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Be realistic when starting, altering workout program

I speak with many people who want to be healthier than they are. They come with stories of how, why and what they are doing, going to do or can't do. They unload their expectations looking for confirmation that they are all right.

I speak with many people who want to be healthier than they are. They come with stories of how, why and what they are doing, going to do or can't do. They unload their expectations looking for confirmation that they are all right.

For some they are right on. They shouldn't eat another doughnut or skip a workout for an evening in front of the TV.

But others they are beating themselves up for a pretty good job.

Dreams and goals are a great way to aspire to something better. But what happens when those dreams and goals are getting in your way of that goal? Let's examine that.

Some of us are doing a good job. We are trying hard. We are exercising within our personal levels and we are eating healthier than ever before. That doesn't mean we are at our goal as quick as we'd like, but we are really trying, and we are succeeding. Sometimes the end goal becomes so overwhelming we give up and have to start over, which is more frustrating and continues the cycle of "not good enough."

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What are your goals? Write them down, see them on paper. Are they realistic for your life at this time? This doesn't mean you can't aim big and it isn't an opportunity to make excuses for poor choices.

It is a time to look at your life and be honest about time commitments, care demands, life balance, etc. If your health goals don't connect with what is happening in your life, how will you make sure they are on the same page?

For example, if I was pregnant, now may not be the time to push my workouts to top levels and start training for a race, especially if I have not done so before becoming pregnant. If I have a large project at work or school, lowering my free time, I may not want to spend two hours a day working out, right? Does this mean you have fallen short of your goal? No, it means you are living life. Life changes. It ebbs; it flows. It evolves as should you.

Trying to stick to the same rigid guidelines or trying to maintain a full schedule may be a recipe for failure.

Expectations can get us into trouble. Very often expectations are set by someone outside yourself. Media, fitness professionals, friends, doctors, relatives and co-workers all influence how we perceive our health.

As you examine your life make sure your expectations are yours. A good rule of thumb is the 80-20 rule. If you are able to follow your goals 80 percent of the time you are doing good. Twenty percent might be special projects, events, or other life issues which take priority.

Lowering your expectations about what you can and should be doing to become more healthy may be just what you need to see your success instead of shortchanging yourself with unrealistic expectations adopted from sources outside yourself.

Many of you are succeeding. Keep up the good -- I mean great -- work!

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Stacy Reuille-Dupont is owner of Superior Balance Fitness Center and SuperiorWorkout.com. She may be reached at www.superiorbalance?.com or stacy@superiorworkout.com .

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