It is often stated that attitude is everything, and never is that more true than when you’re getting, or getting back, in shape. The way you view the journey before you has a tremendous impact on not only the end result, but also your quality of life in the in-between phase. I’m currently working with two women who are as opposite as day and night, in terms of attitude. One is very overweight, but has set a totally achievable goal of 100-pound loss in one year. She pushes hard in her workouts, tracks her food and is enthusiastic about the whole process. She is learning to make sustainable changes in her lifestyle, which include going out with friends and moderate indulgences. The difference in just a few short weeks is startling, and it is an honor to be a part of such a monumental transformation. While I can’t foresee whether she will have this great attitude six months from now, I can guarantee that if she does she will meet, and probably exceed, her goal. The second gal, whose candid honesty makes me laugh out loud, is just about as far on the other side of the spectrum as you can get. She hates to sweat, refers to her “diet” food as cat food, and is still, weeks later mourning the loss of chocolate. She is always looking for an easy way around the things that must be done, and a substitute for things that don’t need to be replaced. Basically, a way to have that proverbial cake, and eat [the whole thing] too, without gaining an ounce. The process is drudgery to her, a punishment for sins of celebrations, vacations and holidays long passed. She is living in a self-imposed prison, just doing her time until her goal (15-pound weight loss) is met. As much as I hate to say this, I highly doubt that day will come. If she manages to lose any weight at all, she will gain it back immediately, if not sooner. She views her weight loss as nothing but an end point, and has no respect for the process of getting there. She hates the changes that she’s made, so there is no chance of long-term adherence. So what about the rest of us, who fall somewhere in the median of these two? Can we improve our own attitude, and have a little more fun with the process? Absolutely! Even if it is not your “normal”, a positive attitude can be learned. The easiest, and most obvious, way is to find something you love. If you’re an athlete or prepping for a show, you will have to do some things that you really don’t want to do sometimes. But for the general public just looking to tighten up a bit, you can get great results from a lot of different things. Try a new class, find a buddy and partner up, buy yourself some cute gym gear. Make it fun, and it will never feel like work. Any exercise is better than channel surfing; don’t make it so daunting that you never get out the door. The next thing is to reward your progress! Treat yourself to a new gym outfit, a new techie gift, a manicure (for the ladies or gents!), a movie, or anything that makes you feel good except food!
Erin stays busy pursuing her own fitness goals, and helping to educate and inspire those she loves to live healthier lives. A hair stylist by trade, she manages a salon, and is chipping away at a degree, ultimately in dietetics and kinesiology. She lives in South Florida with her husband and a “pound puppy” named Pedro.