Story by Cindy Black

Are you stuck in a rut?

Feeling like no matter what you do, you aren’t getting anywhere with your weight-loss or fitness goals? Are bad habits in the way of your progress?

We’ve all been there at one time or another. This is when you could use a little help from your friends, your spouse or your trainer. Sometimes all you need to get back on track is some practical advice. The following are proven techniques to help you overcome the harmful habits.
Fitness — Sticking With a Program

The Challenge

Why is it so hard to stay on good terms with fitness? One of the reasons is simply lack of time. Many people over schedule themselves with work, errands and their children and don’t leave time for working out. There are a number of ways to kick-start your routine and stay in the fitness groove. Once you find a training program or exercise class that fits your lifestyle, you’ll find it’s easier to schedule your workout, no matter how busy you are. And when you get used to training regularly, you’ll begin to rely on the stress-relieving benefits of exercise to get you through the day. Here are some suggestions on how to develop a healthy fitness habit.

The Fix

~ First, commit to a program. Most people try to get fit on their own, but if they don’t have structure or accountability, they can be setting themselves up for failure. The average person is not an exercise physiologist or personal trainer. They are unsure about what is the best thing to do. Hiring a professional is a good way to get you jump-started.

~ It’s important to find a program that matches your personality, your time commitment and your goals. The more you enjoy an activity the more likely you are to stick with it.

~ Try group classes or a boot camp. Not only are you being directed by a professional but also you will be encouraged by the others in class while having fun. A little healthy competition can go a long way!

~ Don’t worry about trying to find a program appropriate for your body type. Most programs will apply for all sizes, ages and abilities. Every person needs cardio conditioning, strength training and flexibility. It’s just a matter of balancing how much of each you need.


Nutrition – Eating for Weight Loss

The Challenge

If you’ve reached the point where you just don’t like the way you look or feel, it’s time to change what you’re putting in your mouth. Granted, eating healthy can be difficult, especially if you have a busy schedule, a stressful job or if you tend to snack with your children, but it can be done!

The Fix

~ Set realistic and measurable weight-loss goals. Avoid the pitfalls of setting expectations too high and giving up if you fall short. Also, enlist support from others. Share your goals with a family member, friend or co-worker. The added accountability and cheerleading can go a long way!

~ Write down everything you put in your mouth, even the Tootsie Roll from the counter at the bank and the grapes you snack on while making dinner. Many people make better choices if it has to be written down.

~ Build your environment. Make the space around you support your goals. Remove unwanted temptations like the ice cream in the freezer that calls your name in the evening. Replace empty calorie foods with nutritionally dense fruits or vegetables or heart-healthy seeds or nuts.

~ Eat every three or four hours, starting with breakfast, to keep your metabolism burning! Also, you are more apt to overeat or make poor choices when you are very hungry, so plan ahead to have nutritious food available throughout the day.

~ Build and protect muscle by strength training two to three times per week to increase your metabolism. Weight bearing activity also promotes bone health and combats diabetes.

~ Develop coping mechanisms for dealing with stress in place of mindless eating. Strategies may be going for a walk, reading a book, doing yoga or calling a friend.

You can take charge of your life! It just takes a well-designed plan and the three Ds: Desire, Determination and Dedication.

For help formulating your plan contact:

Cindy Black at the Fitness Studio, (910) 575-0975,, email: