I had the pleasure to interview Dr. James Anessi, of the Atlanta YMCA last year. He has identified five stages every would-be fitness person must go through. They are . . .
1. Pre-contemplation: the period of time before you start thinking about an exercise plan.
Yes ~ this means you’re a couch potato and you’re happy being a couch potato. Lunges and crunches have not even entered your mind . . . yet.
2. Contemplation: when the person has a desire to start an exercise program and starts thinking about it.
You’ve noticed a little bulge over the belt buckle, or it takes a little extra shimmy to get into your nice clothes (you know, the one’s without an elastic waistband). You start thinking, “Maybe I should put down the half gallon of ice cream and think about going to the gym.”
3. Preparation: the third stage when a person starts researching what type of exercise they’d like to do, maybe buys a fitness magazine or book, or even purchases a gym membership but never actually goes.
This means you’re here, right now, on this site, reading this post and getting information. Maybe you’ve bought a fitness magazine, maybe you’ve perused the Weight Watchers site but haven’t joined yet.
4. The fourth stage: Action.
You have walked into the gym and hopped on the treadmill! You have set up a workout schedule, you’ve thrown out the junk food, and you’ve found a friend to go walking with twice a week. You have gone out and bought yourself a cute workout outfit or brand new sneakers. You know you’ll be swapping it for a smaller, cuter outfit in just a few weeks or newer sneakers to replace your worn out pair.
5. The final stage and the trickiest one: Maintenance.
According to Dr. Anessi, the first six months are fairly easy going when you’re trying to reach a fitness or weight goal. After that, you’re switching from a routine to a habit. It’s easy to slip up at this stage, and joining social media forums such as this site is a good way to keep your commitments going and convert them into a way of life. I hope this helps you identify the stages you’ll be going through as you strive to reach your fitness, weight, and health goals.
Please feel free to post your thoughts!