(#98) Fitness: A Better Version of Me

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 steve@stevepiscitelli.com, or visit Pearson EducationAmazon and Barnes and Noble.

Enjoy your week—and H.T.R.B. as needed!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Please pass it (and any of the archived posts on this site) along to friends and colleagues. You can also follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. If you get a chance, visit my Facebook page and join in–or start–a conversation (www.facebook.com/stevepiscitelli). Also, if you have suggestions for future posts, leave a comment. Have a wonderful week!

© 2012. Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog.


About stevepiscitelli

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15 Responses to (#98) Fitness: A Better Version of Me

  1. Edmund L. Greene says:

    I Think that is a great idea. I also love to work out. I believe that the more you work out, the more energy your body has to expell. I work a full-time job and attend 5 class. Without working out, I would not have the strength to maintain my schedule. Futher more, when you diet and exercise, you just feel better. What you put in your body is what your body kicks out..Please excuse the typos from my earlier post.


  2. Zachary says:

    Professor Piscitelli,
    This is the best I’ve ever heard about fitness. I’ve seen a lot of people wanting to loose weight but try going the easy route and try to to loose it by not eating. That would be unhealthy. The way of getting fit or gaining muscle is to set a goal, have a certain date to get to it, and remind yourself every time you workout, “why am I doing this?” and remind yourself about the goal to push yourself. I set myself a goal of lifting 200 lb bench lifting by June 2013.


  3. shelby d says:

    Thank you. This really put things in to perspective for me. I have been wanting to get healthier and in shape but have had the mentality that i would have to change my whole life. I would stat out making these changes like the gym and cutting out calories but it would never stick because i would slip up or it would become too hard. I also like that you made me thing of myself as me, just a better me. (not some size 3 model)


  4. Stefan says:

    The key to achieving the best results starts in the kitchen. Nutrition is 80% of any fitness regime if you desire the optimum results. Eating plenty of complex carbs, nuts, protein and whole grain foods will not only help you achieve the results you desire but it will certainly make you feel more energized. Great blog and great advice from all the good people creating a better version of themselves.


  5. Pingback: (#136) A Blogger’s Retrospective: 2012 in Review « Steve Piscitelli's Blog

  6. Shakeemah says:

    Mr. Piscitelli, I must say I really enjoyed this. It gave me the motivations to get back in the gym and back to my love of Zumba. I had to stop after two years of going hard due to surgery. I did just complete a 21 day Daniels fast. I have decided to follow that regimen for one week each month of just straight fruits and vegetables. I am motivated now. Thank you.


  7. Hunter S says:

    i think this is a great video. back in high school i used to be all about fitness. id work out all the time and eat healthy,and even got down to about 7% body fat, but i dont know what happened! now i never work out at all. So i really have to work on that and set goals to get back on the schedule that i used to have.


  8. George R says:

    As someone who goes to the gym regularly, I found that nutrition is one of the most important factors to change in my lifestyle. Until I made changes to my diet, I had no clue that I was actually not eating enough to reach my desired results. Once I added two small snacks a day and 3 regular meals, my metabolism was boosted, i was less hungry and started losing weight.

    Goal setting is new to me as far as areas other than weight loss. Small short term goals would encourage me to continue working out since I would see progress regularly.


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