Building a Better You, Week 4: Celebrating the New You

By Martin Brown

If you’ve been following my “Building a Better You” series, in the first article I gave you eight reasons to get fit and stay fit. Here they are again:

  1. You will feel better.
  2. You will build a healthy heart and stronger bones.
  3. You will have less body fat and more toned muscles.
  4. You will sleep better.
  5. You will slow the aging process.
  6. You will improve and increase your sex life.
  7. You will boost your immune system and have fewer sick days.
  8. You will end the unhealthy cycle of yoyo dieting.

In the second article, I discussed the fact that healthy bodies and healthy minds were two halves of the same whole—which is why you simply cannot divide these two and reach a satisfactory outcome if your ultimate goal is to build a better you. In the third article I focused on the practical expectations that we can have in re-inventing our bodies. Improved appearance through the pursuit of fitness is a reasonable goal, for example, whereas hoping to wake up tomorrow morning three inches taller is not.

As Week 3 of the series points out, building a better you won’t happen over night, nor will it be easy. I disdain these programs that suggest you can change your life and level of fitness with doing, whatever, for “just ten minutes a day.” Just like these TV ads of people buying an Ab Flexer and then showing us men and women with washboard abs, these quick miracles are a mirage. But like the wanderer in the desert desperately seeking water, each of us wants to believe in a quick and easy fix and that’s the real reason that we fall for this same hype over and over again.

In the real world, staying fit and staying trim require constant effort and faithful devotion.

That is not to suggest for a moment that those goals are not worth the effort, in truth, they certainly are. Our lives are a collection of days, weeks, months, and years. You have to ask yourself that tough question: How do I want to feel? Take another long look at that list of eight great benefits. Do you have any objection to experiencing an improved sex life? No problem, I presume, in your feeling better, slowing the aging process, sleeping better, not to mention looking your very best.

As the rocky ride on Wall Street has proven in recent weeks, there are a lot of investments that can have uncertain returns. The time and effort you put into your fitness plan will return the benefits you were hoping to see. In other words, it’s all but a sure bet.

“How do I celebrate a new me?” After all the hard work and faithful devotion, you certainly deserve to celebrate, so consider these two steps:

First, give a gift to yourself.
Go out and buy some of the clothes that looked rotten on you six months, a year, or two years ago. In fact have a size that you are aiming for and consider buying it a little early just so you can measure your progress as you near that great day when the zipper on that skirt, or slacks just glides into place. Pulling clothes off the rack that slip on and fit just right is a celebration every time you go out shopping.

Second, give a gift to those you care about; take your good work and pass it forward.
There’s nothing that keeps you on the right course as much as helping others. Don’t just show off your new look encourage others to get fit as well. Every time you talk to someone about feeling better, not to mention looking better, you reinforce those important values that keep you going strong.

Let me close with this important point: Fitness is much more than a goal. To have lasting meaning it has to be a lifelong commitment. Yo-yo dieting is probably worse for your health than not losing weight at all. While it’s great to celebrate the new you, it’s even better to celebrate a life well lived. Getting fit and staying fit is a key component in a life well lived. And that is a lifetime achievement worthy of celebration.


More Great SMW Fitness Articles

Affordable Fitness: How to Work Out at Home

How NOT to Run Like a Girl

Why You Want Muscles—and How to Get Them

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