Ten Ways To Get In Shape

A month into New Year Resolution season and I am still watching my midsection and rear-end expand while I lie to myself about getting in shape this year. .....



.....We all do it. At the beginning of the year we promise ourselves that this is the year we're going to lose some weight, go to the gym, start exercising, and start eating better.

I do it because I'm vain.

_and also because I want to stay healthy and avoid getting a stroke or heart disease.  But mostly because I'm vain.

So what happened to all the promises of the New Year? Have they been buried under the busy schedules, funky weather, lack of motivation, and pure laziness?

Well have no fear, because even though I have absolutely no qualification to do this I have a ten step program that is guaranteed to get you motivated. If you follow it, this year will be the year that you finally meet that goal and keep your resolution.

1. Start right Now
There is no time like the present. If you are serious about losing weight and getting in shape you should start today. Come up with a plan today and start today. What else are you going to do, sit around on the internet and read articles by someone who is not even qualified to write?

2. Set measurable Goals
It is easy to say I'm going to lose weight this year. But if you truly want to realize any significant weight loss you have to decide how much weight you want to lose and by what date.

Goal: I am going to fit into a size 34 pants by the end of the summer.
Goal: I am going to squat 350lbs by October.
These goals are measurable and your progress is trackable.

My personal goal this year is to lose my belly fat. I have a tight pair of swim trunks (red) that I plan to wear this summer. Hopefully, by then they won't be as tight as they are today.A measurable goal is something like: I am going to lose fifteen pounds by my thirty-fifth birthday. Hopefully your birthday is not in March or you are going to have to rely on some sort of amputation to achieve that goal. Your goals have to be attainable or you will fail miserable.

3. Track your progress
Your mirror is going to lie to you. Right now if you turn to the side and suck your stomach in, it is going to tell you that you are fine. But don't fall for the oki-doke.

The best way to visually judge the way you look is to take a picture. To get reality check, have someone you trust to take a before picture and you.
Strip down to your underwear and stand with your arms straight out at your sides. Take a picture of your front and back. This is your before picture. Take similar pictures at regular intervals, every four to six weeks to track your progress. You will be amazed at the results.
NOTE: Please do not post your before' picture on facebook.

4. Eat Properly
Do not starve yourself. Select a proper diet plan that you can adhere to. There are several available online for free. Ask your physician or nutritionist for assistance. Diet is very important. The key to losing weight is to burn more calories than you consume but you have to make sure that you are not depriving yourself of valuable nutrients.

Since you are starting today, I suggest you go have yourself one final bad' meal. I suggest a huge Cheeseburger with French fries and a couple of margaritas to wash it down.

5. Work out with a purpose

One certain way to get in shape and stay motivated is to train for something. Last year it took me four grueling months to train for the Chicago Marathon and I was in the best shape of my life. (Yes I'm bragging) Knowing that I had a goal of finishing a 26.2 mile race motivated me to train day after day even when I didn't want to. In the meantime I was also able to raise over $800.00 for the Make A Wish foundation. Thank again to everybody who contributed and supported me.

I'm not suggesting that you run a marathon. There are several other events you can sign up for and train for. Montserrat has a _ Marathon coming up in December. There are several other events of different distances like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Turkey Trots in several different cities, and MS walks were you can get in shape and raise money for a good cause.

By the way, I think I have recruited Kevin Maynard to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC with me this year. I hope he doesn't chicken out.

6. Do Something
Nothing says that you have to spend your life in the gym or running through the neighborhood to get in shape. Do something different.

Walk to the store instead of driving. Play a game of out a man cricket. Shoot some hoops. Go play football in the neighborhood park. Take a hike up to Center Hills.  Go visit a nature reserve. Go swimming. Shovel some snow. Do some gardening.

As long as you are doing something you are getting some exercise. No, watching football on a Sunday afternoon does not count as sports. You have to actually play for it to count.

7. Stay out of the Bars
Drinking adds a lot to you middle section. The margarita mentioned above is going to contribute about 325 calories. Oh, I did say two, right? Make that 650 calories.
A rum and coke is 182 calories. A beer or Guinness range from 150 to 195 calories. The way how my friends drink those calories are going to add up to a lot and fast.

You can reduce you caloric intake by substituting coca cola zero in your rum and coke, , or have a vodka and diet sprite, or a light beer. You won't sacrifice much in taste and your belly will thank you.

By the way, the money you spend at the bar in one night should cover your gym membership for the month.

8. Get Fitness Information in your Inbox
Sign up for Newsletters that would help you. If you sit at the computer all day it will serve as a good reminder that you need to work out.
I get Men's Health Daily Dose, Runner's World, and Climbing Magazine. They are full of helpful hints on getting fit, staying in shape. They usually have information on events that you can participate in and extra activities that you may not have been aware of. Plus they are free.

Other options are Women's Health Magazine, Prevention, Cycling World Magazine, and Fitness Magazine.

9. Consult your Doctor
Getting in shape is all about being healthy. It doesn't make sense to go out there and do something you are not used to and get a heart attack or an injury. That is not smart. So please, if you are not used to doing physical exercise or you have some sort of injury please consult you physician first.

I don't know you and I don't know what you can do. So don't go out there trying to run a marathon and collapse and say that I said you should do it. Your physician is the only one who can advise on whether you are healthy enough to do any strenuous exercise.

Also, if you have any kind of disease like Diabetes, or blood pressure issues, please consult your doctor or nutritionist before going on any diet or meal program. Proper nutrition is very critical.

10. Enjoy the results
If you achieve your goal you will have a lot to be proud of. You will see a huge difference in your progress photos. When you finally compare your before picture with your after picture, you will be blown away, because your mirror can't lie to you anymore.

When you cross that finish line after running the 8-mile Turkey Trot with the knowledge that a few months before you couldn't even walk a half a mile without having to sit down and rest, you are going to be so overwhelmed by emotion you will cry. I did.

People are going to notice and congratulate you. They are gong to tell you that you are looking good. Smile and say thank you. And tell them what you did. Let them know you earned it with hours of sweat and hard work.

Buy yourself that new outfit. Go to the beach in that skimpy swimsuit and show off that brand new body. I am certainly going to wear those red swim trunks this summer.

Enjoy it and keep it up.