“Is this going to make me look bulky, like a man?”

I am a fitness trainer specializing in strength training, and if I had a dollar for every time a woman asked me this question, I would think about early retirement.

I get it.  The terms “weight lifting” and “body building” often conjure up images of steroid-injected, musclebound women who look like men.  It’s scary.  But you have to understand, those women took extraordinary measures to achieve that look.

Most women and trainers are not interested in those measures. It is impossible for a woman to naturally develop muscles like a man simply by lifting weights.

Key word:  naturally.

Now that we have that out of the way, we can continue with the subject at hand: it’s time for women to change the way they think about fitness. Everyone talks about getting in shape and losing weight but you very rarely hear people talking about getting healthier.

That’s an issue for me. We, as a society, don’t realize the importance of having good health until we no longer have it.

A friend of mine in her late 40s had her first mammogram this month. According to the American Cancer Society, she should have had her first screening about 3 years ago.  What motivated her to finally go in for the screening?  She met someone in their 20s who was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Whatever the reason, I’m glad she had it but I am looking forward to the day when we are more proactive about our own health and fitness.

Why does the thought of fitting into a dress or a swimsuit motivate us more than the thought of preventing Type II diabetes or obesity?

Is it because you can’t post healthy blood sugar levels on Instagram?

I have a history of being really hard on my cars.  All I ever did was put gas in them and go.  Maintenance?  It never even crossed my mind. I’ve been stranded by the side of the road a countless number of times and have blown two engines.  Not one, but two!

Simple, inexpensive oil changes would have prevented me from spending thousands of dollars to replacing an engine or buy another car. Our bodies are the exact same way.

If we would be proactive and work to maintain our bodies on the front end, the likelihood of dealing with serious problems later would be reduced. Preventing a disease is much easier and less expensive than trying to cure one.

I don’t like using scare tactics in my business – they don’t work anyway – but I will say this:  when a person makes the decision to take their focus off their outside appearance and shift it to the health of their body, I guarantee you the weight loss will come.

You will have the body you want if you will simply shift your focus and see it as a lifestyle change, not a diet with a deadline (i.e. your best friend’s wedding or vacation in the Bahamas).

Changing your lifestyle is not easy.  Anything worth having won’t be, but it is so worth it.

Try implementing my 3-Ps for creating a healthy lifestyle if you need help:

  • Priority – Make your life a priority and stop taking good health for granted. Eating properly and exercising should not feel like punishment, it should feel like a privilege.
  • Plan – Make a realistic plan, something you can stick with. Write down your plan and put it in a place where you will see it daily and be reminded of what you need to do.
  • Patience – Be patient and kind to yourself. Don’t kick yourself when you make a mistake (and you will) just learn from it and move on.

Remember, lifestyle changes do not have end dates.  If you focus on healthy living, the great body is sure to follow!

RELATED ARTICLE: A Fit Life is a Long Life: Consistency Is Key

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