Fairy Tale Fitness

At University, many years ago, I took a class in marketing. One of the lessons of this class was about the “Cinderella Theme” in marketing and merchandising. Have you ever heard of it? Even if you don’t know it by its technical name, I am quite sure you would recognize this method or philosophy.

Guys, how many of you have wanted a car just because that particular car has the image of being a “Babe Magnet”? Be honest with yourself now – 99% of you, right? This is how the professionals on Madison Avenue make their living.

Ladies, how much make-up do you have in your make-up bag that you bought because the model looked good, the guy in the ad looked good…..only to get the cosmetic home and find it make you feel like a clown?

Those folks on Madison Avenue are good…I personally keep buying lipsticks that when I buy them I just know this is the magic one that will change my looks and hence my life forever – only to find I look the same with different colored lips. Ah well.

After many years helping fitness clients, I feel that some clients also begin a fitness program with a “Cinderella” mentality. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say “If only I could lose 10 pounds, I would be so much happier”, I would be pretty rich by now.

Just imagine how much money is made appealing to this thinking with quick fixes such as diet pills, weight loss suits, diet foods, etc. The list is exhausting.

It really doesn’t matter with respect to fitness how or why a person decides to get fit and change their body composition – the end result is the same. What gets them to the decision, be it vanity, peer pressure, health or Madison Avenue doesn’t make any difference….so long as the commitment is made.

The equation is the same: commit the time, do the work and you will lose fat, gain muscle and get fit.

But, here’s where the fairy tale ends. A great many people will commit and follow through only long enough to reach a goal. I feel that this is the Cinderella theme aspect of all this. Many clients I have seen see “weight loss”, or “getting into a size 7” as a goal and use fitness programs and/or diets as a means to get there. Again, a good reason to start; but just losing a few pounds does not make a fit, strong body and heart nor does the weight stay off permanently.

Slim people are not necessarily fit….fit people are not necessarily slim. I recently read some scary statistics somewhere that concluded that many women were smoking cigarettes because they believed this would keep them slim. Since smoking is counterproductive to fitness, I would guess that these slim people are not as fit as they could be! But, I digress.

Fitness takes time, is hard work and needs to continue for some time for a person to really transform into “the princess” or “prince”. I generally tell clients that, although it takes about 6 months to start to feel “the magic” of getting fit by following a good fitness and nutrition plan, it takes much more time to get real, lasting changes in both body composition and health profile.

It is true that the practicalities of getting fit, staying fit and making healthy lifestyle choices don’t seem romantic. They involve sweat, tears and just plain old time – a lifetime in fact.

It’s about the process, small increments over a long time period. Through the process, a self romance can grow: a sense of pride of accomplishment and a strong beautiful body. THE PROCESS is the “happily ever after”…

Copyright (c) 2006 Ainsley Laing