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Fun and Fitness: Be healthy and happy

Rick Melo | Interrobang | Sports | November 28th, 2005

Do you ever sit around or look in the mirror thinking how great it would be to look like one of your favorite actors, models, or sports superstars? For girls, it may be the desire to look like Angelina Jolie, or to have a physique like Tyra Banks. For guys, it could be the desire to have Van Damme's body type, or the appearance of Brad Pitt.
I'm not going to lie; I wish I looked like a combination of Rambo III and Rocky IV. But let's face it, the vast majority of us weren't designed to appear this way and I ain't going to look like Balboa anytime soon.

All of us can't be thin or muscular, but every single one of us can be healthy. By focusing on what you're eating and how much you're exercising, you'll be able to achieve optimum health and fitness, even though you may not achieve society's ideal of thin and muscular. Accepting yourself does not mean that you're hopeless and that it's okay to do nothing. It means that you feel good and care about yourself and that you want to be the best you can be, regardless of your genetics, regardless of society's standards.

To achieve this level of optimum wellness, you must have a positive self-image. This means that your feelings about your body are not influenced by events in your daily life. For many people, life's problems are projected onto their body. “If only I was thinner — or more muscular, I would have made the team, gotten the job, been chosen…If only I were thinner — or more muscular, I could meet more people, find the right guy/girl, be happy.” This self-defeating habit is reinforced by the images we see in advertising; your body becomes an easy target for everything wrong in your life.

When you have a positive self-image, you value and respect your body; you are also more likely to feel good about living a healthy lifestyle. No matter how much genetics predetermines how you store and lose fat, the body you've been given will still respond positively to being appreciated and treated well. Focusing on fun physical activity and eating healthy foods will help you feel good whatever your size.

Developing a healthy, positive image of your self is the first critical factor in your fitness success. Having a strong sense of self-worth provides the basis for making rational decisions about your health.

Good luck, stay positive and enjoy all the wonderful benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle!

When Rick isn't at the gym or enjoying a healthy lifestlye, you can find him at Fitnes 101. Can't track him down? Email your questions and comments about fitness to
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