It’s been a long, arduous road to getting back in shape. I won’t lie. Sometimes getting up, going to the gym and making yourself sweat until you feel like you’re going to pass out, or pushing yourself to go that extra notch higher on the step mill, is not what you want to do when you roll out of bed. You make a choice. You make a plan in your mind and you adhere to it.

Let me put it this way: getting fit and staying fit can be summed up in two words. The first: commitment. That’s right, folks, committing mentally to making a change in your life is paramount to being able to manifest and achieve your physical change. If you don’t have the proper mindset you will not be able to get your body to respond to what you need it to do.

The second: consistency. You must show up and you must do the work. You must maintain a particular standard and repeat your workout routine with minimal variation. My trainer, Keith Sims, drills these two words into my head each time we workout or as I like to call it, “C + C.”

Once my mindset is in the “C + C” mode, Sims pushes me just enough. He understands what my body can achieve. He can see what I’m capable of even when I can’t. Case in point: During our most recent workout, he upped the speed levels on the step machine … a lot! I didn’t think I would make it, even for five measly minutes, but I made a commitment to endure. The result: a better conditioned body. We all want that. My friends, who are trying to lose weight and are not succeeding, ask me how I’ve been able to do it. It’s not a secret.

I invited several friends to come and experience the gym, the online weight loss program and all Burn Fitness has to offer. One friend showed up, took a look at the amount of commitment involved in getting back in shape and hightailed it out of there never to return. The other has yet to come down.

We all know this type — she’s the one who hits the gym maybe twice a week, does a little cardio, eats whatever she wants and then complains by the water cooler that “gyms don’t really work.” What’s not “working” is this person’s level of “C + C.”

So, what motivates me to remain committed and consistent? It’s actually other gym members; women I see that embody the level of conditioning that I am trying to achieve, women like writer/actor Joeanna Sayler, who is at the gym EVERYDAY without fail. And unlike those who waste time chit chatting or tooling around at slow speeds on the treadmill, Sayler actually breaks a sweat.

“I think that’s genetic. I’m working hard, but I think I just have a lot of sweat glands,” chuckles Sayler.

Sayler, who trains with owner, Tom Williams, admits she’s always been physically active but she’s committed to making sure she says in shape.

“I saw Tom training a woman several years ago whose body I envied and so I asked her, ‘Who’s your trainer?’” This led Sayler to Burn Fitness. Ironically Sayler is one of the women who I see at the gym whose body I envy!

Sayler does an hour of cardio everyday and says, “I read the paper, get my morning started and get my head straight.” She likens Burn Fitness to the Southern California version of “Cheers.”

“In Boston they drink and sit around; in Southern California you have the same camaraderie but it happens on a treadmill. You see your people that you see everyday and they motivate you and sometimes you motivate them.”

So, during the next two weeks while my trainer’s away I’ll be doubling up on my cardio commitment — taking more classes. My goal is to drop another four pounds and look even better.

I must confess, the whole “commitment thing” did get me thinking. Given that commitment is an essential ingredient in the recipe to good health, I’m continually surprised to see so many men at the gym on a regular basis. If they knew they were actually making a “commitment” gyms all over the country would empty. But issues of male intimacy could fill an entire newspaper and I definitely don’t have the mindset to go there! Until next time … remain “C + C!”

Taylor can be reached at tailfish@roadrunner.com.

By the numbers

Starting Weight: 182

Pounds Lost: 20.5

Current Weight: 161.5

Goal Weight: 135

Pounds to Lose to Goal: 26.5

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