As fitness professionals for the last 25 years, we have seen spectacular, heartwarming successes. People have literally transformed their lives through intelligent exercise and maintaining good nutrition. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. We have seen many people torture themselves by constantly stating that they “need to eat less” or “need to get to the gym more” or a hundred other things they believe they “should” do. They make themselves truly miserable.

Here is what we recommend for our clients at One on One.

When you get right down to it, our main motivation for exercising and eating right is to make us happier…to be able to get the most out of life. However, living day in, day out with the frustration of “should haves” is sure to drain anyone of their peace. It can also cause you to begin to question whether you “should” be exercising at all…to take a “what’s the point” attitude. This is a serious issue we see too often.

We strongly believe your goals and commitment to achieve them must line up. Begin by creating fitness and nutrition commitments that are reasonable and fit into your lifestyle. You then must accept the consequences, both positive and negative, that come from your decisions.

It is amazing how often people set themselves up for failure. You might want to lose 15 pounds, but are only willing to exercise 2 to 3 times per week and make inconsistent changes in your diet. Why do this? It will never work and you won’t be left feeling good about yourself. What is more, you may even begin to question the benefit of exercising at all.

If exercising more than 2 or 3 times per week is unrealistic and you are not willing to make the necessary changes in your diet to lose weight, just accept it. Don’t constantly tell yourself you are overweight and that you should do this or do that…life is too short! It is amazing how often we see it happen. If you can’t accept carrying the extra weight, take action and change it. The worst thing you can do is leave yourself twisting in the no man’s land in-between.

Also, it is important to periodically take stock of your situation and sense of well being. Just because you couldn’t make time to exercise more than a few times a week earlier in the year doesn’t mean you can’t now. Likewise, what was acceptable before may no longer be.

The bottom line is that we must accept the consequences of our decisions, otherwise we will always feel like we should be doing something more or that we are failing. Accept the extra 15 pounds and live each day like it is your last. If you are not willing to do that, take the necessary action to enjoy the positive consequences that come from achieving your goals. Whatever you do, don’t leave yourself somewhere in-between.

If being happy and having some peace is the end game…acceptance is the key.