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Where do I begin?
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 • Posted February 27, 2014 3:11 PM

Where do I begin? A question many ask when it comes to getting physically fit. For some, health and fitness were simple gifts of youth. Increasingly, however, even youth cannot take health and fitness for granted, as childhood obesity is on the rise. Considering health challenges such as arthritis, post surgical joint replacement, diabetic conditions, hypertension and any number of chronic illnesses and neuromuscular conditions, even in a small town such as Blanco, Texas, there are many who may wonder: ‘Where do I begin? How do I? Can I do it? Is it too late?’

Let me include here a statement I often rehearse to my clients: It’s never too late to start…and never stop starting! It may not come easily or quickly, but if done properly, anyone can move toward his or her genetic potential, at any age.

There are many fad diets on the market, many books one might read, innumerable supplements and so many lines of weight loss products available to consumers that a series of publications might be needed to index them all. Yet, one basic truth remains: whatever method(s) of behavior modification you implement to effect positive change in your life, whether to your body or your mind, that change must be one you can continue to implement for the rest of your life if you hope to achieve permanent betterment of your condition. The moment you stop implementing the modification resulting in the positive change is the moment you begin to revert to pre-modification condition.

If you find that new diet too restrictive and very difficult to live with, then you’ll likely drop it eventually. If you feel that doing something you hate is the key to being healthy and fit, you’re likely resist in the first place and more likely to eventually quit. This pattern makes lifestyle changes difficult for many to maintain.

The trick is: find something you love to do. If you like to be with people, try to find a friend to do it with you; a workout buddy. Walk together. Take a fitness class together. Ride bicycles together. Encourage each other, and be accountable to each other. If you’re going to ‘diet’, do it together.

Start small. Work up. Know you’re doing what you are because it’s the right thing for you, and let the chips fall where they may. Don’t get discouraged because you don’t see the results you want as quickly as you want. Give yourself half as many years as it took you to get where you are, to get back to where you want to be. If it’s been 20 years since you stopped worrying about your level of fitness, then give yourself 10 years to recover. Not that it’ll take you that long, but you’ll alleviate a lot of stress if you put it in that sort of perspective.

It’s easy to find the path. Start today. Start right there in your living room or bedroom. Walk in place, lifting your knees high before you head out the door. Turn around and go up and back down the stairs. Park your car farther away from the entrance to the market, instead of close. Throw away the last couple of bites of what you would’ve eaten. Order a smaller size of whatever you’re eating. There are a lot of tricks and much information to be shared. The only thing holding you back is you. Think about it. Think about it every day. Make the changes that are right for you. I’ll offer some suggestions and tips. If you have questions, please email me and I’ll do my best to address them at the beginning of the article, before continuing with what I had planned to outline for the week. You can find me, Sally Windham, on linkedIn.com and facebook.com or simply email me directly at sally.windham@yahoo.com

Sally Windham is a 45 year old mother of 9 children. Having lost and maintained a 130lb weight loss herself, she is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor. She lives in Blanco, and trains clients locally at Gem of the Hills and in Spring Branch at Family Fitness.

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