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The Road Less Traveled

As a fitness coach I know my primary duty to clients is helping them achieve their goals. I remind myself of this fact daily. Everything else is secondary as results or the lack thereof will inevitably be responsible for my final grade as a coach.

Any trainer who sincerely cares about their clients and takes pride in what they do will tell you there’s a fine line between being a friend and a coach. Personal relationships are a natural part of caring for the people you work with.

The trap that many trainers fall into, myself included, is sometimes losing sight of the end goal. When empathy and understanding goes too far, both parties come out losing.

When an individual comes to me or my business to lose weight, get in shape, or make some change in their life, it’s because they’re looking for help, period. There are tangible goals they’d like to achieve with a specific set of outcomes. I’ve yet to have someone tell me they want personal training without the expectation of seeing results.

I had a mentor tell me one time the most powerful question you can ask someone looking to start a program is “why?” Why is this important to you and why now?

The longer I’m in this game the more I realize there is a direct correlation between the “why” and the likelihood for success.

The stronger the emotions are behind the reasons why, the more likely the person is to achieve their goals. All the instruction, accountability, and motivation in the world won’t do a thing if the individual hasn’t made the fundamental decision to change.

Experience has shown me most people will tell you their goals are important but in reality they’re really not ready to change. I’ve learned to be patient as a lot of times this is only a natural response to repeatedly trying and failing in the past on their own.

Never-the-less, I understand there’s always a crossroads that every person will eventually come to where they have to make a decision.

“Will I continue looking for a quick-fix, falling prey to my excuses, and doing things half-way, or will I make the decision to follow through on ALL the necessary lifestyle changes and do it the right way?”

It all comes down to that one decision…

Do I continue to stay on the road I’m currently traveling and get more of the same, turn left down the road of the next quick fix, or turn right down the road less traveled of real change?

I realize I can’t make that decision for anyone regardless of how much I care for them and want to see them succeed. It’s a personal decision that each individual has to make on their own. My duty is to simply show the way and light the path for the person who is ready for the “right turn.”

If you’re not happy with the body or level of health you currently have I can assure you it all comes down to your decisions.

There are no real secrets to changing your shape or losing weight. A lot of people will try and convince you otherwise but it’s all B.S. We’d much rather hear that it’s not our fault and fall victim to excuses.

There are endless diet variations, pills, powders, gimmicks and gadgets all posing as solutions for those looking for the “one” thing that will be the magic bullet.

When it’s all said and done, even if some of these things work momentarily, it’s all nothing more than a short-cut. Sooner or later you’ll have to make the decision to turn right down the road less traveled or you’ll be right back where you started.

Let me sum up everything you need to know about diet and nutrition for weight loss and a lean, healthy, fit body in one sentence…

Eat natural whole foods primarily from fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nuts and seeds.

That’s it, do this frequently enough and you win, end of discussion.

Avoid heavy starches unless you’ve got a fast metabolism or you’re going to burn it off with lots of physical activity. Keep the processed and refined foods out of your diet and for heaven’s sake stop starving yourself!

Your body needs nutrients and the only way you’ll get these nutrients is to eat enough whole foods to support your metabolism.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who was overweight because they ate too many fruits or vegetables. On the flipside, I’ve consulted with hundreds of people who were overweight with no shortage of excuses for why they couldn’t or wouldn’t eat fruits and vegetables.

It’s a simple decision. Look I don’t mean to be blunt or callous but let’s not kid each other. Save the excuses, I’ve heard all of them before. It’s either do or don’t.

It’s not necessary to be perfect with your diet all the time, but if you regularly provide your body with supportive nutrition from whole, natural foods you WILL eventually win.

The exercise side of the equation no different. Sure there are more effective means of exercising like burst training, but in the end you just need to regularly work your lean muscle and cardiovascular system. This means resistance training 2-3 times a week and aerobic exercise 3-5 times a week.

Everything you need to know about exercise in one sentence…

Exercise outside your comfort zone; push your body to adapt to increased workloads, and get yourself out of breath.

Do this regularly and you win, period.

I don’t care how you get it done as it doesn’t matter, just get it done! Once again the excuses I hear for why someone doesn’t exercise daily are too numerous to list. We can dance around it all day long but in the end it’s still nothing more than a decision.

Either you eat healthy and push yourself with physical activity daily or you don’t. Each one of us will reap what we sow from either doing this or not.

I challenge you to take a good hard look at the decisions you’re making in your life that affect your health and wellness. I’ll bet you the majority of excuses you give to yourself and others are nothing more than a means of justifying in your own mind why you’re not making these two simple decisions.

I understand there will be instances where a person has legitimate health issues that can impact their ability to lose weight. In these cases the person will have to seek help and counsel from a physician.

Once again there’s a decision to be made here. Either I will seek the correct treatment no matter what it takes and how many doctors I have to see or I’ll give up trying or worse yet do nothing.

At the end of the day you’re still going to want to eat lots of whole natural foods regardless of how any medical condition will affect your short-term ability to exercise. There is NO medical condition, illness, or disease I know of that would be made better by leaving out God’s foods.

This is the one piece of your health and wellness that will always be a constant. Being overweight is always a result of one or more imbalances in your body.

There’s no pill or medication on the face of the earth that can do what whole foods will do.

I firmly believe that and will go to my grave preaching it.

Fruits and vegetables contain everything that’s’ needed to heal and regenerate the organs, glands, tissue, and cells of the human body. If your body is not in balance eat more of these foods. Do whatever it takes! Blend them, juice them, do what you’ve got to do but get them in.

If you haven’t taken this approach of using whole natural foods and regular exercise to change your health and your shape I encourage you to fully commit to it for a mere 30 days.

If the reasons “why” are strong enough you’ll find a way to make it happen.

If they’re not, you probably won’t and you’ll continue traveling down that crowded road with everyone else looking for the next quick fix.

The rules for success are no different than anything else in life. It seems as a society and a nation we’ve lost sight of these principals. Hard work and sacrifice have taken a back seat to “I want it now and I want it to be easy.”

The right decisions are not always the most glamorous or fun but they still produce the best outcomes. Looking for someone or something else to blame for your current condition gets you nowhere.

If you’re happy with where you’re at that then far be it from me to tell you to do something otherwise. But if you’re not, then make a decision to do something about it and kick your excuses to the damn curb.

Don’t over-complicate things or beat yourself up when you’re not perfect. Success is achieved by simply making the one decision to do things the right way then committing to the fundamental principals for as long as it takes.

Nobody ever got really good at anything by mastering the short-cuts and quick fixes. It’s the basic fundamentals done over and over again that produces positive results.

I can’t promise you the road less traveled will be easy or without sacrifices and hard choices, but what I can promise you is the final destination will be much more rewarding.

I bet deep down in your heart you already know this.

Decisions and choices…they are yours and yours alone to make.

If I can be of help and assistance along the way, I’m always happy to be at your service. If you get some “tough love” at times it will only be because I care. Accountability is nothing more than keeping someone else focused on the goals they’ve made for themselves.

In world where there are plenty of people to tell you it’s not your fault and your excuses are valid, I’ll simply ask how important is it to you that you get where you want to go?

The choice is yours.

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston fitness trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts. With a staff of over 10 certified fitness professionals, Shaping Concepts provides personal fitness training in Charleston with a specialty on weight loss and body transformation. You can receive a FREE, no-obligations (2) session personal training trial and consultation to experience the difference for yourself.

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