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Small Steps To Summer Shape Up

Baby Steps To Fitness For Summer And For Good!

Yes, it's true. Another summer is upon us. Summer is like a good kick in the pants for most of us who want to up our jump start our fitness routine. But how many summers have you envisioned your lean and svelte body only to find yourself with the same body come fall? It's easy to do the vision part. It's even easy to figure out what types of things you need to do to lose weight or get in shape. The problem is that the same things that got in your way before will get in your way again. Then we rationalize why we are allowing ourselves to skip a day working out or why we deserve that piece of cake.

Why is it that we all think we can stick to a radical diet of cabbage soup or sugar free fare, but we can’t seem to commit to good old healthful eating? Let’s face it. If any of those diets worked, we would all be on it (myself included). But they don’t work. In fact, Americans are fatter than ever and it doesn’t look like it’s getting any better. We have more technology, more diets and more focus on fat than ever, yet we are a society tipping the scales. Maybe, just maybe it’s time to re-think things. Maybe it’s time for baby steps.

When you see a baby taking his first steps, you know that he eventually will “get it” and will get where he needs to go. It may take awhile, but each step builds learning and eventually he learns to walk. This is really no different than our steps towards health. We’ve all tripped and fell, but hopefully we are learning to walk and will get to where we want to go. We have all set the goal to lose weight or eat healthier, only to be back to our old pizza eating ways. Why? Well time, stress, poor planning, etc get in the way of our good intentions. Not to mention a lifetime of cognitive and behavior patterns that you have developed over a lifetime. Why do we think we can change those habits overnight? It will take time and a plan.

What is your goal and why do you want to accomplish it? It is not enough to just say you want to lose weight. What will weight loss get you? Get very focused on the happiness or feeling that you will achieve when you accomplish your goal. Also, most people try to do too much, too hard, too fast. What if you just made one little step in the right direction each day? If you don’t feel deprived, you are far more likely to stick with it. Little changes can make big results.

Physically, weight loss is no more than a numbers came. It’s all based on calories in, calories out. There are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat. To lose that pound, you need to have a calorie deficit. Let’s say you cut 125 calories from your eating and add 125 calories of exercise each day. That’s really not much. Make one better choice at a meal such as lowfat to nonfat milk or regular to diet soda and you’ve found those calories. Add a 30 minute walk or a bit more intensity to your current workout. Those small changes would add up to 2 pounds per month, 24 pounds in a year. It will come off slow and stay off.

Psychologically, weight loss is something entirely different. We eat because we are stressed, sad, bored and more. We are tempted by fattening fare on commercials and then seduced by svelt bodies on our favorite shows. We feel deprived and unsuccessful. Taking small steps towards health will help you feel successful. Success breeds success. So even if it’s a small step, it will take you to where you want to go. Just like that baby.

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. This time, try something different. Make a better choice each day. Drink some more water and move enough to exercise your heart. Make it a part of your life so that you love it and live it.

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