There’s nothing to it but to do it …

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by an old habit?

Maybe you can identify with former Los Angeles Dodgers baseball manager, Tommy Lasorda, as he describes his battle with bad habits …

“I took a pack of cigarettes from my pocket, stared at it and said, ‘Who’s stronger, you or me?’ The answer was me. I stopped smoking. Then I took a vodka martini and said to it, ‘Who’s stronger, you or me?’ Again the answer was me. I quit drinking. Then I went on a diet. I looked at a big plate of linguine with clam sauce and said, ‘Who’s stronger, you or me?’ And a little clam looked up at me and answered, ‘I am.’ I can’t beat linguine.”

Some of us have no problem applying self-discipline in some areas of our lives, but many of us are very weak at exercising any kind of self-control about the food we eat. We just love our fried foods, rich sauces, big plates of pasta, mounds of barbequed delights, and loads of sweets too much to deny ourselves.

However, improving your fitness doesn’t have to start with radical changes that rob you of everything you like to eat. Making simple, very manageable changes can create significant results in reducing your weight and improving your fitness over a year’s time. More than 20 years ago Self Magazine was already teaching how small changes to your eating habits can produce big results over the period of one year …

“… losing just one dietary bad habit can result in significant weight loss over a period of one year. If you just substitute high calorie offenders for similar tasting, lower calorie choices, the weight loss can still be significant. Give up one teaspoon of cream in your coffee and lose six pounds a year, or switch to a similar amount of skim milk and lose five pounds. Give up a glazed donut a day and lose 25 pounds a year, or switch to a medium-sized bran muffin and lose 11 pounds in a year. Skipping a teaspoon of butter on a daily bagel will leave you 11 pounds lighter at year’s end, or change to a similar amount of cream cheese and drop five pounds. Some other items you can drop and save on are a 12-ounce can of soda a day and forget 17 pounds in a year; a 1.2 ounce chocolate bar a day saves you 12 pounds in 18 months. There’s nothing to it but to do it!”

Making smarter choices, incremental changes, and gradually increasing level of self-discipline you apply to your personal nutrition habits can have you feeling and looking better in a reasonable amount of time. Add the self-discipline of a regular exercise routine and your health and fitness will see even greater results in a shorter period of time.

Improving your personal fitness level often is not as hard as we think, we usually make it harder than it really is. In fact, “there’s nothing to it but to do it!”