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Fit For Life: Get Addicted, be Obsessed

Saturday, July 30, 2016


I want to get you addicted – obsessed, as a matter of fact. Not what you want to hear from a health and fitness professional? Right?  These two terms have gotten a bad name and people will, of course, encourage you to do just the opposite in your life. Don’t obsess, or don’t be obsessive. Don’t get involved in something that can control your life, or manipulate your every waking moment. But I am telling you something a little different. 

Get addicted and be obsessed.

You see, I’m definitely not talking about drugs, or encouraging you to obsess about any trivial matter in your life. What I want you to be addicted to is health and fitness. And – be obsessive in your quest to achieve it. I am the fitness dealer that you never told your kids to watch out for and I am going to do my best to get you addicted to my program, and I want you to obsess about achieving your goals once you get hooked. Now pay attention to the words “health and fitness”. I am not trying to encourage you to be skinny, supermodel thin, or obsess to the point of eating lettuce and water as your daily meal plan. That’s not healthy, and you won’t become fit that way. That’s taking things to extremes, and is quite un-healthy and un-desirable. Let me elaborate.

Looking good, and feeling great is addictive.

I see it daily. People come to me frustrated and overwhelmed with their health and fitness goals and routines. They follow fad diets, and do ridiculous fitness routines and achieve nothing. Then they come to my gym, and I give them a sensible whole food meal plan, and offer high intensity, fun, 30 minute workouts, and within a few workouts, they start looking and feeling better. Then they get addicted. One woman came to me and said “my hips and lower back hurt when I don’t come in and exercise, but when I leave, I feel great. Another member left due to financial issues, but after a couple weeks, I received an email that said “I can’t do it, I can’t stay away, I feel terrible when I’m not there”. Another woman that left told me her husband couldn’t stand her mood swings and attitude, so he gave her the money to renew her membership. Now that’s an addiction that everyone should have.

You should have it because when you accomplish your fitness goals, or start feeling better during your journey, it creates a domino effect. You start looking and feeling better and your self-esteem elevates to new levels. You get this chip on your shoulder, and start to bolster an “I can do" anything attitude. You start to dress better, and you have enough self-confidence to stop hiding from the camera. You even post pictures of yourself and your accomplishments on social media. Your friends start to notice, and your mood elevates. In general, you become happier. Not so bad. You also become more productive, due to the increased energy levels that exercise induces. You become more efficient at work, because you are not tired and lethargic all day, and the laborious chores around the house get done. When you become more productive and organized, stress of everyday life diminishes.

Again, not a bad thing. But, to get great results, there’s a cost, and you do need to develop some positive obsession to be successful.  But this time, the goal is true happiness, peace of mind, success in life, and health. 

Obsession isn’t always a bad thing.

Like I said, obsession isn’t a bad thing. I tell this to my trial members at every orientation. If Tom Brady wasn’t obsessive, and didn’t have the same work ethic, he wouldn’t be a hall of fame quarterback. If Barrack Obama wasn’t obsessive in his quest to become president, odds are he wouldn’t have. If NASSA wasn’t obsessed with putting a man on the moon, Russia would have made history. If Thomas Edison wasn’t obsessive, we would probably be living in darkness after 7pm. And if you are not obsessive with your meal planning and eating regimen you won’t get fit.  At restaurants you need to be a pain in the butt, and order the sauce on the side. You need to take the time in the market and read labels, and ask questions when someone offers you something to eat. There is no other way. You can’t “wing it” and be successful. At anything. From business to fitness, success comes with planning and focus on a goal, and you need to be relentless when pursuing this goal. You can’t achieve either without it.

So my advice to you is to start your quest, and let it pull you in and get you addicted. Then obsess about following through until it becomes an effortless lifestyle that you systemize and do automatically, because at the end of the day, a sound mind and body isn’t a bad thing.

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. 


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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