It is Sunday night. As your head hits the pillow, you decide that this week you really will stick to your diet and exercise regimen. You will not have your usual doughnut in the morning at the coffee shop. You plan to have a salad for lunch and skip dessert after dinner all week. You will also head for the gym after work before going home three times this week.It seems like a reasonable plan and you have every intention of sticking to it. But as you pick up your coffee on Monday morning, you just can’t help ordering a doughnut too. And since you have already ruined your diet for the day, you grab a fast food meal for lunch, skip the gym and have a big bowl of ice cream after dinner. If this sounds at all familiar to you, read on.The truth is a lot of people have this mindset when it comes to their health and fitness. They tend to give up when they slip up. But in reality, people who find success will fail many times before they succeed, no matter what their goal.Consider one of the greatest inventions of Thomas Edison. It has been said that it took him 10,000 attempts to make a working light bulb. Lesser inventors would have quit after ten, one hundred or even one thousand trials. But Edison defined failure as a step toward his goal, not a reason to give up on it. It was as if he realized that he would have to find 9,999 ways not to make a light bulb before he could achieve his goal.Try applying this method to your health and fitness. Realize that you will make countless mistakes on your way to achieving your objectives. There will be many missed workouts and loads of poor food choices along your road to success. Remember that you will find many ways not to achieve your goal before you triumph over it.The trick is to learn from these mistakes and move on. Realize what went wrong and how you can avoid similar situations in the future. Can you make coffee at home so you are not tempted to buy a doughnut at the coffee shop? Can you find an exercise buddy who will make you less likely to miss workouts? Can you make an activity-based date instead of a meal-based date with your friends or significant other?From now on, when it comes to your goals, don’t use failure as an excuse to quit. Instead, see it as a way not to achieve your goal. Then, get back on the right path and keep at it until you get to where you want to be.copyright 2006 Jennifer D. Wetmore, DPT
Does it take effort to learn about what promotes weight loss and weight control, health , and fitness?Does it take effort to read the books, watch the videos, listen to the tapes and CDs, and scour the literature and journals that will help you learn which foods support your body, your health, and your life?Does it take effort to learn the principles of health and fitness and apply these principles to your own daily life?Does it take effort to make the changes in your own daily diet and eating plan that are absolutely critical to your health and the length of your life?Does it take effort to distance yourself from the foods, with which you were raised and love, that are major contributors to weight gain and the loss of energy, sickness and premature death?Does it take effort to figure out who to listen to with all of the conflicting voices out there?Of course it takes effort, lots of effort. And you are to be commended for making that effort right now by reading this article.Change takes effort in any arena, especially when it comes to changing a lifetime of eating and exercise habits.However, it takes way more effort to be sick then it does to take the necessary steps to be healthy.It takes way more effort to be slapped with the diagnosis of cancer and have to deal with that–the decisions, the fear, the pain, the chemotherapy, the radiation, the unknown, the disability, the confinement, the time it takes out of your life, and the fact that it literally consumes your life.It takes way more effort to live with a crippling heart attack, or the loss of a leg due to diabetes, or the crippling pain of osteoarthritis.It takes way more effort to get stricken by a paralyzing stoke, than it does to prevent the same stroke by simply eating fruits and vegetables.Yes, it does take effort every day, day in and day out, to make those choices that will promote health and fitness, but sickness, disability, and premature death take way more effort.Pretend that you know, without a doubt, that you are sick. In fact, you do not have to pretend. Almost every American adult and most children have some stage of atherosclerosis, or clogging up of arteries, which leads to most of the deaths in this country. What are you going to do today, not tomorrow or the next day but today, that will start the process of cleaning up those arteries and veins?Are you and your life not worth all of your efforts?Instead of focusing on the effort, the self-discipline, the sacrifice, and the change, focus on the grand reward.Is there no better reward in life than the gift of health, fitness, vitality, high energy, radiant joy, and time–the precious extra time that you will have to live your life to its very fullest and to give to your children, your grandchildren, your loved ones, your friends, and to all those whose lives you touch?The reward of health and life can be yours. Just go for it!Tomorrow is the day that you are going to eat no, absolutely no processed foods, no refined foods, including white sugar and white flour, no pop, no junk, no chips, and maybe even no coffee.You are gladly going to skip the meat and the cheese and the yogurt and the ice cream and the cookies and the doughnuts and the goodies.You are going to fill your body with 10 different fruits and 2 large, green-leafy, vegetable salads with 10 different vegetables in each of them. You are going to enjoy eating these foods. Why? Because you love yourself and your body, and you and your glorious life are well worth your efforts.