This is the first in our continuing series on fitness with April Russo
Fitness is a Choice…
Another year, another resolution….but is it a NEW resolution to go with the NEW year? If you are among the nearly half of all Americans who make resolutions every year, there is a very good chance that it is about losing weight. According to statisticsbrain.com’s research, 38% of resolutions are weight-related. Sadly, almost a quarter of the people who make resolutions say that the never achieve them, year after year. Only 8% of people say that they are “always” successful in achieving their goal. It’s a sad reality, but the simple fact of the matter is that making a resolution usually does not increase our propensity to achieve a desired result.
As a fitness buff and health & wellness consultant, I am often asked how I am able to maintain my health & fitness levels considering the type of lifestyle I lead. A little background: For the last almost 13 years, I have worked full-time graveyard shifts in a very high-stress field. I went back to school to get my MBA and finished that about 8 years ago, at which point I started up my first business, High Class Glass (which I advertise on EGLF), with my husband. About 3 years ago I decided I also wanted to work in the fitness and nutrition field, which is a passion of mine, so I started up a health & wellness business with Arbonne International (which I also advertise here). So I now run two businesses alongside my full-time job. I am a life-long athlete, but about 5 years ago took to CrossFit like it was my long-lost twin sister. I trained fairly casually for a while before becoming pregnant with my 1st child and continued throughout that pregnancy. About 6 months after having her, I decided I wanted to train to compete, so I added about 5-7 hours a week of serious gym time to my routine. I was also coaching High School softball at that time and for about the 10 years prior, but decided to give it up about 2 years ago in order to devote more time to building my businesses and raising a family. By the time I got pregnant with kiddo number two I was in pretty great shape, so I just kept training at about the same intensity (with a few modifications) throughout that pregnancy. Being super strong and pregnant at the same time was one of the greatest experiences of my life! My son was born 9 months ago and it has been an even crazier schedule ever since! A few months back I decided to become a CrossFit Level 1 trainer, so I now do some coaching as well.
Are you exhausted just reading that?? I am! To most people, that life sounds crazy and frankly, impossible to keep up with. People ask me how I do it all the time. They tell me they simply “couldn’t” do it. In particular, they tell me they could not stay fit & eat healthy while doing everything I do & raising a family. Folks, this simply isn’t true. There is absolutely nothing special about me that allows me to stay fit & healthy while others are prevented from it. Bottom line: it’s not a can vs. can’t issue. This is about will vs. won’t. The moment I accepted that and stopped allowing myself to believe that I “couldn’t” achieve my goals due to x-y-z reasons (aka excuses) was the moment I started down the path to life-long strength, energy, fitness, and mental health. Is it easy? Absolutely not. It takes work, dedication, time management, and strategy. I am pretty good at helping people learn to do what I do….once they’ve DECIDED to do it. I can’t provide the will, only the tools for the way.
We all have excuses, don’t we? Not enough time, not enough energy, an achy back, a demanding job…the list goes on and on of common excuses people give for not being the weight or fitness level they would like to be. There are two types of excuses in my book: 1) those that are justifiable reasons – things that prevent someone from exercising & that cannot be changed – and 2) those that are reasons we use to make ourselves feel better about the fact that we simply aren’t choosing to make something a priority. In a vast majority of cases, our excuse type is the latter. The reality of the matter is, we all have the same 24 hours in a day. The difference lies in what we each choose to do with those 24 hours. Are we choosing to prepare healthy food at home or are we choosing to go through a drive-through multiple days a week? Are we choosing to spend 30 minutes getting our heart rate elevated a few times a week or are we choosing to plop on the couch for a few episodes of the latest hit show? Again, this isn’t a matter of can or can’t for most people. I don’t have any special powers or magic formula. The big secret is that there is no secret. Unless your excuse falls in the first category I mentioned – something that prevents you from exercising that cannot be changed – it will always come down to what you are choosing.
That choice has led to a scary statistic I recently read: as of 2014, 86 million people over the age of 20 in this country were considered pre-diabetic. What does that mean? It means that over 27% of the population, more than 1 in 4 people, is on the verge of becoming Type II Diabetic. This is the form of diabetes that is preventable. It is acquired. How? By how we take care of ourselves. If we are well-nourished and active, we pretty much eliminate our Type II Diabetes risk. If we lead sedentary lives and eat poorly, the risk drastically increases. CHOICE. If diabetes doesn’t scare you to think of acquiring, you really should find out more about it. A simple Google search will tell you all about Type II Diabetes – what it can do to you, how it will force you to live if you don’t want to die….take a peek if you don’t already know. It’s a hard way to live, especially considering it is preventable.
So what choice do you make? If your resolution this year is to be healthier, lose weight, or get fitter, what are you doing to make that happen? What changes have you chosen to make and how are you implementing them? Maybe you don’t know where to start. The desire is there, the know-how is not. Take action! Reach out for help! We have countless resources at our fingertips. I am one of them. My passion in life is helping others become the healthiest versions of themselves. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or need any help achieving your health and fitness-related goals. I’m just a regular gal who has figured out how to make it happen in her crazy life. And if I can do it, so can you. I’d love to hear from you if any of this has inspired you or spoken to you in some way. Comment or message me to let me know!
About the author: April is a local small business owner, public service employee, and health and fitness advocate. She is an Independent Consultant and Executive District Manager with Arbonne International, offering Vegan Health, Wellness, and Beauty products that help ordinary people achieve extraordinary results. She is also a CrossFit Level 1 trainer and recreational competitor. April can be reached via email, cell phone, or Facebook message through any of the following channels:
High Class on Facebook or http://www.highclassglass.biz/