To paraphrase an inspirational American president: Ask not what your fitness program can lose for you. Ask what you can gain from your fitness program.* By Mike Mauney
Mally Gent, Miss Virginia Teen USA 2004, demonstrates the correct technique for Tricep Pushdowns.
Photos by Mike Mauney/Body Design by Mike
We’ve reached that time of the year again, when many young ladies are thinking about and preparing for their prom. For many of you, this can be the most exciting time of the year. Well, perhaps for most of the guys, getting all dressed up for the prom is not their favorite activity. However, the guys will have to admit they love admiring all the lovely ladies with whom they’ll be going to the prom. Believe me, girls, the guys will be gazing longingly at you all night long!
So, ladies, as you approach the prom season, you will most definitely want to ensure your body is in great shape. When you think about getting taut and toned to wear that special gown, there is also a far more important reason for all your hard work and that is to be healthy — which may not sound as exciting as building a great body but, in the long run, will be far more important. So, ladies, lets talk about preparing for the prom with the word “gain” as our food for thought.
Gaining Through Losing When a person finally decides to work out in order to get themselves into better shape, the first thing they often say is “I need to lose weight.” Yes, they always use the word “lose.” But for now, let us think about the phrase “losing to gain” when considering the benefits of getting into shape. People want to lose weight and inches, but what do they gain when they shed those pounds and inches?
Gaining Respect Respect is one thing to be gained. All of your friends and classmates will be very impressed with the positive changes you have made. They will be impressed with your willpower and determination to make a major lifestyle change and be successful in doing so.
Self-confidence, which is very important for your mental health, is also something you will gain. Knowing you can set and achieve goals gives you the self-confidence you need to set and achieve goals in school, on the job, and in all of the challenges you face in life.
Gaining Good Health By far, the most important thing you will gain in losing weight is your good health. There are many serious health issues that are associated with being overweight: It can lead to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and the list goes on and on. I am not saying once you lose weight and get into shape you will never be sick. What I am saying is plain and simple: When you are overweight, you increase your chances of getting seriously ill!
Behavior Mods Now that I have explained what I mean by “losing to gain,” here are some adjustments you can make in your routine to start getting ready for the prom:
• Complete some form of cardiovascular training for 30-45 minutes a day, five days a week. Using a treadmill, elliptical machine, stationary bike, or fast walking/jogging outside work great.
• Stop eating fried foods and replace them with baked, broiled, or grilled foods.
• Stop eating junk food like cakes, pies, candy, cookies, soft drinks, and replace them with fruit, milk, nuts, and grains.
• Replace red meat with chicken, fish, and turkey. If you insist on keeping red meat in your diet, make sure that the cut of meat is extremely lean and that you only have it once or twice a week.
Now that you have a better understanding of what I mean by “losing to gain,” you are ready to begin preparing for the prom. Drop some weight, gain some muscle tone with Tricep Pushdowns… what have you got to gain? Only your good health, which — provided you keep following these guidelines — will add much to your life long after the prom photos have faded and those admiring high school boys are but fond memories!
* This headline paraphrases President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, when he called on Americans to become involved in public life by saying: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
Mike Mauney is a personal fitness trainer certified by the National Federation of Professional Trainers. Mike specializes in personal fitness training for women of all ages. For 18-plus years, he has been training dancers, models, cheerleaders, and pageant and swimsuit contestants of all ages and competition levels (local, state, national, and international). His daughter, Michelle Mauney-Lowery, was Miss North Carolina USA 1995. Some of Mike’s training credits include the following: Miss USA 2005 Chelsea Cooley, Miss Teen USA 2004 Shelley Hennig, Mrs. International 2004 Tammy McDonald, Miss USA 2003 Susie Castillo, Mrs. International 2002 Tonya Matney, Miss United States World 2001 Carrie Stroup, Mrs. United States 1999 Janice Ward, Miss Teen USA 1998 Vanessa Minnillo, and Mrs. America 1994 Keyna Baucom. His web site is www.bodydesignbymike.com