Staying fit: Keep reasonable expectations when looking for results


  Your questions have been received and included in this column, and I’ll take a stab at answering some of them. 
             Q. I’m exercising, but not noticing any results.  Is something wrong?
            A.  This could be attributed to any number of things, but sometimes expectations are the obstacle.  Without trying to be rude, think how long it took for you to get in the shape you are (which you are trying to change with exercise).  Getting out of that shape and into the shape you want may take about as long, so patience and steady work is key.  Sometimes results are not forthcoming because we do the same exercises again and again.  Our body and our muscles get used to it and don’t work hard anymore.  Try changing up your workout routine.  Ask a trainer to develop a revolving program so you can mix it up every 3-4 weeks.   Also, do you feel any better from exercising?  Do you sleep any better?  Do your clothes fit any differently?  Do you have more energy?  Can you do more than you used to do?   Results may come in different ways than in a dress size or tape measure around your body.  Try to look for what good is occurring and celebrate that!
            Q. What are some of the foods I should try and avoid?
            A.  I am not a nutritionist, but everything I read (and I read a lot) is consistent with cutting sugar way down in your daily eating. Typically this means processed or added sugar in any form.  The obstacle is that a whole lot of food has added sugar!  Too many desserts will literally add up in our body (my weakness!).  Sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup (many packaged food and colas) and aspartame (diet cokes) can trick your body systems regarding sugar, and they are not naturally occurring.  Fried foods is another category we want to avoid.  Each person is different, but we generally know when we are consuming “empty” calories (i.e., donuts, sweets, cokes, sugary drinks, white bread, etc.).  You may want to think about it like this:  “If I eat (insert “bad” food) I will feel guilty and my body won’t react well.  Let me choose (insert “good” food) and I will feel better, and feel better about myself.”
             Q.  What is the best fitness advice you could give?
            A.  Do something, anything, rather than do nothing!
   Let’s get moving together in 2013!