WOW! YOU GUYS really dug last week's column ("True confessions of a personal trainer," 1/18/07). I want to send a sincere thank you to all the Daily News readers who took the time to e-mail me their thoughts.
It is my heartfelt desire that, after reading that column, each one of you will be more optimistic, empowered and relentless in your personal quest to live your best life. After all, good health and fitness are gifts that only you can give to yourself.
The column struck a nerve with so many of you, I believe, because it helped you face truths many of you have likely been avoiding. The fact of the matter is, most humans view change as painful or with fear. Most of us resist embracing a healthy lifestyle because we view it as punishment, or we fear failure - or even fear success.
Get out of your own way
Being fit, healthy and strong is a choice. The problem is, we often get in our own way with various excuses.
You don't need a fancy gym membership to get your workout on, because you are sitting on the best piece of equipment ever made.
Calisthenics, walking the stairs and jumping rope are FREE! All you have to do is be committed to the change process instead of your limitations or self-limiting beliefs.
You don't even need a special diet.
Just start eating half of what you normally eat and you will start to slim down.
Instead of eating that entire, super-sized sandwich for lunch, eat half and save the rest for tomorrow or your next meal. Even if you don't have much control over what you are eating, you certainly have control over the amount that goes into your mouth.
Face the music
I have found that when you have the courage to face the truth (no matter how painful), you will find redemption. In order to grow, you must go through the change process, and that means raising your consciousness about the need to change.
Whether it's lower blood pressure or six-pack abs, you must desire the change in your body, mind and soul. You must also seek the information that will support your growth - like reading labels and mastering portion control. No more automatic pilot. Take responsibility for your choices.
Once you acquire the necessary skills, you must implement them daily. Finally, you must maintain an environment that supports your changes. Bring your own healthy snacks to the office. so you won't be tempted to eat the office doughnuts.
Many of you wrote in frustration that you repeatedly battle the same 15, 25 or more pounds and have found no permanent solution. Well, here's the secret: Whatever it took to get there is what it takes to maintain it.
Make no mistake, your maintenance lifestyle has to be pretty much the same as your weight-loss lifestyle. For example, if you did an hour of exercise daily and consumed an average of 1,400 calories a day to lose weight, then you'll pretty much have to do that to maintain the weight loss.
If you start consuming an additional 300, 400 or 500 calories daily, you will surely gain 30, 40, or 50 pounds by the end of the year.
Carry that weight
Time and time again, I hear (mostly) women say that the reason they resist strength training is a fear of bulking up.
Well, ladies, the only thing that is bulking us up is the food we're lifting into our mouths.
Most of us are not lifting enough weights to cause significant muscle growth, let alone bulking up.
And don't worry, girls. Men have at least 10 times the testosterone (the hormone responsible for muscle growth) that we do. Unless you're on steroids or have an unusually large amount of testosterone, bulking up from weight training is just no concern for a woman.
I can squat 200 pounds of free weight, bench-press 135 pounds, and curl 35 pounds, and I have never been accused of looking like a dude.
However, when I start chowing down like Miss Piggy, I start bulking up.
Don't confuse dress size
Some of you wrote that you or someone you knew wore similar-size clothing that I mentioned in the column (I dropped from a 12 to a 6), but they looked radically different. That's absolutely possible because dress size has little to do with one's health or fitness.
I know many women who wear a size 2 but are flabby, unfit and have major health issues like high blood pressure or high cholesterol. On the flip side, I know some healthy, fit, tight and toned women who wear a size 14.
Other variables have to be considered, like your level of body fat, hip-to-waist ratio and genetics.
Victory is yours!
I hope that this column will continue to inspire and motivate you throughout 2007. I encourage you to lead a more fit and fulfilled life. The best is yet to come. Now jump to it!
Workshop for young dancers
The New York City Ballet and School of American Ballet will offer a workshop for adolescent dancers from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Rock School, 1101 S. Broad St.
The program, which will follow SAB auditions, is designed for dancers, parents and instructors to reduce dance-related injuries and improve dancers' overall health.
Call 215-551-7010 for information. *
Kimberly Garrison is a certified personal trainer and owner of One on One Ultimate Fitness in Philadelphia (www.1on1ultimatefitness.com).
E-mail her at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Her column appears each Thursday in Yo! Chat with her on her Daily News weblog, the Girlfriends' Locker Room, at www.girlfriendslockerroom.com. Her new podcast, "Philly Fitness and Health," is available for download every Thursday at www.philly.com.