Remember where you started

When my class finished the “90 Day Commit to Get Fit” program at Hampshire Hills, there was some concern amongst us on how participants would be able to stay disciplined without anyone checking up on them.

I considered myself lucky because I had you and this column to keep me focused, and for a long while – honestly, a lot longer than I expected – it was working. But at some point, things got a little tricky.

It’s not like the train has come off the rails. Those of you who have seen me, and passed along compliments – thank you, again – have hopefully been able to tell I’m not anywhere near where I was almost two years ago.

Of course, I’m also not where I want to be, and the path to get there has been muddle lately. A friend told me this week that it seems that in every fourth or fifth one of these, I’m scolding myself for getting off track.

So how do I get back on track? For some answers, I turned to a new standby – Google.

When I searched for “how to stick to your diet,” I got over three million results, most of which (well, at least most of the top 20) were a list of tips on how to be successful when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.

One list was actually step-by-step instructions that started off kind of strange. Step 1 said not to even start until you learn how to motivate yourself every day. That didn’t sound like good advice to me. What happens if you’re 20 days in, and all of a sudden, your motivation is gone? Do you start over with the steps? There are some days where motivation just doesn’t come, but you’ve still got to get through it. I’m not sure what I expected from this search, but a lot of what I found was things that I already knew. Take food with you when you’re not sure where you’ll be eating next, or just in case there isn’t going to be a healthy option. Be smart when eating out. Clear out the unhealthy foods from the pantry.

But the one that caught my eye was this – remember where you started.

There’s a picture from a few years ago hanging on the refrigerator at my Mother’s house of my fiancee and I. Looking at the guy who was in that photo made my jaw drop.

Do I want to look like that again? No way. Well, maybe I’d take some of the hair back, but other than that, no.

Before the program, I was unhealthy and out of shape. Carrying groceries up to our third-floor apartment was a struggle.

It’s not now, and the next time somebody offers me a cookie or a piece of cake, I need to remember that I don’t ever want it to be again.

Joe Marchilena writes a weekly fitness column for Hampshire Hills. To find out more information about the “90 Day Commit to Get Fit” program, call 603-673-7123 or e-mail