Monday, July 4, 2011

Take Ownership of Your Health

I’ve been successful over the past decade in getting into the best physical condition of my life.  I’ve had injuries and aches and pains that come with aging, but I’ve stayed with it, refusing to give in to the aging process.  Workouts have become my favorite activity, and I’m very diligent with my diet, although I do indulge in Five Guys burgers, pizza and desserts every once in a while.

After working out at home for several years I was ready for a change, so I joined a gym nearby.  It’s been fun to workout around other people and it’s been interesting to see the various levels of diligence at the gym.  When I joined, I received two complimentary sessions with a personal trainer, a recent college graduate who is very knowledgeable in his field.  I talk with him occasionally, and I’m glad to see his client base is growing.  But I didn’t need his help.  I know what I need to do and how to do it.

Personal trainers can be a great asset.  They can help you put a workout routine together, and provide encouragement and motivation.  They can also assist you in establishing a healthy eating plan so you can reach your health and fitness goals.  But I believe there is one thing that is crucial to success in reaching those goals and maintaining good health.  That one thing is ownership.

Until you take ownership of your diet and exercise, you are dependant on someone else to plan and monitor your compliance and progress.  When that person is around, whether it’s a trainer or workout partner, you may exercise and follow the eating plan, sort of.  But when that person is away, it’s easy to slack off and skip the workout or abandon the healthy eating plan.  That’s because you are dependant upon that person, and you don’t own it yourself.

When you take ownership of your diet and exercise, you will be more motivated to succeed.  When you understand what you need to do and why you need to do it, it becomes easier to stay motivated, and you’ll see results.  You’ll realize that you don’t need someone else to hold your hand or to hold you accountable.  You’ll start to see progress in your strength and fitness, and it’s motivating to know that you’ve accomplished that on your own.

If you feel the need to improve your health, find the resources to help you get started.  Hire a trainer or get a workout partner.  But as you start, educate yourself and take ownership of your diet and exercise.  Make it your goal to become independent as quickly as you can.  If you’ll do that, you’ll be headed down the road to success.

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