photo (14)What are the keys to getting fitness results, anyway? Most of us wish and hope for change on a multitude of levels. We may even pray for changes of a serious nature. But, let’s face it, friends, if we’re not willing to decide upon a plan for change, and put in the effort to make the change happen….we may as well just continue to wish for it.

Change will never happen without three things.

Those things are: A Decision, A Plan and a Commitment.

Hey, I’ve decided! I’m going to yoga classes…sometime…with my girlfriend! I’m going to join the gym…..soon as I find the time! I wonder if I can find someone to play tennis with me?

These are not decisions.

I plan to exercise more! I could go swimming at the ‘Y’. Have any of you ever done hot yoga?

These are not plans.

Hey lady, I can commit! Don’t I go to work every day? And didn’t I lose 10 pounds to fit into my dinner dress for the NBAA Convention? (Thank goodness that’s over!)

Going to work every day is a structured situation with immediate, negative consequences to failure. This is coercion, not commitment. Losing 10 pounds and feeling relief at returning to old habits isn’t much of a commitment, is it?

No. Simply painting a cupboard is something we can all decide on, plan and commit to. We see the necessity of a new look, plan a time, and paint the cupboard. Why would a decision, plan and commitment to change our bodies and our health potential be any different?

Okay, I give. With all this talk, I better come up with a little action, right?

Elvis Presley said that, by the way. ‘A little less talk and a little more action, please!’

I made a decision, a plan and a commitment to the only thing about myself I thought I could change at the time. With those three factors in place, I changed my body completely.

I chose a time I could manage consistently, and began rapid walking with a distance goal every day. I chose a weight-training program I could gradually advance and did the training program five days per week.  Weight-training builds muscle, an important ingredient for aging gracefully.  Muscle-building is the only activity that is going to ultimately reshape your body and keep you from brittle bones, life-style linked diseases, devastating falls. It will keep you off the shelf and doing what you love!

The proof is in the pudding….or….my picture. I am 64 years old. And, yes, that is Scottsdale, AZ in the background. The waving palms, the good life.

Oh, I sense your displeasure, your unbelief right now!

‘Scottsdale is the Land of Enhancement. All the women are styled-up and beautiful there. I’m seeing the results of  expensive cosmetic work, combined with genetics!’

Dear friends, I am from Wisconsin. Our genetic propensities are for big butts, cottage-cheese thighs and capris for cover.  We circle Wall Mart 5 times just to park in a stall close to the doors. We are committed to cheese curds, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer and fried ice cream at fairs.

However, I made the decision, based on a plan, that I would put on some shorts and even tear the little skirt off of my bathing suit!

Tough call? No. I just did what was required every day and then went about my business. Kind of like brushing my teeth. It probably took 45 minutes to an hour out of my day. I learned not to expect results in 2 weeks, 2 months, or even 6 months. Steady work…….yikes! For a lifetime is the key.

A lifetime? 

Well, how does a lifetime of a chronic life-style disease sound? 

Try that for the alternative.