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What Exactly is an Exerciser? The Big "C" Word

By Thomas J. Kersting

I exercise! I run! I lift! We've all heard these expressions before. But just what is an exerciser , a weight lifter or a runner ? Is an exerciser someone who makes it to the gym 3 times a month? Is a weight lifter someone who lifts for 5 days straight, takes 10 days off and then lifts 5 days straight again? Is a runner someone who used to run marathons but hasn't laced-up the running shoes in years? Guess what the BIG C WORD is I'm looking for here? Ah, you're getting close.

We can call ourselves exercisers, weight lifters, runners or bikers. We can call ourselves Mother Teresa for that matter, but only we, ourselves, know the truth. I've crossed paths with many people in my day and have heard over and over again: no matter how much I exercise, I still can't lose weight. Now I think I have the answer to their frustrations. It's that BIG C WORD you've been trying to figure out: CONSISTENCY.

A few days of exercise here and there isn't going to get you to your weight-loss goal. In fact a few weeks isn't. It has got to be a life-long, consistent habit; that is if you want to maintain your weight-loss. With time, exercising will become a routine part of your day. Something you just do. And possibly something you'll eventually become passionate about.

It is very easy to trick the mind into believing that you are on track, that you re doing what you should be doing to lose weight, and you might be right. But truth be told, there is no quick fix to anything in life. We can take on an exercise regimen for four weeks and not see much weight-loss at all. This is when the problem starts. Americans are used to speed and accessibility. We want fast results, and when we don't get them we become frustrated and then we give-up. We throw our hands up in the air and say this is useless. Patience my friends... Patience. This is key.

So just what can you do to get on track and stay consistent with exercising? Try these tips.

  1. Be honest with yourself: Only you know the truth, but it is very easy for your conscious mind to rationalize that you can't exercise or that you just don't have the time to do it. In other words to make excuses. Be aware of this.

  2. Make a commitment to yourself: Hey, if you sit down and really make the commitment that you are going to exercise at least 3 days a week for six months, there's a better chance you'll succeed. And I guarantee you'll see results tremendous ones.

  3. Stay off the scale for 2 months: Scales lie, period. Stay away from them because if you see something you don't like, that give-up attitude is right around the corner, a perfect recipe for failure.

  4. Don't make excuses: Anytime you make an excuse for not being able to exercise on a given day, it means that other things in your life are more important to you than your health. Keep this in mind: What can possibly be more important than your health? Well, nothing, because all of those other things that come before exercise are meaningless if you re dead.

  5. Believe in yourself: Belief is conviction. When you put your mind to something and stay committed, you will be successful.
Thomas J. Kersting, LPC, Ph.D is the author of "FAT PROOF: Power Programming Your Body's Weight-Loss Computer" (Harbor Press, coming in Winter 2006). Dr. Tom has helped countless people to lose weight with his power programming method.
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