Telling It Like It Is

Listen, getting in shape is all about setting goals. Losing weight, building muscle, and getting rid of the unhealthy eating habits take guts and perseverance. You're dealing with something big here. When you decide what you want, make it specific and concrete. For example, don't just say that you want to lose weight. Ask yourself some questions: How much weight? And is weight really the most important thing? Or is it more important that you climb your front steps with ease or lower your body-fat ratio? Think hard about what you want, and use your journal to keep track. Once you've figured out where you want to go, here's how you're going to get there:

Learn how to make decisions you can stick with. Remember, you're not just going on a diet, you're establishing a pattern of health that will enhance the quality of your life. Think big, but choose small, attainable goals — lose five pounds to start or fit into pants one size smaller — and build on those goals as you reach each one.

Allow yourself room for setbacks. One setback is only one setback — it's not the end of the world, nor is it the end of your journey toward a better you. You don't have to give up. Just get back on the bandwagon and keep going.

Walk the line between self-denial and self-indulgence. It's the middle ground between the two that will offer you the best foundation for building your new life. Maintain your discipline by allowing yourself little pleasures every now and again.

Understand that there are no mistakes. The things you used to think of as mistakes are now just learning experiences, so don't waste time beating yourself up. You'll encounter small failures — everyone does. But you'll achieve success too. Just remember, every pound you gain can be lost.

Keep in mind that faith in yourself and your work is what will keep you striving for the best. Now, get in the zone and push as hard as you can!

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