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Getting Motivated to Get Back in Shape, Part Three


Knowing how many of us are struggling to get ourselves in the right mindset to work out and get fit, I’m happy to welcome guest fitness expert Mike D’Angelo into the fold. Mike is an award-winning personal trainer and a certified expert in sports medicine; he trains some of Boston’s biggest names, and is himself an internationally ranked bodybuilder. One of his biggest specialties, though, is in motivating his clients to work out and feel as healthy as they can. Here’s his third contribution to our site:

My last post was all about motivating yourself to get in great shape, and what we all need to do to keep ourselves focused to do that. But now the question is, once you’ve started to reach your goals, how do you keep yourself focused?

For starters, remember all of the effort you’ve already put in to get where you are now, and then also remember how much easier it is to maintain that level of fitness, as opposed to letting go for a while, and then having to start all over again. Even if you’re feeling like you need a break from pushing yourself (which is absolutely okay!), remember that because of all the work you’ve done, it will take much less effort to maintain.

Most of all, small daily tasks built into your schedule will get you living the healthy lifestyle you deserve, and which is very worth keeping up.

When we’re conscious about our habits and the importance of why we do them, it actually makes life a lot easier. Every ounce of effort we put into working out and taking good care of ourselves is a completely selfish endeavor (selfish in a good way, that is), and there are several ripple effects that will occur from it:

1.   It affects other areas of our lives, in terms of our own perceived discipline. And in turn, that affects the people around us (family, friends, coworkers, or others in our community). When others around us see us consistently following our own rules, they’re more apt to support our behavior.

2.   Og Mandino is one of my favorite writers. In his book, “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” he states that having a good habit is just as easy as having a bad habit, and that it takes 30 days to replace a good habit with a bad habit. Good habits make us happier, bad habits make us miserable.

3.   With this in mind, maintaining our health really isn’t all that tough. People make decisions primarily based on emotion (about 75 percent), and then justify that decision with logic (25 percent). So linking positive emotions (self-confidence) with consciousness (self-awareness), healthy choices become a great way to inspire and motivate you to make better choices.

4.   But how the heck do we do that? Well, when you’re on fire and is killing it in the gym, you almost always feel incredible. When in that state, I find it really helpful to stop in my tracks, take stock, truly see where I’m at, and embrace it. It allows you to see the forest for the trees, thus giving you a higher perspective, which always results in stepping up and holding on tighter. Being conscious of how great you feel helps you embrace it as a new reality moving forward.

5.   Now, there’s a flipside to that. When you’re not doing well and are out of shape and uncomfortable and not confident in yourself, it’s also great to stop in your tracks then, too. Taking a good hard look at where you’re at now and how you feel often can get you to realize that you’re not happy. Once you realize that and embrace the fact that your daily choices aren’t serving you well, you’re more likely to work for the change you want to see.

Mike D’Angelo’s website for personal fitness training is