What would you do if there was a magic “feel good” pill you could take each morning that would make you forget about every ache and every pain, every hangover, every worry and every care? Would you take it?

My trainer, Keith Sims, and I were talking about how sometimes you feel like you just can’t get up and running. “Sometimes your moves and your energy level aren’t as good as they could be. But if you had something you could drink that would give you more energy, regardless of your problems, regardless of what was going on in your life, imagine how many people would get to the gym,” noted Sims.

For those of you who’ve been tracking my progress and reading along, I have to be candid. Losing weight and working out is not a cure-all to life’s ongoing problems. Sometimes I don’t feel like getting up in the morning, I worry about my job or lack thereof, about the guys I’m dating or not dating, whether I’m going to make next month’s rent. And between you and me folks, this last month, my heart was completely shattered.

So, losing weight and getting in shape doesn’t automatically make life’s woes magically disappear. It won’t protect you from heartache. It’s not a miracle panacea. But that being said, going to the gym, working out and getting fit will provide you with the strength to get through those tough times, the times when you wish you had a magic elixir. I look better and therefore I feel better about everything.

I have shed two more pounds, but I’m not at my goal weight quite yet. My body had become conditioned to the cardio workouts and Sims recognized this and has made adjustments to our routine. Sims punched up my workouts, big time. The reps in my leg routine have increased from 15 to 20. The plyometric jumping exercises have increased from 12 reps to 20. Running the stairs has increased from six series of a flight and a half, to 10 series of a flight and a half, and froggers — my favorite jumping exercise; remember the ones that made me cry at the gym — have expanded from three half-flights to a flight and a half … three times! This step up in our routine, I must admit, makes me feel like I’m back to square one. But that’s the point! You cannot remain comfortable if you want to make a dent in your weight loss progress.

“Conditioning is something you improve upon,” says Sims. “Your heart rate is more able to effectively operate at higher rates and therefore it recovers quicker. If I give you plyometrics and you typically do three sets of eight to twelve reps, now you can go from three movements to four movements, and your reps increase from eight to 12 to 15. So that’s what we’re doing now, you’re next phase of your workout regime. Now that you’ve built a level of weight training conditioning and you’ve built some muscle overall, we want to increase your cardiovascular and as well as your conditioning.” This of course entails doing more plyometics, more stairs — my favorite. Sims adds, “The more muscle you have, the less fat you have in your body, the more calories your body can burn.”

If you are sitting at home, reading this, thinking, “Wow! I wish I could lose some weight. I wish I could feel better.” You can. You just have to make time for yourself. You have to do it because there is no magic formula. And even if there was, a feel good pill may seem like a great idea but, too often, I think we opt for the easy way out or we settle for less than we’re capable of.

I invite you to come down and check out Burn Fitness. Stop in and ask for me. I am not a trainer, but I am living proof that someone completely out-of-shape can look awesome and turn it all around. I am there everyday; why aren’t you?

Taylor can be reached at tailfish@roadrunner.com.

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