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If you have reached the point where you are really happy with your weight, size, shape or fitness, congratulations well done.  You are in a minority of a very few people who have reached their targets and achieved their goals and objectives.  Fortunately for us this is why being a personal trainer is such a wonderful and rewarding job, we consistently get our clients to where they want to be.

However many people reach their intended goals only to realise that they would still like to see further improvements and changes to their shape or fitness.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing because it stimulates and motivates us on to still further progress.

For all those who do acheive a particular goal or ambition then where do you go from now, what is the next step?

Well if you enjoyed everything you did to get to where you are now and it fitted in with your lifestyle both time wise and relationship /socially wise then keep going as you are, you are a winner in every way.

If on the otherhand, in reaching your goals meant a number of things had to be compromised, for example you ate a restrictive diet or spent time exercising when you should have spent it with family, friends or working.  Then clearly a new game plan needs to be drawn up.

All the clients that we are privileged to work with who have achieved their ultimate goals have had to change their outlooks and atitudes to their own health.  They also become much more conscious of it in others.

I think that people generally fall in to one of three groups, they are as follows:-

  1. The overweight, unhappy or unfit.  These people are blissfully unaware or not bothered about their heallth and fitness and the implications of the lack of either.  They must somehow feel indestructible and immortal to be able to dismiss the fact that being overweight, following a poor diet or being totally sedentary will lead to a much shorter life, more health problems during the time that they are around and a poorer quality of life compared to someone who is in good shape, fit and healthy.
  2. The triers and strivers.  Strivers are those who are constantly searching and working towards better health, fitness and well being, but tend to never acheive it, they are never quite satisfied with their lot.  This can happen for a number of reasons from lack of knowledge, no commitment, understanding or consistency in their habits.  There can also be psychological reasons why their goals aren't ever reached.
  3. Finally, there are those who acheive the goal they were working for.  Their situation is totally different from the other groups.  Their mission is to maintain a new shape or level of fitness and in order to do this you SIMPLY MUST CHANGE your attitude to your life and fitness.  Your body shape or fitness needs to remain high on your priorities list.  It needs to stay close to your consciousness.  It should be something you think about regularly and some of the sacrifices and commitments you made to get to this point in the first place still need to be followed. 

My policy is and always has been to 'do the minimum you need to do to get the results you want to get'.  Never is a truer word spoken in terms of maintaining your results.  That may sound strange coming from a personal trainer, you would probably expect more of a 'no pain, no gain attitude', but that really isn't necessary, to accomplish most peoples goals.

So in order to maintain your new shape, you will still need to monitor yourself regularly, be that weighing yourself ( not my preferred option ), measuring yourself with a tape measure or bench marking yourself against a particular item of clothing to make sure you are still where you want to be, although now the key is to react quickly to any weight gain or loss of fitness.  Become conscious of your body and how you like it to look and feel, when you see yourself deviating slightly, fix the problem quickly by cutting down on the calories you are eating for example, or do some extra activities.

My point is this, it is far, far, far easier to get rid of a couple of pounds quickly than it is to pretend that there isn't a problem, let the weight creep back on and then have to lose a stone or more, that will take a lot of time and effort.

So plan to stay active in as many ways as possible, eat a clean diet, with the odd treat thrown in every now and then.  Keep an eye on your shape and fitness and react quickly to any deterioration, but above all, enjoy the position you are in.  If you ever need to really peak for a special occasion, just refocus again and your results will come quickly.

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