OUT ON THE BAYOU
JANUARY 7, 2000 • HOUSTON VOICE
I will set out
to do something great
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A GUIDE TO BETTER HEALTH
Your physical groove for Y2K
by GREG HERREN
Every year at this time I write about
New Year's fitness resolutions and how
to stick to them. Once again, it is that
time of year, and as I sat down to write
another column along those lines, it
occurred that my approach was all
wrong. The advice I had given in the past
was valid, and hopefully it had helped
some people get back into the groove of
But why does it work for some and not
The fitness industry has turned into a
billion dollar realm based on playing on
the fears of an America obsessed with
appearance. "The fattest people in the
world," headlines trumpet. Everyone
obsesses about body image.
We all worry about whether we've
gained weight over the holidays. We
worry if we're too fat. We worry if our
muscles are big enough. We worry, worry,
worry. Somehow, the true message of
exercise has gotten lost in the shuffle.
Exercise is about being healthier and
improving your quality of life. It's not
about dropping four pounds so you can
fit into those 30-waist jeans. It's not about
going on a fad diet because you feel bad
about being overweight. It's not about
getting pecs the size of grapefruits so
other men will think you're hot. It's not
about having washboard abs so you can
go shirtless at a bar. It's not about training for a marathon.
What happens to your body when you
exercise regularly is a side effect. The
goal should be living a healthier lifestyle.
Exercise is about feeling better about
yourself, but not better about the way
vou look. Exercise is your way of saying
We all worry about whether
we've gained weight over the
holidays. We worry if we're
too fat. We worry if our
muscles are big enough.
We worry, worry, worry
Somehow, the true message
of exercise has gotten lost in
to yourself, and everyone else, "I care
Don't you do regular preventive maintenance on your car? On your house?
Well, why not do preventive maintenance
on your body? Why not approach it from
that perspective? Forget about the
weight. Forget about the body image.
Forget about everything except that you
are taking care of yourself.
So, if you want to make a resolution
regarding exercise this year, here's one I
suggest: "I resolve that in the 21st century that I am going to treat my body with
the respect that it is more than entitled to.
I am not going on fad diets. I am not
going to buy into the latest exercise fad. I
am going to start exercising and I am
going to find an exercise routine that
appeals to me, whether it is weight lifting, aerobics, playing tennis, taking
walks, jogging or riding a bicycle.
"I am going to eat a sensible diet with
the proper combinations of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. If I have to miss
some exercise or if I want to indulge in a
cheesecake. I will do it and not judge
myself harshly because of it. I am going to
do this because I care about myself, and
because I deserve to have a better, healthier quality of life. I am not going to be
intimidated by anything or anyone that
wants to stand in my way. i deserve it."
That is the attitude that you need to
have. That is the positive mental attitude
that will get you into the groove. You can
do it. Don't let negativity invade your
life. And once you start treating yourself
better, it will carry over into other aspects
of your life as well.
Don't allow the negativity in. E)on't tell
yourself you can't do it. You can. It is possible. People do it every day, and are happier
and healthier because of it. You'll be amazed.
Greg Herren is a personal trainer and fitness writer. He can be reached at 504-588-
9563 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.