In the world of fitness, like the world of magic, "It's never the want, it's the wizard." In other words, it's not the equipment you use, it's the effort you put into your workouts.
When you, the consumer, does something fitness related (buy an exercise DVD, join a health club, purchase a dumbbell, whatever), you are actually making an emotional investment in your hope for better things to come.
"I hope this works; I hope this gym is the one where I can really change my life; I hope this nutritionist can get my eating back on track." Get the picture?
A recent movie release about a young boy named Harry Potter trying to save the world brought me back to one of my favorite sayings, "It's never the wand, it's always the wizard!" - meaning the responsibility always lies within you, not the tool you're holding.
You've bought yourself this rubber cord, this dumbbell, this thing that will propel you forward and will finally be the answer to all of your prayers. It isn't, you get sad and call your friends Ben and Jerry, and move onto the next fad that will make that last failure seem like a joke.
Well, I got some news for you, and it ain't good - you need to take responsibility for where you are, really own what you've done to get yourself in your current predicament, and realize that you need help. You recognize that you're the wizard, only you need to go to your own Hogwarts. Here's how to get there:
Hop on your broom and go! If you have a significant amount of weight to lose (and don't want to undergo a surgical procedure to do so), daily cardiovascular activity needs to happen. Sure, start with one day, then two, and work up to seven times a week. A lot of people have been deluded into thinking "every other day" is enough, but it isn't. Exercise every day and you're doing the opposite of what got you into this mess, right?
Mix your potions carefully. Exercise is, for argument's sake, only a tiny fraction of the equation. Food is the real villain in your world, and we know it all too well. The variety that people allow themselves is truly where evil lurks; I hate to say it but eating the same healthy foods over and over again is a staple in the healthy wizard's life. Eat for need and not for desire; overindulgence will make statistics of us all.
This is a battle that can never truly be won. The enemy is at the gate at all times. Sure, allowing yourself a rest or a pat on the back is great for the psyche, but remember that constant vigilance is the hallmark of success, not negligence and apathy.
If you truly want to make magic with your health and fitness, it is all there for you. Have a great week, gang.
Darin St. George is a personal fitness coach at Gold's Gym in Natick, Mass. Visit his Web site at www.TrainerX.com.