Pefect Fit

When I was 25, I weighed 315 pounds and had failed on every diet in the book. I remember feeling almost hopeless and kept wondering how I was going to drag my heavy body around another day. Clearly, popular diets weren’t the answer for me. That’s when I made the life-changing decision to begin exercising and I have never looked back. Today I can’t imagine my life without fitness. But sometimes it’s hard to get moving. Here are five tips to get you off of the couch:


You are entitled to look and feel better — what better time to invest in yourself than now? When you take care of yourself, it is much easier to take care of those who depend on you. Moving will help you have a positive attitude about life. That can help you become motivated to make it a part of your daily routine. Take a group fitness class, hire that personal trainer, try yoga or Pilates and incorporate meditation and relaxation. Go to a day spa. All will help you to connect with yourself.


A fitness program not only helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol and strengthens and tones muscles, studies show stress and depression can be improved with exercise. Aerobic activity releases endorphins, which make you feel great.


One of the problems people encounter when starting a fitness program is having unrealistic goals. This also happens to dieters. We somehow think we can run a marathon before we walk a mile. Be persistent and things will happen. A good workout will instantly make you feel better, but results take at least a month or so of being steadfast and focused. A good way to achieve fitness goals is to write them down.


You will need to have support to make real changes. Find a class with an instructor who will be there to get you through your first workout without judgment. Find a group that will uplift you and make you feel valued as you work toward your goals. Hire a trainer who will take the time to identify your needs and goals and help you achieve them.


Along your journey you will encounter many obstacles that might make you think it is time to give up. It is part of change. It is how you manage your roadblocks that will get you going. When it comes to exercising, it is important you have a clear understanding of how important this is for your life. In the end, aren’t you worth it?

Debra Mazda is an exercise physiologist, certified personal trainer and president of ShapelyGirl Fitness, which includes workout DVDs, CDs and an online community at Contact her at