Overweight? Consider this.

By Brian Cole, Personal Training Associates

I'm going to pay respect to some of our long-term clients. Not by name, of course, but by their conditioning. My hope is that some of you reading this will be encouraged and inspired to consider your potential for self-improvement. And, after considering it, decide to take the necessary steps.

What distinguishes the clients I'm referring to is their weight. They started with us with a goal of losing body fat. Some of these hard-working people have been with us for up to 20 years. And while they may have successfully reduced their weight a time or two, they regained it and they are still overweight.

One of my standard quips is that even if you have three workouts a week with us, you still have 165 hours every week to do whatever allowed you to become overweight. We can't take weight off in three hours a week. To lose fat, and to keep it off, is dependent on what is done during the individual's time outside our studio. We remind them of the necessary guidelines and activity levels but we can't assure they'll follow them. We don't control their choices and activities 24/7, but we still help them have much healthier lives.

Why are these clients staying committed to their weekly workout appointments for years and years if they're not realizing their initial goals of permanent weight loss? Because they feel better. They are stronger and are much more fit overall. Their joints move more freely with less discomfort. And they have a lot more daily energy.

Yes, their health would be much better if they also shed the burden of excess body fat. But in addition to the improvements listed above—of which they are always aware—they also have improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels and lessened the chance of adult-onset diabetes, heart disease and stroke. (Of course some of our clients do take the additional steps on their days not working with us, and yes, they lose considerable pounds of body fat.)

The facts, medically measured, are clear. Being heavy and fit is healthier than being lean but unfit. If you're overweight, even obese, and are frustrated by your attempts to do all that's required to reduce, reconsider. Don't make weight loss/fat loss your only mission. Decide to focus on being fit and healthier. It's worth it and you can do it.

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