If you’re trying to get in better shape…trying to get BACK into
shape after months or years of relative inactivity…or thinking
about getting back into shape, here’s a quick tip to help you get
Before I begin, let me share a couple of things I’ve learned over
the years. Nothing earth-shaking. Just a few solid, simple ways
of approaching any sort of health-improvement or self-improvement
project you elect to undertake.
These ideas come from my own experiences.
On the positive side, from successfully getting into kick-butt
shape for sports, for martial arts and kick boxing competitions,
and so forth.
On the negative side, from having to battle weight issues at
several points in my life…as well as the mental and emotional
humiliation and anguish that come along for the ride when you are
Potentially Helpful Learning #1: There are no rewards for quitting.
And there are no rules or laws that say you can’t “try, try again”.
In other words, most people who have tried to lose weight have
given up or quit at one time or another. This includes those who
have successfully lost weight and gotten into great shape.
It’s just a part of the process.
For example, you make some progress and you decide to “relax” a
little. Before you know it, you are eating like a fool, not
working out according to your plan, and you have regained the
Or the other common example: you start out all enthusiastic,
but don’t see the results you expected as quickly as you expected.
You get discouraged and give up.
This happens to everyone. You’re not a loser if you give up, or
if you relapse! It’s part of the process.
Give yourself permission, right up front, to relapse. Recognize
it as part of the process you have to go through to reach your
And, if and when you relapse or quit, make sure you climb back
on and continue to ride. Learn from the setback. Move forward.
As long as you get back up and keep trying, you are succeeding.
And the results you seek will surely follow.
Potentially Helpful Learning #2: Keep Things Simple!
When you’re first starting out on a project as important as
improving your fitness and health, it’s best to keep things
Here’s one example:
When assessing where you are now, and where you would like to
be, regularly measure and record these three key numbers:
(1) Your weight
(2) Your waist size
(3) Your body fat percentage (or, alternatively, your lean
Well, your weight is important as an overall indicator of
health and fitness. We all know approximately the range of
pounds, kilograms or stone we can handle and still look and
feel pretty good.
However, your weight tells only part of the story.
Your waistline measurement is actually the more important
measure to focus on. Because it’s an indicator not only of
how lean or heavy you might be, but also of your chances of
developing heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic (and
As for your body fat percentage: like waist size, this number
is as much a health indicator as an indicator of fitness.
You can make substantial changes to your body composition –
meaning you lose fat and put on muscle – before you lose a lot
of weight. And changes in body composition can have the most
dramatic impact on your appearance – regardless of how much
weight you have lost (or gained, if you are thin and trying
to get bigger).
So, focus on body fat percentage as an indicator of increases
in lean mass relative to fat. Improvement here will help keep
you going, even when the scale is not moving as fast as you
Those are the three key numbers to focus on.
Oh yea, there’s one more thing.
There’s a “magic ingredient” to embarking on your “get into
awesome shape” program which, when sprinkled in and over your
efforts, will almost guarantee good results.
What is it?
You’ll have to wait til my next post, my friend…
You Can Do It!
“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with
Dynamic Energy Exercise!”
Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2011