (or any other celebratory occasion I suppose).  What I am saying is that you should be able to have a little fun, eat a bunch of fatty food and imbibe in some champagne tomorrow night…without feeling bad about it the next day.

Just make sure you call a cab if you decide to drink.

Happy New Year everyone!  Be safe, have fun.

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Chicken or Egg

Find your motivation…

Matt Wilson Personal Training

ss2012logoNo, sorry, I don’t have the answer to that eternal question.  Nor is this a post to help you decide which you should eat from a nutritional point of view (they’re both good for you!)

I do want to use it as an analogy for fitness.  As someone who has been passionate about running over the last several years, I have often wondered whether I trained to run races or perhaps maybe I was signing up for races so I would have an excuse to train.

Ultimately, it didn’t matter because I truly enjoyed both.  The truth is that this circular logic can be used to your advantage, particularly if you are one of those people who resolve every December 31st to “get into shape” and “lose those 10 pounds”.  In this case, signing up for a race to have an excuse to train can be a great motivator.  Knowing…

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Time & Money

FreeGreatPicture.com-9839-time-is-money-e1363392957489

There are a lot of empty excuses out there for not taking care of yourself.

I’m not good at taking responsibility…

I don’t know what’s in the food I eat…

I don’t like the taste of water…

Then there’s the excuse about Time and Money.

It takes too much time…

It costs too much…

A lot of people will frown upon those last two excuses.  I used to be one of those people.  My response was, “you can make the time” and “can you put a price on your health and well-being?”  I was taken aback when several people, including my father, pointed out that saying things like “make the time” and “it’s cheaper than being unhealthy” were narrow-minded, insensitive and, to put it not so nicely, ignorant.

No matter how the economy is doing, there are people who struggle simply to put food on the dinner table and clothes on the backs of their families; this while working 12, 14, 16 hour days.

Yes, your health is important.  True, if being fit is an overwhelming priority, you will make time for it.  No doubt that being healthy is less expensive over the long haul than being sick – but here’s the question, at what cost?  I love how many of the “experts” out there will whip people they see on the street over and over again about their unhealthy life-style, how they’re killing themselves and their kids, how cancer is a choice and blah, blah, blah, and as it ultimately turns out, they, the “experts”, have never had to take care of anyone other than themselves – they have no family; they have no real responsibility other than to themselves and their business.

Yes, family health matters, but you want to know what matters more?  Children spending quality time with mom and dad; children going to bed with a belly full of food; children having clothes and shoes that fit to wear to school; children having an environment where they feel safe – these things take both Time AND Money.

So though I agree that people will often use Time and Money as empty excuses to avoid the perceived hard work of becoming fit and healthy, I believe we in the health & fitness profession need to think a little more sensitively about those who are struggling simply to get by – offer real solutions (like family walks) as opposed to generalized judgements (like “if you care, you will make the time and spend more wisely.”).

Not everyone is as fortunate or as well off as many seem to assume they are.

My one piece of advice to those struggling to feel better overall?  Start small – whether that’s a promise to yourself to drink more water or take the stairs instead of the elevator (don’t start with 20 flights!!!) or eat out one meal less per week or play tag with your kids…whatever it is, start small.  Give yourself a true opportunity to succeed and then, after a few weeks of that, fold something else in and then another and then another and then another…before you know it, a year or two will have gone by and you won’t recognize yourself or your family from a year before.

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Image

So a little earlier today I received an email from the NSCA.

I.

Am.

Officially.

CERTIFIED!!!

…now comes the hard part.  The next few weeks will be spent organizing a business plan and, hopefully, meeting with prospective clients. 

Time to get to work!

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