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Shape up or Ship Out

  /  Expert Advice   /  Shape up or Ship Out

Shape up or Ship Out

Did you know that media reports say that most people gain between 5 to 15 kilo’s of body fat in the weeks heading into Winter. A study by the National Institutes of Health found that this seasonal weight gain – even just a  few kilo’s-  it simply adds to the “weight creep” that sneaks up on us as we get older.

Whether the weight gain is a Kilo or Kilo’s, did you ever ask yourself why does weight gain happen at all?

As a Personal Trainer  here are some common answers I’ve heard:

  • “I’m too busy with family to hit the gym as often as usual.”
  • “I’m more stressed over winter, and the food is there to comfort me, so I eat more.”
  • “I have at least three functions to attend , so it’s impossible to stay on a diet.”
  • “No one can tell me not to enjoy myself , so I’m just going to eat whatever I want.”
  • I will start on Monday I promise scoffing at that Cheese cake.

These answers all have a few things in common.

First, they assume that it’s an either/or proposition: You can either get in better shape or enjoy yourself, but not both. Stated in reverse: You can either deprive yourself or gain weight, but it has to be one or the other. The truth is, “either/or thinking” is a very limiting form of thought.

Second, these are all excuses or rationalisations. “I’m too busy” for example, is always an excuse, because I have never known someone who was too busy to make time for his or her highest life priorities. The problem then, is not lack of time, but that most people do not make exercise or eating healthy a priority. We all have the same amount of time – 1440 Minutes a day – but the way people prioritise the use of time is the difference between success and mediocrity. And remember, words mean little. Actions reveal a person’s true priorities.

Third, none of these are the real reasons most people gain weight over winter to begin with. The real reason is because an intention was never set for the opposite: To get in BETTER shape .

Most people set a “goal” to get in worse shape over the winter!

It’s not consciously set, of course, as few people would intentionally set out to gain fat. They simply do it by default. In their minds, they accept that it must be just about impossible to stay in shape with everything going on  so why bother?

Once the decision has been made, then the rationalising (“rationing lies”) continues:

  • “Why should I deprive myself?”
  • “Family is more important”
  • “Worrying about diet and exercise  is neurotic”
  • “I don’t care if I gain a few kilo’s, I’m going to enjoy myself anyway”
  • “I’ll start the first week in Summer and lose the weight then.”

As a result of this “negative goal-setting,” they expect to work out less, eat more and gain a few kilo’s, and they don’t seem to even consider alternatives.

But what would happen if you set an intention and a goal to get in better shape ?

And what if you decided that your health and your body were the highest priorities in your life, because you realized that can’t enjoy anything else in life, including family , if you don’t have your health? And Family would give you the support you need.

Here’s what would happen: You would get in phenomenal shape!

Believe me when I say that I’m not all that different from you just because I’m a bodybuilder and fitness professional. I have many of the same problems, concerns and struggles as you do. A close examination of my old belief systems and a lot of action.

There is no reason, there are only excuses.

So set a challenge for yourself: to get in better shape a day at a time.

And you will actually find yourself training harder than usual!

People who think I “deprive” myself to look the way I do would be shocked: I eat some damn good food over the winter including my mom’s famous Lasagne.  The difference is, every other meal stays right on schedule and I work out hard and consistently over winter; I don’t let everything fall apart just because ’ In fact, I work out HARDER over Winter !

Life is not an either or proposition; it’s a matter of balance. Success does not mean going to extremes. Success can be a simple matter of re-examining your beliefs, rearranging your priorities, setting goals, changing the questions you ask yourself, re-evaluating your expectations and acting in accordance with all of the above.

Your expectations will become your reality.

Do you have a limiting belief which dictates that it’s one or the other? Could it be that you never set a goal, intention or expectation to do it? Could it be that you’re rationalizing or making excuses? If so, then I challenge you to change it this year.


We are nearly halfway through 2012 . Why not see how much you can improve your physique , without depriving yourself of any enjoyments or festivities? Just step up your expectations. Step up your standards. Step up your nutrition. Step up your training. Step up your action. the minute you finish reading this, and then just see what happens!