Move Forward With Fitness

image-5There are no shortcuts or magic tricks to getting fit and staying fit.  Working out to be ” fit for your future” requires dedication, commitment, perseverance and letting go of our often gripping past .  One of my most influential teachers said it best. “Consistency of practice is the secret to success, consistency of practice is the secret to success, consistency of practice is the secret to success.”  He taught us to recite this three times, at all times.   I believe this  statement to be entirely true, in every aspect of our lives.  Without practice, without consistency, it would be nearly impossible to achieve success of any kind.   At least for me.  I have known  women over the years who have truly desired (and still do) weight loss, a shapely body, strong heart and lungs, self-acceptance, self love, an overall feeling of contentment and well-being.  Many of  these same women I knew ten, even twenty year years ago continue to struggle with their goals, seemingly attached to the battle, unwilling, even afraid to move forward.  As we age, we tend to become complacent, stuck in our rut of deeply embedded counter productive behaviors and less eager to improve ourselves and our lives.  We adopt the “what for” attitude.   Perhaps, we feel helpless or simply exhausted.   There is no argument that starting a fitness program for the first time when you are 40, 50, 60 and older or reinventing your fitness status can seem a daunting and overwhelming challenge.  By this I mean, hard work.  But, it is good hard work, wonderfully rewarding work.  The kind of work that helps you like yourself.   A labor of love, so to speak.   I gave up desiring, wanting and struggling to be this or that or to have this or that, years ago.   Somehow I figured out that the only way I would ever achieve success in my life was by choosing the path of “most resistance.”  Taking several deep breaths and forging ahead.   Leaving behind the residue of that which was not serving me well.  The path of least resistance feels weak to me, empty and boring.  By freeing myself from poisonous situations, behaviors, relationships, toxic foods and ugly places, I discovered liberation.

I need contentment and peace.   I also like hard work.  This may be genetic – in my nature.  I enjoy a good healthy challenge.  I need challenge to keep myself motivated, stimulated and fully engaged with life.  It is easy to feel disengaged, disconnected, unimportant and isolated in this world.  Isolation is at the root of many dire health conditions and disease.  This may explain why working out with a friend or in a class feels supportive and energizing.  Being with others provides motivation, connection to others, a feeling of being needed and important.    Often, I am asked, “Allison, do you ever give up on the day before it begins.  Do you ever struggle with getting out of  bed in the morning?  Do you ever not want to take care of yourself?”  Yes, yes, and yes.  I have my moments.  But, after careful consideration and a reality chat with myself,  I once again discover my  preference for feeling happy at the end of my day or following an energizing workout.  Knowing and feeling that I have done something to take good care of myself and for those around me trumps all negativity.  Remember, your positive energy is contagious, it helps others.  Everyday, I challenge myself in some way (easy or not) to  remain on a healthy path.  Whether it is the seemingly simple choice of choosing a piece of fruit over a handful of M & M’s ( of course this is not easy),  a glass of water over diet coke, smiling at someone familiar or purposefully looking away, allowing another car to move in front of me in traffic or being a jerk, getting out of bed and going for a walk or hiding under the sheets, choosing the heavy dumbbells over the ridiculously light, teaching my class or making up a lousy excuse to cancel and so on.  I strive to stay present and focused on my actions and behaviors of the day, at times the hour or even the moment,  while keeping the bigger picture in view.  My future. I want to be ready and fit for my future.

Always here for you,  Allison

P.S.  Two of my favorite words: SHOW UP!

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  1. Great advice, Allsion, and things I need to practice. I am brutal with myself and constantly challenged with fulfilling all things obligatory, but I have never learned the lesson of being consistent with all things positive. A workaholic who surrounds myself with ‘toxic relationships, ugly places, and poisonous situtations,” I long for the liberation you describe. Every now and again, I pull out my yoga mat and begin a sincere approach to serenity through asanas and meditation. This lasts for approximately two days. In my head, I am dedicated, but in reality,I probably push too hard, instead of easing into it slowly. I tackle my yoga sessions as aggressively as I handle work and life, and wind up aching for two nights. I have no problem fast walking, making up my own pilates and choosing stairwells over elevators, but the peace achieved through yoga seems elusive to me. Thanks for writing this inspiring piece; it helps, as I have already decided to discard negative friends and ugly places.

  2. Thanks, Allison; reading your ideas and your teacher’s affirmations really tossed me into an arena of self-examination. I realized, after much thought, that I block my entry into self-success. I stave off the positive, and that made me wonder why. I really do embrace the notion of ‘happy’ energy and serene thoughts, yet I have to admit, I resist many of the behaviors that can help me along. I am going to begin recharging immediately, and just for me, so when I am around others, my glowing energy will be genuine and not feigned. Thank you!

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