Many times there comes a point in an individual's life when he or she makes a conscious choice to get healthy. Unfortunately, just as many times they don't know how to go about it. What most of us hear is eat right and exercise. Well, what does that mean? What is eating right? Do I eat fruits and vegetables? Do I eat salads? Should I only eat proteins? How much exercise should I do? Should I lift weights or do aerobics? Well, for those who don't know a lot about physical fitness (about 95 percent of the population), they feel a little lost. They don't have a clue. After a while, they get frustrated, upset and end up quitting. Here at Semper Fitness, we understand that frustration all too well. That's why we're going to help you out. It starts with a decision.

The decision must be made by you to change your life. You must understand that this can't be a whim or just words, or a fly-by-night thought. You have to make a concrete decision to change your lifestyle. Not just your eating habits or your exercise frequency, but your lifestyle. You must decide that you are going to change your life for the better, and that you will do whatever it takes to succeed. You must look in the mirror and within yourself and say, "I am not satisfied." You must say to yourself "I will not quit until my goals have been reached. You must take this decision seriously and commit to it. You must commit because your health and ultimately, your life depends on it. Once you've made that decision, realistic goals must be set.

One of the main reasons individuals get discouraged is that they set unrealistic goals. They say things like "I want to lose 20lbs in one month" or "I want to lose 50lbs in three months." These goals, although not impossible, are pretty unrealistic. These types of goals set you up for failure and discouragement. A realistic goal would be to lose an average of 2 pounds per week. This takes into account that you're not trying to lose weight the unhealthy way. An unhealthy way to lose weight would be to starve yourself. If you lose 2 pounds per week, within a few months the weight loss would really add up and become significant to you. Think about this, that would be 2 pounds per week for three months. That would add up to a whopping 24 pounds at the least.

Now, although I've talked about weight, it is important for you to know this. Out of everything that we discuss here, you need to remember these words. DON'T JUDGE YOUR PROGRESS BY WHAT THE SCALE SAYS. JUDGE YOUR PROGRESS BY THE MIRROR, THE WAISTLINE, THE TROUSER SIZE, THE DRESS SIZE OR THE WAY YOUR CLOTHES FIT YOU.

This is very important. If you don't lose any weight one week, but your waist just shrank a half inch, that is much better than what the scale says. I never judge my progress by what the scale says. I look in the mirror and say to myself "hey, you only have a four pack. You need to get busy." The scale only gives you a rough measuring tool by which you may assess your progress. Now that you made the decision and set some realistic goals, we need to make an outline of your plan, in order for you to clearly identify the steps you need to succeed. And that's exactly what we're going to cover next issue. Setting up the outline for your plan.

Semper Fi!