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It's said that everyone has a price - so what's yours?

What would it take for you to do what you want or need to do - to get fit; get in shape; lose weight; put on weight; improve your muscle-tone; to exercise regularly; to give up eating fattening foods; to diet correctly; to change your lifestyle and get active...? 


I'm not talking about price in money terms - I'm talking about your price in terms of effort and time.

If you could "get in shape" immediately - overnight - using a magic pill... would you take it?
If it took a day of self-denial and hard workouts... would you still go for it?
What about if it took a week... a month... 3 months... 6 months... a year... 2 years...?
Is there a point at which you say NO!, that's too long? How long is "too long" when put into the context of your whole life?

Wouldn't it be worth even, say 2 years, to transform your whole body, if you are going to enjoy it for the rest of your life?
Is 2 years of regular exercise and nutrition control more difficult and painful to endure than 2, 5, 10, 20, 30 more years of being overweight, out of breath, physically restricted, unhappy with your physique?

Is the chance of enjoying the rest of your life having a body you're truly happy with, not worth the time and effort of two years?

But our bodies don't need two years - at the most they need only one to burn off excessive body-fat. Most people could achieve their goals in half that time. It takes about two weeks to kick your metabolism up into fat-burning action. Within six weeks you can go from zero condition to being able to run 5 kilometers and more; from having minimum muscle-tone and strength to getting back to full natural fitness. Six weeks! Your body is THAT effective, THAT resilient.

But is six weeks too high a price?

Weigh it up for yourself:
Year in year out, dealing with fluctuating weight problems, weight rebound, numerous fad-diets, ineffective exercises and training routines, tiredness, soreness, minimum improvements, frustration, unhappiness, worry, stress, comfort binges, false starts, flailing enthusiasm and plummeting motivation...
...or 6 weeks of effective training and nutrition, and then it's all over and done with - relax and enjoy!

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There is the "money" question too - how much would you pay to get in shape?
  • 100$ for an online program?
  • 300$ for a different program?
  • ?$ for yearly gym fees?
  • ?000$ for a personal trainer?
  • ?0000000$ for enhancement surgery?

And finally there's the "personal health" price: Does it take final medical advice to get you to take definitive action; or are your own desires and wishes important enough?

Everyone has their price... what's YOUR'S?

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Question: How do YOU evaluate YOUR price? How do you balance "effort" and "reward"?
 
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I've never been to a personal development seminar - never done a workshop. But PD has been an interest of mine throughout my life, and I've read about these seminars - even watched them in action on video. Groups of people with diverse personal issues, and goals for self-improvement. Lead by an "expert" (guru) who is there to inspire, motivate, and lead them to the discovery of their "inner power" and "unlimited potential" - helping them to overcome their fears.

A typical scenario is the fire-walking session... or learning to break a plank of wood with a karate chop. These experiences are intended to help the person overcome their conditioned beliefs about their capabilities and limitations. The idea is that breaking through a limiting belief on the physical plane will help them see through all their other limiting beliefs. 

The person thinks: "HEY! - I never thought I had the strength to chop through a piece of wood with my hands... but I did. I've been underestimating myself. Maybe I've also got what it takes to do other things I never thought I could do: be a success, be attractive, stop being afraid to take risks, start that new business, improve my whole life..."

The message is: break through your physical barriers first - then you'll have the references to help you break through all your psychological barriers... the ones that are really holding you back.

No-one ever set up a successful business just to prove to themselves they have what it takes to break wood with their hands.

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Question: Who's had experience of Personal-Development seminars and workshops? And did they help? How?
Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.
 
Getting your body into shape is a goal much like any other. It starts with a desire, then a reason, then an analysis of the obstacles, then a decision, then a plan... and then the action - the steps that will get you there. Staying on that path is not so hard when the "whys and hows" are understood.

But even when you know why, and even when you know how, getting yourself motivated to take that first step onto your path can be your greatest obstacle.

I was noting down some topics for eventual blog-posts or articles, and realized that the titles I formulated read like motivational quotes. So I've decided, instead of just waiting until I write the full articles in depth, I could first post the titles, as a list of self-motivation tips/quotes - and let you interpret them for yourself.

Here's the list then, in no particular order... and I've included a couple of existing quotes I came across from other sources:
  • The chances are that you will live to be 90 - pace yourself...
  • A good home workout saves time and money.
  • What's better - getting in shape eventually... or never?
  • Nothing is hard - it just seems so until we know it, or can do it.
  • Start doing... or stop wanting.
  • Excuses are affirmations, that can quickly become truths.
  • What sort of body do you want to wear into your old age?
  • Be inspired by the adventure of yourself.
  • Live as if you're going to live forever.
  • Know why - then you'll know how.
  • Strive for progress, not perfection (unknown source)
  • Fear is what stops you - courage is what keeps you going (unknown source)
  • "It's never too late to become who you might have been" (George Elliot)
  • Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? (unknown source)
  • All you need is your body, and gravity, to exercise efficiently.
  • When do you stop wanting - and start doing?
  • Good excuses don't make legitimate reasons.
  • Be in the minority... do what you say you're going to do.
  • It's not just your job to take care of your body... it's your privilage.
  • Why be content with using such a small percentage of your physical capacity?
  • Do you want a body like a sportscar... or a school-bus?
  • Get back in shape once... and be done with it.
  • Get back in shape now... and get it over and done with.
  • Discover your (physical) limitations... or create them.
  • The fear of getting old is a fear of losing control. Why set it up to happen?
  • Even small steps will get you there.
  • Even small improvements are successes.
  • Know what stops you - and stop that!
  • There are no real reasons to do anything - so make some... and make them good.
  • Life is an adventure - every path is open for exploration.
  • Be remarkable - even if it's only for you... especially if it's only for you.
  • Strive for functional fitness - not cosmetic.
  • Redesign yourself.

Question: Do you know any powerful motivational quotes or sayings, within the theme of physical improvement, getting in shape, losing weight etc.? We'd love to hear them. Share them here in the comments section.
 
I don't need to be bulging with muscle - it wasn't my goal to look like a body-builder. I wanted a sleek but ripped body that was flexible, strong, and still light enough for me to fling about if I wanted to. AND I wanted a flat tummy.

AND I got it. And I'm extremely happy with it. A simple pleasure, but after years of holding it in, feeling depressed and embarrassed because of its ugliness, I feel joy now every time I lay my hands on it. I can even see the makings of a six-pack.

Really, for a man over fifty, a flat tummy is the greatest morale booster. I recommend it to everyone.  
 
  I want to share my thoughts on the value of following a workout and diet program that you've downloaded from the internet.

When I first announced to friends that I was starting a workout program they were enthusiastic up to the point that I told them I'd bought the program on the internet. They thought it must be some kind of scam, but mostly they just didn't understand how such a program could work.

Even after explaining the setup, they still doubted the value.

This just shows that most people aren't yet aware of the opportunities the internet offers. Now of course, there are scams on the internet, but if you do your research and don't rush into anything, you can pretty much assess the risk. One of the main safety outlets for this, is that most programs offer a money-back guarantee – so if you're not happy you can always get a full refund. And this is a real option, I've done it myself with certain programs. Getting your money back after 2 months gym membership is, in comparison, much more difficult.

But money matters apart, there are a number of advantages to following an online program.

One of these is the freedom to follow it at your own pace. You aren't tied to specific times or session appointments, or under pressure to be at a session when you don't feel up to it. And if you miss a session you don't lose your fee; the session is always waiting for you when you are ready. Like having your own personal trainer on call 24/7.

The personal trainer aspect is also a pluspoint – working without a program, at home or in the gym you're very much on your own – getting the attention of an expert when you need some help is not always an option. And unless you are wealthy enough to afford a personal trainer, you're going to be on your own a lot of the time.

A personal trainer would always be the best option, providing guidance and encuragement tailored to your needs... without them, very few of the top Hollywood celebs would ever look so good. However, online programs, consisting of professionally filmed videos and run by professional committed trainers, give you the best alternative.


A program like Shapeshifter, doesn't just consist of a series of follow-along videos any more – the videos are supported by a multi-layered platform of community and professional support on a continuing basis. This is what gives it the extra added value above the basic training and dietry advice.

The commumity plays a special role, in that it maintains your privacy while still giving you the chance to talk to people about your quieries and experiences... and the community is usually much greater, easier to make contact with, and more welcoming than a similar group in your local sport-school.

But one of the major problems we encounter when training, is motivating ourselves, especially at the beginning. This problem isn't eliminated when you follow a program, but it is considerably less than if you try to work out without one. Having invested in something for a goal, you have already taken the first important step. The program takes all the organization out of your hands which leaves you free to focus on following the steps and instructions. If we succeed in following it for two weeks, we are well on our way to establishing a new pattern of behavior that will become more and more normal as time passes. We need this structure to consolidate this new activity into a behavior pattern. The structure of a program ensures routine. Consistency and routine are the fathers of habit, and habit creates the cumulative affects that lead to progress and success.

Many of the programs available are created by professional trainers and nutritionists, and the internet gives us the means to affirm that with research. So it would be a shame to waste all that expertise when we have the opportunity to take advantage of it. These experts are often the top of their field, and I believe we can trust their advice as much as, if not more than, our local gym trainer.

And because the competition in this field is so great, you can expect the information to be right up to date. Of course, training systems are much like diets – there's always a new one that's all the rage, but you are in control, you have the choice according to which system suits your needs, and you have to utilize that control.


Another advantage of a program is that they are usually project based – meaning they have a beginning and an end. Completing a program to the end, gives you a high level of satisfaction, further motivating your effort, and rewarding you with pride and self-esteem.

And finally, when a program is finished, you can start again, cover what you missed, go back, select the parts that worked the best and leave the rest. In this case it's superior to following a course at the local community center.

The reactions I received at the start of my program were quite typical of people who distrust anything that is outside their knowledge and experience – but you can't let yorself be influenced by these sort of people. You have to assess your own risks, and make your own steps towards your own goals. 

Most important though, you have to understand that you are not fully dependent on the program – it is a tool for you to use to fulfill your wishes. You are in charge, and you are still responsible for the level of success you gain from it. From this viewpoint, you can see that there really is no risk... because you are the factor that makes it work for you or not. This is the case for everything of course, but at least a well-constructed program supplies the structure, the knowledge, and the insight to be able to get the very best out of your training.

 
It just occured to me how dependent we are on the advice of experts. And how easy it is for them to tell us what's good for us and what's not.

Seth Godin – I read his blog often, looking for words and ideas that will make me feel good. For words that motivate and reassure me. One of his latest posts was, funny enough, on the reassurance of the lizard brain in us, and how this brain holds us back from just moving forward.

.How easy it is to do something once you've already reached the goal, already got the results in from your efforts, and they've proved successful.

I'm a fan of Seth Godin – but it's easy for him to talk – he's got his success, he doesn't have to struggle – he doesn't have to face doubt, ride on hope – if something new doesn't work, he's still got his success to back him.

It's easy for him to say – go out and just do it, be courageous, believe in yourself – when it's already worked for him.

For the rest of us, we're still at the beginning – we're hoping for success but there's no guarantee that we'll succeed. We're still facing the dangers, we've still got the obstacles to climb over, still got the fear to conquer.

I know this because I quit my job and I'm putting all my hopes in my dream of creating an online income. I also know this because I have just finished a workout program to get rid of my bodyfat and build me a new, better looking, better functioning body.

In the first case I'm still haunted by thoughts of “what if this doesn't work?” And it doesn't matter how much I read Seth Godin's insightful and motivating words – all the pressure is still on me and I know it won't go away until I've got the outcome I hope so desperately for.

In the second case I've succeeded, and I never have to go through that process again. I'll still have to watch my diet, and I'll still have to exercise to stay in shape – but I know it works for me, I know I can make it work, I know I have the control to get the results I want.

So I share this with others – and I offer advice, saying – believe in yourself, be courageous, and go out and just do it. And I realize that it's easy for me to talk – I've got my success, I don't have to struggle, face doubt, ride on hope.

What this tells us, tells me, is that ultimately we are alone. We can search and find motivating words, find our rolemodels and heroes, follow their advice and use their tactics, use their stories and successes to comfort us in our own trials... but we are alone. We still have to take our own steps, and we won't feel release from the pressure until we get the outcome we hope so desperately for.

 
An old friend once insinuated (20 years ago) I was a loser because I hadn't accumulated as much"wealth" as he had at the time (big car, big house, big income...). I told him there was plenty of time... no hurry.
That friend passed away a little while ago at 52 years of age.

Another friend admitted to me, when we were both 30, that he'd given up on his dream of becoming a rockstar... and advised me to do the same, saying we were both too old.

As a youth, I told everyone that I intended to be a millionaire by the time I was 30. I wasn't. My sister has never let me forget it. My response is that there is still time, and what does it matter if I'm a little late.

I have to admit, I still cherish my dreams - I believe there's always time. Older people than me are creating million-dollar businesses on the internet. Others older than me have made their first albums, distributed them over the internet and been "discovered" on YouTube.

How could I give up on my dreams while others are achieving them?

There is never really a time to give up, and you're never to old to start. Life is not over til it's over.

What would you rather have - a million dollars at 75, or never?
What would you rather have - to get fit, healthy and slim after 50... or never?
 
Why is it always 100? Why not 150?

Reaching 100 these days is getting to be so commonplace - more and more people are doing it, more and more people are realizing they can do it too... it's like the four-minute-mile.

Is this all it takes to get us all to that goal? I think so.

70, 75, 80... these ages have been the accepted general limit for way too long. With people of 80, 90 even 100, running marathons, you'd have to be naïve to still consider yourself fortunate in making it to 75. Come on... it's a walk in the park... life begins at 50!

If you put a limit on your lifespan, you're pretty likely to create the self-fulfilling profecy of only reaching that limit - or you'll end up facing the dissappointment of passing it... shame about all those inactive years waiting for the man with the scythe to come calling.

I don't care what the scientists say about human lifespan. Their research and findings are only based on their science - and that's just another form of perception. It works if you believe in it; it's the truth as long as nothing disproves it; you get what you are looking for. But nothing is definitive. Just because no-one has yet lived to be 150, doesn't mean it can't be done.

Not believing it possible, is a sure way of making it impossible - but imagine the day someone does reach 150... proof! Then everyone should be able to do it. That's really going to piss-off a lot of people up there in heaven who threw in the towel at the halfway point.

You want to reach 75? Don't change anything. Want to reach 80 or 90? Set your goal to 100. A goal is not always a place to reach, but a place to aim for - the farther you aim, the farther you come. Want to reach 100? Aim for 150... and live your 50's, 60's and 70's as if you're still in the prime of your life. This alone will give you the motivation and inspiration to stay physically active enough to assure the probability of reaching your goal.

Want to live to 150? Aim for 200... and see how that alters your perception.


 
One of the standard recommendations from experts to people wanting to improve themselves or their performance in any area, is to find a rolemodel. Find someone who has already achieved what you want to achieve, and emulate their techniques and tactics... even their personality.
If they can do it, so can you -  if you do the same things they did in the same way.

Sound advice for sure - no point in re-inventing the wheel, taking risks, wasting time.

But how far do we go in "cloning" ourselves around the model of another? We are all unique, and there are limitless variables that can influence the results of our actions, even if we are following someone else's patterns.

Better I think, to model yourself on yourself... on your ideal of yourself. You can never be sure of your limitations or capabilities until you put them to the test - and therein lies the true adventure of being you. And no-0ne is better suited to creating a better you, than yourself.

Aim to be the best that you can be - and in doing so, you'll set an example to others... maybe even become their rolemodel.
 
A friend of mine told me the other day that she's always wanted to play the saxophone.
I asked her if she had one - she said no.
I asked her if she thought she could learn without one - again she said no.
I told her it was probably a good idea, then, to get one, learn to blow it, then learn to play it... she agreed.

Wanting, wasn't going to help her learn - only doing. All the years she'd spent not having a saxophone, all the hours of practice she'd had not learning to play it, hasn't gotten her anywhere. One day she may stop wanting - but that would be a shame.

In the same way... wanting to lose weight, to get fitter, to build muscle, to get more flexible, to be more active, to learn to ski or skydive, eat healthier, improve your life, change your life - whatever - is futile, until you start doing something about it.

Not doing, only feeds the wanting, and leaves you feeling miserable. Without "doing", often the only other option is to discard the "want", file it away under "dreams unfulfilled", and try to forget you ever wanted it, while watching how the gap fills up with the unpleasantness of regret.

Stop wanting - start doing. It really is as simple as that.