When it comes to your health be “responsibly selfish!”
Treat yourself with respect.
On January 1st of this year, my wife and I joined a number of friends in a New Years’ Day polar plunge into the Atlantic Ocean. (Full disclosure: We live in Florida. “Polar” is used advisedly.) We all posed for “before” photos and videos, ran into the water, and then posed for the “after” photos. Lots of fun. Refreshing. A good time!
Later that evening, when I reviewed the photos, there I stood in my bathing suit and New York Yankees ball cap. The suit and cap looked fine. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the ten extra pounds of Piscitelli I saw hanging over my bathing suit waistline.
That photo was my wake-up call. It made me come face-to-face with the hard and uncomfortable fact that I had become complacent with my daily exercise regimen and eating habits.
That night—the first evening of 2012—I made a commitment: I would become a better version of myself. Not for anybody else. I wanted that for me. I wanted to be “more fit” than I was at that moment. So here is what I did.
I set a specific goal.
- I would lose ten pounds before March 1 came up on the calendar.
I set a specific plan.
- I would pick up the pace on my 5:00 a.m. gym workouts. I increased the intensity and duration of the workouts. Nothing crazy—but I pushed myself off the comfortable plateau I had been coasting along.
- I would significantly decrease my evening meal portion size.
I took action.
- Goals can quickly become fantasies if we don’t take action. So I acted immediately.
I saw results.
- By the end of the 6th week (mid-February), I had not lost 10 pounds. I had lost TWELVE POUNDS!
- Last week I had to have my pants altered. I had lost 1½ inches from my waist.
- I had become a better version of me!
Video recommendation for the week:
A few weeks ago I asked my fellow 5:00 a.m. gym travelers to share a few words of advice as to the hows and whys of their respective fitness regimens. Click on the video below to hear what they had to say.
Did you notice that there were a few repeating themes in the video?
- The process (the exercise) of staying fit makes them feel good.
- Start your exercise routine by doing something you enjoy.
- Start easy; start small; build from there. Small steps lead to big results.
- Be consistent about your workout and your diet.
Your action plan.
Do you have a vision of a better version of you? I am not talking about being a body builder or a swimsuit model. Maybe you want to shed a couple of pounds. Or perhaps you want to walk after dinner each night. Identify just ONE thing you can do now that will have a positive and healthy impact on your fitness level.
- Be smart. Set small specific goals on the way to the larger goals. You may need to consult your doctor or a certified fitness trainer for a plan that is matched to your needs and abilities.
- What is your goal? What is that better version of you that you want to become?
- Do it. Take action. Remember goals not acted on become fantasies.
- When will you start?
- Be consistent. Do it again…and again…Make it a habit. Make it a life style.
- How often will you work toward your goals? What new habits do you have to create? What old habits do you have to stop.
When it comes to your health be “responsibly selfish!” Treat yourself with respect. As one of my fitness likes to say, “The worst thing that can happen is that you will get in shape.”
For more on fitness and treating yourself with respect, see Chapter 11 of Choices for College Success, 2nd edition (Piscitelli; Pearson Education, 2011). Please visit my website (www.stevepiscitelli.com), contact me at email@example.com, or visit Pearson Education, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Enjoy your week—and H.T.R.B. as needed!
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© 2012. Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog.