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Happy Labor Day! Although Labor Day was established in 1882 to recognize the contribution of trade and labor organizations, the holiday has since evolved into the symbolic end of summer.
Every ending, however, marks a new beginning, and the advent of a new season provides us with yet another opportunity to commit (or recommit) to achieving optimum fitness. We have a choice: fall back on our own or fall forward with members of the Fat 2 Fit community.
AARP Life at 50+ National Event & Expo: Speaking of dates, mark your calendar and plan to attend September 22-24 in Los Angeles. I hope you'll come to my workshop, Lose Weight: Have Fun with Friends Going from Fat to Fit, on Friday, September 23, at 11:45 a.m. on the Exhibit Hall Stage. To get details and register, sign up here: http://www.aarp.org/about-aarp/events/national_event/.
Good 2 Know Fitness Tip: Best Way to Reduce Belly Fat
A small research study (196 participants) conducted by Duke University Medical Center found that aerobic exercise, such as walking briskly or running, was the most effective way to reduce belly fat. Belly fat is worrisome because it increases the risk for heart disease, diabetes and other life-threatening medical conditions. As a general guide, women should try to keep their waist measurement below 36 inches; for men, the measurement is 40 inches. Weight exercises are valuable for shaping and toning the body as well as boosting metabolism, while aerobic exercise is best for reducing fat around the waist. But the best exercise, of course, is the one you are willing to commit to on a regular basis.
Featured Member: Jorussert
The perils of perfectionism when applied to fitness and weight loss are serious obstacles for many of us. If we adopt a punitive attitude and judge ourselves harshly for backsliding, then we sabotage our best intentions. Fat 2 Fit member Jorussert describes her dilemma:
"I have to weigh in tomorrow morning. I get nervous. If I gain weight then I kick myself all day—which makes me eat more. Help."
Jorussert's response to feedback is a common problem. After a breakdown, some perfectionists feel they have to wait until the following Monday before they resume their fitness efforts. Others never resume because they can't take the stress of trying and repeatedly failing to meet their own idealistic standards.
To succeed, Jorussert will need to shift her perspective. She'll need to view her efforts as part of a learning process. An infant who is learning to walk falls down repeatedly, but the child uses the information to improve motor skills and eventually learns to walk. The child doesn't waste emotional energy on self-punishment or harsh judgments.
Consequently, I urge Jorussert to conserve her emotional energy and instead focus on learning and improving. In the process, she may discover that she learns as much from her failures as she does from her successes. Instead of fearing feedback, Jorussert will learn to welcome insights.
Lastly, Jorussert can take reassurance from the fact that all of us are imperfect. That's part of what it means to be a human being.
To thank Jorussert for bringing the problem of perfectionism to our attention, I’m sending her an autographed copy of my book From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction. We look forward to hearing about Jorussert's progress.
A Few Reminders:
Join Dr. Kelly Traver’s Life-Changing Program: Five weeks ago, we began Dr. Traver’s 12-week transformation program based on her book, The Program: The Brain-Smart Approach to the Healthiest You. Even if you missed earlier weeks, you can still participate simply by joining the discussion and following through with homework.
So that you can participate without purchasing a copy of the book, each week I highlight the content of one chapter, but you may get more from the program if you read the entire chapter. If you don’t have a copy of the book, you can find inexpensive copies on Amazon.com. In week six, we will learn about good fats and bad fats. Dr. Traver will also point out the benefits of resistance training.
Helping New Members Get Started: We’ve added helpful information for newcomers in a topic discussion titled “Where and How to Begin: Guidance for New Members.” If you’re confused about where to begin, you can read the topic and then post any remaining questions. Members will jump in to help you. You can also learn more about how to navigate in a tutorial here: http://tinyurl.com/2d4ke34.
Next Week's Fat 2 Fit Featured Member: Next week, I’ll pick a member to lift up to our community. Who will the person be? Maybe you?