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Ester Marsh column: Are you out of control?

Are you tired of being out of control? Are you ready to take charge of your health and weight? Last week I spoke about using it or losing it, but also that you are the one who needs to make it happen!

It saddens me when I speak to people who continuously beat themselves up for not able to take charge of their life, in this case with exercise, healthy eating and a peaceful mind. Do you realize how hard it is? I do. I have been in fitness for almost 33 years and have dealt with more people who are not able to get a plan together that works for them. They go “gung ho” to see that it is just too much to take on, and end up eating themselves down once again.

You are not alone. Look at all the diets, pills, shots and weight loss programs out there. I am not a fan of quick weight loss. I believe anyone can lose weight (especially when all you do is exercise and eat the very few calories they allow you to eat). It’s “keeping the weight off” where most people have the problem. At the YMCA, we believe in healthy Spirit, Mind and Body. I feel that if we work on all three, we have a chance to succeed. Oh, it’s not going to be the fast weight loss. And why would you? When it comes off fast, guess what? It comes back quick too! And mostly with a vengeance! The weight you lost plus more!

It is a change of lifestyle. When you speak to people who have lost a lot of weight and have kept it off, they will tell you that they changed their whole eating and exercise habits. Typically, a huge transformation takes a year. The health benefits and positive changes start immediately.

So what is your goal? I hope it is health. When you start putting health first, the weight loss is going to come! There are plenty of people who are “skinny fat.” That is what I call people who do not need to lose weight but have a very unhealthy lifestyle. Just because you are “skinny” does not mean you are healthy. And just because you are “overweight” does not mean you are unhealthy. I want people to be healthy. I want you to feel good about yourself.

Talk to your doctor if you need extra help to take charge of your health. Set up an appointment with a certified personal trainer. We will be able to steer you in the right and healthy direction. It won’t be easy, but I believe you can do it and you ARE absolutely worth it!

 

Ester H. Marsh is associate executive director of the J.F. Hurley YMCA.

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