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Feb 7

EUGENIE JONES | Attitude must match your aspirations

A recent national health survey indicates that more than six out of every 10 Americans are overweight or obese, a number that has done nothing but continually climb in recent years. There are subsequently a growing number of people wanting to lose weight. Desire, however is not enough.

It doesn't sweat or breathe hard during workouts, but your attitude — your frame of mind — can make or break your fitness ambitions.

We, most of us, have a pretty good idea of what we want to accomplish and what it's going to take to get there. We plan to exercise and make good food choices. But often to the detriment of their "I'm-really-going-to-do-it-this-time" aspirations, they lack this key component: attitude.

Since our attitude, thoughts and feelings guide and influence our behavior, it's important to focus in on those attitudes and convictions we need to possess and to chuck the ones which do us absolutely no good.

One worthy of chucking is the ultra-fast-weight-loss pipe dream. When we attempt to correct the results of months or years of poor fitness behaviors in a few weeks, we're simply setting ourselves up to fail. Any dietary plan that promises you'll lose more than 1½-2 pounds a week is unhealthy and unrealistic. Patience, in this case, is a virtue as well as a necessity.

Second chuck-worthy attitude: "I've found this great diet!" A recent Consumer Reports magazine survey found that an overwhelming majority of 32,000 successfully dieters lost weight and kept if off, not through food deprivation or elimination, but through exercise and permanent healthy dietary habits.

In contrast, an embraceable attitude is viewing exercise as a lifelong endeavor and realizing that they're called "workouts" because they are work! If you're new to exercise, you must be mentally prepared for — not frightened off by — your body's natural response to physical exertion.

Not to say you should try to kill yourself, but know that sweating and breathing hard will not feel "easy" and will very likely feel a bit uncomfortable. But, while getting fit is not easy or effortless, with moderate, gradually progressive workouts your body will adapt and grow stronger.

Another embraceable attitude is a willingness to learn and change your behaviors. When you're willing to try new things — new cooking styles, new types of food, new forms of activity — you can accomplish new things. You cannot hold onto to old behaviors and hope to achieve a different outcome.

All in all, we know that fitness involves much more than our attitude, but it's important to realize that many crucial fitness battles are won or lost from the neck up. Get your attitude in check and the obstacles that you will undoubtedly encounter will be more easily overcome and your fitness aspirations more likely fulfilled.

Now Go Be Great!

EUGENIE JONES | Attitude must match your aspirations

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