With more than 30 years of experience in the fitness industry, I have had the opportunity to observe many individuals working out. I have seen members overdo it and others who are wasting their time when the walk from the parking lot was harder than what they selected for a workout. I’m sharing some of the common mistakes and hoping you can learn from others’ mistakes:

  • Choose regular exercise. After college, as my weight began to creep upward, I chose to start running. For over 40 years I have run most days of the week except when I’ve been ill or had an injury. As a result, my weight has fluctuated very little over these years.
  • Choose to eat right. In high school and college I can remember eating pans of brownies or fudge. Yet I wondered why I felt so miserable. When I decided to run and lose weight, my diet changed. I chose an apple instead of apple pie. I chose a salad instead of pizza or a hamburger. Instantly, I began to feel better and have more energy.
  • Choose to feel good. When my dad lost weight, I asked him how he had been so successful at keeping the weight off. He told me that the weight loss had made him feel so good physically that he could never go back to being overweight.
  • Choose to splurge. That’s right. Give yourself a break once a week and splurge on a food you really like. My splurge day is always Saturday.
  • Choose to spend more time with family and friends. Once I asked a member how exercise had benefited her and she was excited to tell me about the energy she had gained to keep up with her grandchildren.”
  • Choose to enjoy quality of life. Find and enjoy all that life has to offer. Don’t rely on food for happiness. Don’t choose a lifetime of ill health. Prepare to enjoy retirement by staying fit and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Choose to stay busy. Find things in life to occupy your time. Stay involved in volunteer activities or in hobbies and other interests, not food.
  • Choose rewards. Buy yourself a new outfit or something for your home. Do not reward yourself with food.

Losing weight, getting in shape and staying there is not easy. Work, dedication and perseverance are necessary, but more importantly, your choice has to be a lifestyle change that you can adopt for a lifetime. Once you decide to eat right and exercise, you can never return to the choices you made before. Choose to live life to the fullest as a healthy, fit person.

Fitness tip: Choose to exercise with a partner or in a group. Promise to hold one another accountable for regular exercise.