So you want to have an awesome body?

It’s January. And you might notice that this time of year is totally overwhelming with all kinds of information on how to lose weight, look good, eat right, live right, do more, be more, and basically Make All Your Dreams Come True. Blah blah blah.

Me, I don’t have a problem with it…within reason of course. I’m all for suggestions and well-meaning advice but it has to be rational, doable, inexpensive, and convenient. I don’t want to spend too much. I don’t want to drive too far. I don’t want to study for it or think too much about it. I don’t want complicated instructions or extra equipment or special-order materials. That’s just me in a nutshell.

With that in mind, I’m here to share my own rational, doable, inexpensive, and convenient technique for people who want to have an awesome body.

Instructions:

  1. Get up every day (Every. Single. Day) and look at your body in the mirror (nakedness is optional but recommended).
  2. Tell your body that it is awesome.
  3. Treat your body accordingly.

It’s that simple. And it works.

At first your body may not believe you, especially if YOU do not believe you. That’s OK. Keep going. Every. Single. Day.

Treat your body as though it is some new love interest, that guy or girl that you really really like and you really want to get down with. Compliment your body. Tell your body amazing things about itself. Spend time with your body. Think of new fun things that you can do together. Take your body to nice places. Feed it with the best food, like you’re trying to impress it. Don’t give your body anything that would make it sick or sad. Pleasure your body, unapologetically. Pamper your body. Buy or make nice gifts for you and your body to share. Play music to your body. Sing to it. Yes, I said it. Serenade your body and sing LOUDLY.

Do the things for your body that you know are really good for your body. Take your body for a walk. Take your body out dancing. Take your body to the gym but do the classes that you and your body really enjoy. If it’s not fun, if your body is not having a good time, be flexible and invite your body to do something else instead.

Take your body out on the town on the regular. Don’t hide your body…the world deserves to see that awesomeness that is truly you. When you believe it, others will believe it. And if they don’t, well they just don’t know very much. That’s their problem. You and your awesome body are very happy together, thank you very much.

Awesomeness will not happen overnight. It takes time to build a solid relationship with your body. But I think you’ll find that your body is worth it and will show its appreciation. There is no feeling quite like waking up every day with someone who truly loves and appreciates you. It makes you glow and look forward to every new experience. Treat your awesome body like it deserves to be treated and your body will respond accordingly.

Now this approach will not work for everybody. Unfortunately I speak from personal experience when I say that sometimes the hardest thing you could ever do is to say nice things to yourself about your body. We have not exactly been trained to do that, whether because we don’t want to be vain or we just don’t see our own awesomeness. Whatever. Drastic times call for drastic measures. And if having an awesome body means that you have to throw caution to the wind and actually say good things about yourself, well, that’s a sacrifice you’ll just have to make. And no criticism. Nobody likes to be picked on all the time, constantly told what is wrong with them and what they must do to fix it. Your body is no exception.

So get up every day (Every. Single. Day) and talk nicely to your body. Marvel in the amazing things that it can do. Admire the miracle of how all the pieces fit together. Tell your body that you love it more than ever before. Smile at your body. Make kissy noises at it. Get silly with it. Throw yourself completely into the awesomeness that is you. The rest will follow.

It may take months. It may take a year. It make take years! But treating your body right and feeling good about your body relationship is habit-forming. Once you are fully addicted to having that awesome body, there’s just no turning back.

Let me know how it goes.

— Nicole OzJam

Reasons to Run: Now is the time

Friends: Stop toying with my emotions.

At least twice a week I hear “You know I’ve always wanted to start running! I’ve been meaning to call you. We really should get together sometime.”

But when is this elusive sometime? When it comes to getting out there, it seems that something is always standing in the way.

“I’ll join you when it’s not so cold… When it’s not so hot… When I get back in shape… When things slow down at work… When I get my child care in order… When I lose this weight… When I get the right shoes… When I get more sleep… Sometime… Sometime… Sometime…”

Yes, many of us are serious about getting healthy but we always say that it’s too hard to find the time. When life gets hectic, working out is usually the first thing on the chopping block. When we have to work late, we can’t work in a workout. No child care? No workout. Money tight? Goodbye gym membership. Friends wanna go grab a drink but you planned to go to Zumba? Well…

The truth is, we have to prioritize our exercise the same way we prioritize our other regular habits. Few people will ever admit that they are too busy with their job to bathe or brush their teeth. You have to find the time to get dressed and do something with your hair. Maybe you could find an extra 15 minutes to walk or run around the block. At lunch. On the way to work or home.

Don’t wait until you lose the weight. Do what you can now and enjoy the results as you get fitter and you can do more. Don’t let lack of fancy gear stand in your way. Dress for comfort or just slap some sneakers on with your suit and stash the pumps until you get to work. Money is funny? I hear that! That is why running works for me: the sidewalk is free.

Tell your friends to don their sweats and meet you on that free sidewalk or at the track. If not, you can catch up with them for that drink later because you’ve earned it. Child care? That’s always a big one for me. Take my advice: Take the children with you. Not only are you all getting exercise together now but you are also setting the stage for the healthy, balanced lifestyle that they will emulate when they grow up. Sometime.

“But how do I start?” Just start. Forget about planning for that perfect sometime. Now is the time. Strip down, layer up, drop your briefcase, grab the stroller, fire up your tunes, holler at your homies, fling the door open, take a deep breath, and go.

— NOJ