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When it comes to health and fitness, there are two types of behavioral changes that can be made. First, you can start doing new things that will improve your health: a new walking program, taking the Yoga class you’ve been thinking about, etc.

Secondly, you can stop doing the things that are hurting you. What I say in the following few words is ‘to the point’. I understand the struggles and disappointments  involved in facing internal drives that propel us in the wrong direction. But you’ve got to:

Stop Smoking Now!

There are no exercises, supplements, herbs, or prescribed medications that can make up for the damage that you’re doing by smoking. You know this already and yet continue the behavior. I do not have the answers to this. I do know people who have simply quit. If others can do it, you can do it, too. Don’t tell me that you enjoy it, you’re still killing yourself slowly. Don’t tell me that Aunt Betty smoked and lived till 100. She would have lived longer and healthier if she hadn’t smoked. And that’s simply a hollow rationalization. I breathed my share of second-hand smoke as a child.

Stop Overeating Now!

Once again, there are no exercises, pills, or medications that can ‘add more health’ than you’re subtracting by engaging in this behavior. This is a difficult and controversial issue, I know, but the facts are overwhelming and there is no doubt about long-term effects. There are no miracle diets. Techniques do exist for losing weight quickly and are used by athletes ‘cutting weight’ in order to qualify to compete at specific weight categories. They utilize massive fluid loss, can be dangerous, and the body must be returned to normal hydration and weight immediately after competition. This is not for you. Permanent weight loss is a lifestyle change. Ingesting fewer calories than what your body requires results in losing weight. I’ve seen many diet ‘secrets’ recycled through the years.  New diets sell products–just like the newest style of clothing. The shoe designers decided a while back that fashionable women now wear extremely high heals. That means lots of high heel shoes have been sold the last few years, right? Fad diets are exactly the same. The newest fad diet generates new fad diet dollars. Stop spending money on the latest ‘diet style’. You must eat what your body needs…the excess is stored as fat. If anyone out there can show me that this metabolic fact is now untrue, please do. I lost 27 pounds by adopting the practice of not eating to the point of feeling full. It was difficult for me, and the weight did not disappear quickly. That’s how the body works. Respect it and understand it as it is.

Please, right now, stop doing the things that you know are robbing you of your precious good health.

To Your Health and Fitness,

Steven Siemons

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